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Bill Clinton Tells US To Think Globally

Former President Bill Clinton has urged the U.S. to think globally and seek international partnerships in a speech that was seen as a clear rebuke to President Donald Trump.

Clinton addressed topics ranging from climate change to foreign aid and immigration during his remarks in New York, according to CNN.

The former president argued that "diverse groups make better decisions than homogenous ones."

"The reality is we are condemned to share a future, whether we like it or not -- we are stuck with one another, and so the job of every thinking person on the earth is to maximize the benefits and minimize the dangers," Clinton added, according to CNN.

He did not mention the Paris Agreement by name, but spent some time addressing the issue of climate change. Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement earlier in June.

"The pace of climate change is growing," said Clinton. "Another big chunk of the arctic broke off not that long ago. Low-lying nations in the Pacific are already threatened -- to them, denial of the problem strikes them as unbelievable. So those of us who believe that we live in the most interdependent age in human history, and who do the work that we do, are clearly justified by the challenges that we face."

A majority of Americans appear to agree with Clinton's view. According to findings from poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, less than one third of the population agree with Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, 44 percent said they were very concerned, and 26 percent were moderately concerned that the pullout would damage Washington's global reputation.

52 percent of respondents felt that Trump's decision would hurt the economy, while 18 percent agreed with the president's suggestion that withdrawing from Paris would benefit the U.S. economy.

The poll, conducted between June 8 and 11, reveal a stark partisan divide -- the survey results found that 78 percent of Democrats thought Trump's move would hurt the economy, compared to 24 percent of Republicans.

Clinton went on to criticize the Trump administration's plans to cut the U.S. foreign aid budget. Washington is the largest contributor to U.N. emergency funding, making available 29 percent of total spending on disasters and emergencies in 2016.

Clinton also turned to the topic of Trump's ban on immigration from Muslim-majority countries.

"Despite all of the fear-mongering, the immigrants in America have a lower crime rate than the home-grown population, the murder rate of Muslims is less than one-third of the general population -- our diversity is helping us," added Clinton. "First-generation immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a new business than those who have been here longer."

Sources: CNN, Global News via Associated Press / Photo credit: U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Cristian Ricardo/Wikimedia Commons

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