CORPUS CHRISTI, TEX. -- Hillary Clinton focused on national security at a campaign stop here today and took several veiled jabs at Barack Obama.
"I know how to find common ground, but I also know how to stand my ground, and a president must be able to do that," she said.
"Whether its dealing with our adversaries abroad... You don't just talk them into changing thier minds about what you want them to do, do you? You have to have the right combination of strength and diplomacy to be able to deal with the difficult leaders we have who have been emboldended by the failures of George W. Bush."
Clinton regularly criticizes Obama on foreign policy, saying he lacks the experience to deal with the difficult issues that presidents face and likes to say she is ready to be commander-in-chief "on day one." Clinton's dig at Obama goes back to a debate when he said he would be willing to meet at a presidential level with dictators from nations like Iran and Syria. The Clinton campaign attacked Obama at the time, pointing to this as an example of his inexperience.
Today, she spoke forcefully on the issue of national security, something she doesn't do often. Clinton focused on this issue today primarily because Democrats in this part of the country tend to be more conservative, or as a campaign spokesman put it, "many are Reagan Democrats."
"We have to start to make it abundantly clear that we will always protect and defend the United States of America, our interests, our values, our future," Clinton said.