Two CNN analysts praised Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, moments after the Democratic presidential candidate finished a speech on national security at Stanford University. Peter Bergen touted Clinton's "sustained attack on a lot of rather poor ideas that the Republican candidates have come out with about how to deal with terrorism — whether it's building walls — I think Hillary Clinton very correctly said...how does that keep the Internet out?" Juliette Kayyem underlined how the former New York senator "got into their [Republicans'] lane, which is really important, because Democrats are often viewed as not serious about security." [video below]
CNN Newsroom anchor Brooke Baldwin turned to Bergen and Kayyem, who once worked as assistant homeland security secretary in the Obama administration, for their take on Mrs. Clinton's speech. Bergen immediately gave his "poor ideas" phrase about the GOP presidential candidates, and zeroed in on Donald Trump's recent criticism of NATO and Ted Cruz's idea about monitoring Muslim neighborhoods for radicalism.
The analyst later added that Clinton's speech was a "well-executed indictment of a lot of the ideas that are being...set forth by both Donald Trump and Senator Cruz and other Republican candidates."
Baldwin then turned to Kayyem, who played up that the former secretary of state was "throwing shade at Cruz and Trump, as she should. And she did it in the context of not that...we're a good democracy and we're liberal and we don't do these things. She said, it's ineffective as a security measure."
The transcript of the relevant portion of the Bergen/Kayyem segment from the March 23, 2016 edition of CNN Newsroom:
BROOKE BALDWIN: Peter Bergen, what did you make of Secretary [Hillary] Clinton?
PETER BERGEN: Well, I thought that was a sustained attack on a lot of rather poor ideas that the Republican candidates have come out with about how to deal with terrorism — whether it's building walls — I think Hillary Clinton very correctly said — you know, how does that keep the Internet out? After all, if you look at the 60 cases last year, Brooke, which — in the United States, they're all — almost all generated by online content. So, the idea that somehow building a wall would solve the problem — also, she poured a lot of cold water on the idea of turning our back on NATO, saying that that would create — Christmas in the Kremlin is what she said.
She also pointed out that — you know, patrolling Muslim neighborhoods, as Ted Cruz has suggested, would essentially be unconstitutional amongst — and then, by the way, the NYPD last — had to settle a lawsuit on this very issue in the previous — you know, pre-Bratton administration under Ray Kelly because New York police officers were going into Muslim neighborhoods. And that was deemed, you know, essentially something that wouldn't sustain legal backing of the Constitution.
She also said — you know, carpet-bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraqi cities — which is a Ted Cruz idea — would be — you know, enormously counterproductive. You'd have hundreds of thousands of civilians left dead in the street.
So, I think it was a — you know, well-executed indictment of a lot of the ideas that are being — you know, being set forth by both Donald Trump and Senator Cruz and other Republican candidates. I mean, she also said, for instance, that applying a religious test to Syrian refugees would essentially be un-American. I mean, after all, we've heard Republican candidates saying that we'll take Syrian refugees, but only if they're Christian — you know, a fundamentally un-American idea.
[CNN Graphic: "Clinton Blasts GOP Rivals Over 'Bigotry;' Says 'insulting allies and partners is not a good way' to fight terror; Calls discriminating against Muslims 'wrong, counterproductive, dangerous'"]
BALDWIN: Peter, stay with me. Juliette, you were sitting here and listening to her speech with me — sort of nodding along and taking your notes. What were your take-aways?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER ASSISTANT HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: So, a couple things, to pick up on what Peter said — so clearly, she was throwing shade at Cruz and Trump, as she should. And she did it in the context of not that — you know, we're a good democracy and we're liberal and we don't do these things. She said, it's ineffective as a security measure. She got — she got into their lane, which is really important, because Democrats are often viewed as not serious about security. So, in my mind, that was a different, sort of, tactic by her, and very important.