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SAN FRANCISCO — A spirited Hillary Clinton took on the Trump administration Tuesday in one of her first public speeches since she lost the presidential election, criticizing the country’s Republican leaders on everything from health care to the shortage of women appointees in top administration positions.
Cracking jokes about her November defeat and her months out of the limelight since, Clinton spoke to thousands of businesswomen in San Francisco, joking there was no place she’d rather be, “other than the White House.”
Without mentioning President Donald Trump by name, Clinton faulted the Republican presidential administration repeatedly, including calling its representation of women in top jobs “the lowest in a generation.”
She rebuked White House press secretary Sean Spicer, again not by name, for hours earlier Tuesday chiding a black woman journalist during a news conference for shaking her head.
“Too many women have had a lifetime of practice taking this kind of indignity in stride,” Clinton said.
“I mean, it’s not like I didn’t know all the nasty things they were saying about me. I thought some of them were kind of creative,” she said. “But you just have to keep going.”
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Clinton declared herself appalled at a much-circulated photo showing an all-male group of Republican lawmakers last month negotiating women’s coverage in health care legislation, noting a social-media parody of it that showed an all-dog panel deciding on feline care.
Last week’s failure of the GOP health care bill, Clinton told a cheering, applauding crowd, was “a victory for all Americans.”
Trump has named four women to his Cabinet, the same number as in former President George W. Bush’s first Cabinet. Trump earlier this week pointed to the work he planned to have his daughter, Ivanka Trump Kushner, do on childcare and other issues involving working women and men in her unsalaried role in his administration.
Clinton has kept a low profile after Trump defeated her for the presidency, except chiefly for sightings while she took walks outdoors with her husband, former President Bill Clinton. She said earlier this month that she intended to start speaking out again on public issues.
On Tuesday, she urged voters to resist Trump policies that she said included suspicion of refugees and voter suppression in some areas.
“These are bad policies that will hurt people and take our country in the wrong direction,” Clinton said, relaying what she had become one of her mantras since the November election.
“It’s the kinds of things you think about when you take long walks in the woods,” she said. “Resist, insist, persist, enlist.”