Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she would be a model for behavior in America if elected.
Clinton made the comment at a Claremont, New Hampshire, town hall in response to a question about what the audience member called the “strong undercurrent of hatred in America.”
“As president, I would do my very best to model the kind of behavior that I would hope all our citizens would have,” Clinton said. “I’m not asking people to like everybody. I’m asking people to be respectful. I’m asking people to be kinder toward each other.”
Her pledge to be a model of behavior comes amid polls that show most Americans don’t believe Clinton to be honest. She is facing questions about conducting her email on a private server while serving as secretary of state, while many Republicans still question her integrity on a number of fronts, including the 2012 Benghazi attacks and all the way back to investigations of former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton specifically cited the Internet as a vehicle for the “level of vitriol and insult” in America.
“I just see this because, occasionally, I’m the subject of it,” Clinton said. “No one is immune from it. Part of what we have to do is make it unacceptable.”
“The feelings that come out over the Internet, you would never say that to someone standing in front of you,” she later added. “Then why would you say that on the Internet? Why would you engage in racism or homophobia or sexism or any of the other behaviors so prevalent on the Internet?”
She said that Internet bullying could be harmful, particularly for young people.
“It used to be that people would be careful about what they said. Now it’s almost like people feel a need to lash out,” Clinton said.
She said the solution is more positive speech.
“We live in a country with a Constitution and a First Amendment, so we are much more open to speech, as we should be,” Clinton said. “That means there should be more positive speech to kind of drown out and undermine the affects of the negative speech.”