While the suspect in the New York City and New Jersey bombings was still at large yesterday, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were racing to seize the political upper hand. Clinton called Trump a “recruiting sergeant for the terrorists” and offered herself as a seasoned warrior against terrorism, reports the New York Times. Trump returned fire hours later, blaming Clinton and President Obama’s handling of immigration and the Iraq war for bringing terrorism to U.S. shores. He called for vigorous police profiling of people from the Muslim world and drew a direct link between immigration controls and national defense.
The attacks could reframe the presidential race around stark questions of national security after weeks of often-bitter sniping between Trump and Clinton over more personal matters of character, transparency and medical records. The violence of the weekend is all but certain to ripple in the first presidential debate next Monday at Hofstra University. Trump applauded himself for having described the Saturday night explosion in New York City as a bombing even before the police did. “I should be a newscaster,” he said. “I called it before the news.”