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Clinton Warns, President Trump would Plunge U.S. into Recession

6/21/2016, 11:12 a.m. | Updated on 6/21/2016, 11:12 a.m.
Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that her rival Donald Trump could not be trusted with the U.S. economy and would bankrupt ...

Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that her rival Donald Trump could not be trusted with the U.S. economy and would bankrupt the nation as he did to some of his former businesses.

In a bruising speech in Columbus, Ohio, the presumptive Democratic nominee used Trump’s own words against him, echoing the style of her San Diego speech earlier this month that mocked his foreign policy statements.

“Just like he shouldn’t have his finger on the button, he shouldn’t have his hands on our economy,” Clinton said Tuesday.

The attack on his business record appeared to bother Trump more than her foreign policy speech. During her remarks, Trump tweeted nearly a dozen times attacking Clinton’s own economic record and broader questions about her “judgment.” And his campaign fired off a flurry of anti-Clinton statements to reporters, which appears to be the first time the campaign has deployed a rapid-response operation.

In recent polls, Trump leads Clinton on many economic issues, including job creation, among voters. Her Tuesday speech was an apparent attempt to chip away at the perception that her billionaire rival could help grow the U.S. economy. Voters already give Clinton, a former secretary of state, the advantage on most foreign policy issues.

Clinton mined Trump’s past statements to paint him as a reckless out-for-himself businessman who made his money on the backs of working people. She hit Trump especially hard for referring to himself as the “king of debt” in the past and for declaring bankruptcy several times.

“He’s written a lot of books about business — they all seem to end at Chapter 11,” she quipped.

“The American dollar is the safest currency on the planet. Why would he want to mess with that?” Clinton said. “We can’t let him bankrupt America like we’re one of his casinos.”

Meanwhile, Trump continued to respond to Clinton via twitter throughout her speech, tweeting: @realDonaldTrump. I am "the king of debt. “That has been great for me as a businessman, but is bad for the country. I made a fortune off of debt, will fix U.S.

11:55 AM - 21 Jun 2016

Clinton painted Trump’s “America First” stance as hypocritical, pointing out that his companies’ own products have been made in Mexico, India, Slovenia and other countries. She also said that he frequently criticizes his own country.

“Donald Trump never misses a chance to say that Americans, he’s talking about us, to say that Americans are losers and the rest of the world is laughing at us,” Clinton said. “Just the other day, he told a crowd that America is – quote – ‘not going to survive.’ I do not know what he is talking about.” Clinton flashed anger as she asked why anyone who believed “that” would run for president.

Clinton said she took Trump’s companies’ occasional refusal to pay contractors “personally” because her father was a small businessman. “In America, we don’t begrudge people for being successful, but we know they shouldn’t do it by destroying other people’s dreams,” Clinton said.

On Tuesday, the Clinton campaign also unveiled a website mocking Trump as a “below-average successful businessman” whose record is “sad.”