Washington: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has dismissed Donald Trump's trip to Mexico as a "photo op" that will do little to free him from a history of coarse rhetoric directed at the US ally.
In a speech at the American Legion's national convention in Cincinnati on Wednesday, the former Secretary of State said America's status as a global power could be imperiled by Republican presidential nominee Trump's intemperate behavior as she cast the fall election not as one about ideology, but about who was best suited to assume the mantle of global leadership, Los Angeles Times reported.
Clinton declared that the idea that the US is an exceptional nation has been a core belief that "has guided and inspired me every step of the way."
Trump, she said, agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin when he criticized that notion as insulting to the rest of the world.
"No matter how hard it gets, no matter how great the challenge, America must lead," she said. "The question is how we lead. What kind of ideas, strategies, and tactics we bring to our leadership. American leadership means standing with our allies because our network of allies is part of what makes us exceptional."
As secretary of State, Clinton said she worked every day to build coalitions that served U.S. interests and maintained global stability.
"You don't build a coalition by insulting our friends or acting like a loose cannon," she said. "People have to get to know that they can count on you, that you won't say one thing one day and something totally different the next. And it certainly takes more than trying to make up for a year of insults and insinuations by dropping in on our neighbors for a few hours and then flying home again. That is not how it works."
Clinton vowed to be a president for all Americans, and would strive to ensure the US meets its commitment to veterans and military families.
"I will never, ever disrespect Gold Star families who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, or prisoners of war," she said.
She also rejected Trump's statement that the US military is a "disaster" and largely defended President Obama's record in leading a coalition to defeat Islamic State (IS).
"There's no question we face real threats and real enemies that we need to confront and defeat. But my opponent is wrong when he says America is no longer great," she said.