CULVER CITY, UNITED STATES: Hillary Clinton doubled down Friday in attacking Donald Trump, branding her likely Republican presidential opponent a peddler of “lies” and proclaiming she will be the Democratic flagbearer once California votes next week.
“We need everybody to show up on June 7,” Clinton told a few hundred supporters at a college in Culver City, California.
“If all goes well, I will have the great honor as of Tuesday to be the Democratic nominee for president,” she said to loud cheers.
Clinton was spending a full day campaigning in the Los Angeles area, wooing primary voters as she aims to thwart rival Bernie Sanders once and for all and fully turn toward a likely bruising battle against Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.
Trump praises California rally, denounces protesters as thugs
Democrats in six states vote Tuesday, including California and New Jersey. Clinton is already on the cusp of securing enough delegates to win the nomination and she is certain to surpass the threshold on June 7.
Sanders has been barnstorming California, hoping for a miracle in which he wins the remaining contests and many so-called super-delegates, senior party figures who can vote at the party convention for whomever they choose, switch alliances and support him.
Clinton supporters were having none of it.
“Spoiler alert: Hillary wins,” read several T-shirts at the Culver City event.
For a second straight day Clinton leveled withering criticism at Trump over his character, stream of insults and lack of coherent foreign policies.
She labeled Trump “temperamentally unfit” and otherwise unprepared to lead the United States.
“He just engages in rants and personal feuds and outright lies, something our nation cannot afford in our commander in chief,” the former secretary of state said.
More than a dozen women — actresses, members of Congress, and civil servants — joined her on stage in Culver City to offer their support.
Clinton says Trump dangerous, unfit to be commander in chief
“She is bad-ass, and she is ready to lead,” US House Democrat Linda Sanchez boomed.
While Clinton has upped her attacks on Trump as a “fraud,” Trump has drilled into Clinton as dishonest and “crooked.”
Trump on Friday also hit out at the protesters — “thugs” — who clashed with his supporters in California the previous evening, the latest in a string of his rallies to be marred by violence.
“Rally last night in San Jose was great. Tremendous love and enthusiasm in the hall. Big crowd. Outside, small group of thugs burned Am flag!” the candidate tweeted.
Hundreds of demonstrators insulted Trump supporters as they tried to leave the event in San Jose. One supporter was hit with an egg, and according to the Los Angeles Times a dozen or more people were punched.
Crowds had earlier chanted “No hate in our state” and carried signs that read “Dump Trump” as they marched near the convention center.
Hispanics outnumber whites in California, the most populous state in the country, and many have been deeply shocked by Trump’s characterization of Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and his pledge to build a wall along the southern US border.
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Trump stepped up attacks Friday against the judge handling a class action lawsuit by former students of Trump University who paint the entrepreneur program as a scam — insisting the jurist’s Mexican heritage prevents him from being impartial.
The tycoon told the Wall Street Journal there was “an inherent conflict of interest” for Gonzalo Curiel to rule on the case. The judge was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants.
Trump’s attack on the judge earned swift condemnation from House Speaker Paul Ryan, the nation’s top elected Republican, who only a day earlier said he would vote for the billionaire in November after weeks of hesitation.
“It’s reasoning I don’t relate to. I completely disagree with the thinking behind that,” Ryan said in a radio interview.