Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton called for unity in the wake of the nation’s recent tragedies in Dallas, Minnesota and Louisiana while speaking in Springfield, Illinois, on Wednesday.
Clinton spoke at the Old State House, a historic setting where President Obama announced his candidacy in 2007 and where Abraham Lincoln delivered his monumental “House Divided" speech.
Clinton referenced Lincoln’s speech in her call for unity as the country recovers from a series of high-profile shootings. During her address, Clinton also discussed the police-involved deaths of Chicago teen Laquan McDonald and Sandra Bland, who was born in Illinois.
"Recent events have left people across America asking hard questions about whether we are still a house divided," Clinton said. "Despite our best efforts and highest hopes, America’s long struggle with race is far from finished."
Last week, a pair of police-involved shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana reignited a national debate about race in America. Then on Thursday, a peaceful protest in Dallas turned tragic when a gunman targeted police, leaving five officers dead.
"There is too much violence and hate in our country, too little trust and common ground," Clinton said. "It can feel impossible to have the conversations we need to have to fix what's broken."
Clinton also condemned economic inequality and promised renewed opportunity for Americans. As a response to outsourcing and automation, Clinton promised to make the "biggest investment in new, good paying jobs since World War II."
"We need more jobs you can support a family on, especially in places that have been left out and left behind," Clinton said. "From coal country to Indian country to every place that’s been hollowed out when a factory closed or a mine shut down."
"Everyone in America deserves that fair chance in the race of life that President Lincoln described," she added, quoting Lincoln's famous speech.
Clinton discussed the nation’s partisan politics, taking aim at her opponent, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
"In times like these we need a president who can help pull us together, not split us apart,” Clinton said to resounding applause.
During her speech, Clinton also referenced a series of Trump’s controversial positions, including his proposed ban on Muslim immigration and his plan to round up illegal immigrants living in the country. She also faulted Trump for his comments about the heritage of a Hispanic judge presiding over civil lawsuits against his beleaguered Trump University.
"His campaign is as divisive as any we have seen in our lifetimes," Clinton added. "It is built on stoking mistrust and pitting American against American. It’s there in everything he says and everything he promises to do as president."
“We don’t need that kind of fear mongering," Clinton said. “Not now, not ever.”
Clinton closed her speech as she started, pushing for unity among the divided country.
“In the end, if we do the work, we will cease to be divided,” Clinton said. “We, in fact will be indivisible with liberty and justice for all and we will remain, in President Lincoln's words, the last best hope of earth.”
Clinton was also scheduled to attend an expensive fundraiser in north suburban Wilmette Wednesday. The event is being hosted by Chicago Cubs board member Laura Ricketts and her wife, Brooke.