NEW YORK - Presidential hopefuls must walk a fine line to defeat U.S. President Donald Trump, presenting their own views while fending off his attacks, said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who lost to Trump in a bitter 2016 race.
Speaking on Friday, the fourth anniversary of the day she declared her bid for president, Clinton said in a New York appearance she was “delighted” about the diverse Democratic field, with a record six women, vying to challenge Trump in the 2020 election.
Clinton, who is also a former U.S. senator and former first lady, lost to Trump in November 2016 in a stunning upset.
The defeat of the heavily favored Clinton, a Democrat, by the Republican Trump was largely unexpected by polls and political observers.
Candidates looking to oust Trump next year face a “balancing act,” she said, speaking at a “Women in the World” conference of leaders, activists and others.
“You do have to present what you want to do — what is your vision, what is your hope for our country, how do you see the future,” she said.
“At the same time, you have to be able to counter and ignore where possible, respond where necessary to the diversion and distraction that we see unfortunately working by the current incumbent in the White House,” she said.
With national political sentiment deeply divided under Trump, she urged candidates to aim high and mount positive campaigns.
“Anger, resentment, prejudice are not strategies. They stop people from thinking,” she said. “The job of a leader is to appeal to us to be more than we could be on our own.”
She described the 2016 race against Trump as “dark” and “negative.”
Looking to the 2020 election, the largest Democratic field in the modern U.S. political era is lining up to seek the party’s presidential nomination.
The hopefuls include six women as well as black, Hispanic and openly gay candidates who would make history as the nominee.
Since losing her presidential bid, Clinton has written a memoir entitled “What Happened.”