Clinton aims to focus on the finer points of foreign policy

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to the Annual Session of the National Baptist Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, United States September 8, 2016. 

Brian Snyder/REUTERS

Last Updated Sep 9, 2016 7:08 AM EDT

New Quinnipiac polling shows a tight race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with just under two months until the election. In a number of critical battleground states, the two candidates are running neck and neck, virtually tied in Florida and Ohio. Clinton is leading in North Carolina, and in Pennsylvania by five points.

Clinton is meeting with foreign policy leaders on Friday to shape her campaign platform. The gathering at the New York Historical Society is designed to show two things: One, that unlike her opponent, she is focused on the finer points of foreign policy, and two, that lots of serious Republicans are backing her for president, reports CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes.

“In the last 24 hours, more retired generals and admirals have signed up to support my campaign,” Clinton said Thursday in Charlotte.

Trump’s foreign policy positions have already driven more than 50 Republican national security experts to refuse to back him. Two of those will be at the meeting with Clinton: former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff and Richard Fontaine, a former foreign policy adviser to John McCain.

“A number of the things that he is suggesting not only are illegal and morally offensive, but actually counter-productive,” Fontaine said.

Also at the meeting will be Matt Olsen, the former head of the National Counterterrorism Center, who claims in a recent article that ISIS is “rooting for Trump”.

Clinton quoted it as her new line of attack.

“They hope that Allah delivers America to Trump,” Clinton said.  

House Speaker Paul Ryan hit back on Clinton calling it “fearmongering.”

”That’s demagogic scare tactics... I don’t even know how you can credibly make the claim to begin with,” Ryan said.

But Trump just four weeks ago said a very similar thing.

“Oh boy, is ISIS hoping for her,” Trump said.

The Clinton campaign is hoping Friday’s meeting will showcase her focus on policy. It’s a contrast with Trump that can be seen even on the candidates’ websites. Her military proposal is laid out point by point detail; his is in a 23-second video.

“I am going to make our military so big, so powerful, so strong,...we’re going to get rid of ISIS and get rid of them fast,” Trump said.

At a Baptist conference in Kansas City Thursday night, Clinton argued Trump is too busy chasing shadows to formulate serious positions. 
 
“He traffics in toxic conspiracy theories like the lie that President Obama is not a true American,” Clinton said.

In an interview Thursday night, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Trump accepted several years ago that President Obama was born in the U.S. If that’s true, Trump has kept it to himself despite being asked repeatedly if his birther position has changed.