Clinton says Trump is 'Isil's best recruiter'
Published 21/12/2015 | 02:30
Hillary Clinton reminded voters that she is the front-runner in the 2016 US presidential race as she used a televised Democratic debate to attack her potential Republican opponent Donald Trump.
Ms Clinton called Mr Trump the "best recruiter" for Isil and accused him of "using bigotry to inflame people".
Mr Trump, a billionaire property mogul, has dominated US television coverage of the election so far - but Ms Clinton is still the odds-on favourite.
A poll released at the weekend showed her beating Mr Trump by 11 percentage points in a hypothetical contest between the two.
However, the same poll showed Ms Clinton facing a tie if either Ted Cruz, the conservative Texas senator, or Marco Rubio, the telegenic senator from Florida, becomes the Republican nominee.
Ms Clinton is now 25 points ahead of her closest Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont.
In the debate in New Hampshire, which centred on national security, Ms Clinton easily deflected attacks from Mr Sanders and Martin O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland.
She went on to speak at length about Mr Trump's proposal to temporarily ban non-American Muslims from entering the United States in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.
She said: "We need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don't fall on receptive ears.
"He is becoming Isil's best recruiter. They are going to have people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.
"I think a lot of people [supporting Trump] are understandably reacting out of fear and anxiety and Mr Trump has a great capacity to use bluster and bigotry to inflame people, and to make them think there are easy answers to very complex questions."
Mr O'Malley said that Americans would never surrender their values to "the fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths".
The three Democratic candidates all agreed there would be no ground war to defeat Isil involving large numbers of US ground troops.
However, Ms Clinton has called for a no-fly zone over part of Syria.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's 16-day Christmas getaway in Hawaii will bring the cost of his family's personal travel during his time in office to more than $70m (€64m), according to a new study.
This year alone the estimated bill for the First Family's holidays was $11.6m, including golf trips to Florida and California, and Michelle Obama going skiing in Aspen.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, the conservative watchdog that compiled the study, said: "The Obamas are treating Air Force One like an Uber ride. President Obama seems oblivious to the burden he is placing on Americans with his continuous vacations, getaways and political junkets at taxpayer expense."
It costs just over $200,000 an hour to fly Air Force One, a total of $3.6m for the round trip from Washington to Hawaii.