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2016 Conventions

As Convention Kicks Off, Clinton Bypasses DNC Controversy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - As the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton campaigned in the battleground state of North Carolina and made no mention of the event or the turmoil surrounding embattled party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Clinton instead focused her remarks on veterans issues and drew a sharp contrast with Republican nominee Donald Trump's plans and proposals for the military, without once uttering his name.

"You will never hear me say that I only listen to myself on national security," Clinton said at the 117th Veterans of Foreign Wars convention. The former secretary of state also jabbed Trump on his "praise for dictators and strongmen who have no love for America" and called him out for saying America is "in decline."

All eyes on Bernie Sanders amid DNC drama 3:07

Beyond that, Clinton also subtly went after Trump on his past comments on NATO and said she believes in "standing with our allies." She made sure to mention that her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, has a Marine son who deployed mere hours ago to "defend" NATO allies in Europe.

"That's how committed he is," Clinton said.

In what seemed like an unscripted moment, Clinton admitted that being the first woman nominee to represent a major political party has taken "a little getting used to, even for me."

"But here's what I want you to know: I will get up every single day in the White House, doing everything I possibly can to protect our country, to treat our men and women in uniform with the care and concern and respect they deserve," she said.

On Monday Clinton also said she was "deeply honored" to receive the endorsement of Retired Marine Gen. John Allen, Deputy Commander of U.S. Central Command and former Commander of the International Security Assistance Force.

Earlier in the day, Allen announced his support Clinton because he believes she is the leader most capable of keeping America safe.

"This has been a very personal decision for me. I have stayed out of the political arena my entire adult life, but given the complexities of issues facing our country today and its longtime allies, I felt compelled to speak up and be heard," he wrote in a statement. "I have no doubt that she is the leader we need at this time to keep our country safe, and I trust her with that most sacred responsibility of Commander-in-Chief."