The Democratic presidential candidates came together in a town hall forum in Iowa, hosted by CNN on Monday night, in a last attempt to convince first-state voters to support them.
While Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders opened with subtle digs at Hillary Clinton and defended the high cost of his healthcare proposal, the former secretary of state used the forum to decry Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric in response to a Muslim voter’s question.
“With the rise in Islamophobia, how can you make America a safe place to raise my family?” a hijab wearing Air Force veteran asked Clinton.
After thanking the questioner for her service, Clinton said, “one of the most distressing aspects of this campaign has been the language of Republicans candidates, particularly their frontrunner, that insults, demeans, and denigrates different people.”
Although the Democratic frontrunner did not explicitly mention the business mogul’s name, she slammed him for casting “a wide net” and for being “particularly harmful [in] the way that he has talked about Muslims.”
“American Muslims deserve better, and now their children and they are the target of Islamophobia and threats,” Clinton continued, adding that Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric is not only shameful, it’s contrary to the U.S. values. “We cannot tolerate this — we must stand up and say everybody in this country deserves to be treated with respect.”
She also warned against alienating Muslims around the world, as it would be a “terrible way to build the kind of international coalition in the Middle East necessary to confront ISIS.”
Watch Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s impassioned answer in the video above.