WARREN, Mich. – Hillary Clinton delivered an optimistic rebuttal to Donald Trump’s economic policy speech here Thursday afternoon, just days after the Republican nominee presented a darker assessment in neighboring Detroit.
“He talked only of failure, poverty and crime. He is missing so much about what makes Michigan great,” Clinton said at Futuramic, an engineering company focused on supplying the aerospace industry.
There was no new policy in Clinton’s 40-minute speech. Instead, the Democratic nominee spent her remarks contrasting her more hopeful economic vision with Trump’s bleaker outlook.
“There’s nothing America can’t do – if we do it together,” she said. “I don’t think Mr. Trump understands any of it. He hasn’t offered any credible solutions for the very real economic challenges we face.”
Aides billed the speech as the perfect opportunity to respond to Trump because she has already laid out her economic agenda in detail, most recently on a three-day, jobs-focused bus tour through the Rust Belt.
As she has for months, Clinton hit Trump Thursday for outsourcing his companies and “stiffing” small businesses.
On trade, Clinton said definitively that she opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership and will continue to do so: “I oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election, and I’ll oppose it as president.”
Clinton then made an Olympics reference to slam her Republican opponent on trade.
“His approach is based on fear, not strength. Fear that we can’t compete with the rest of the world,” she said. “If Team USA was as fearful as Trump, Michael Phelps and Simone Biles would be cowering in the locker room, afraid to come out and compete. Instead, they’re winning gold medals. America isn’t afraid to compete.”
As for taxes, the former secretary of state responded directly to Trump’s new proposal by calling it “the Trump Loophole,” arguing that it would allow him to pay a lower rate than middle class families.
“He wants America to work for him and his friends, at the expense of everyone else,” she said, summarizing her campaign’s strategy to portray Trump as a greedy billionaire who only cares about himself.
Clinton also continued her call for Trump to release his tax returns. She is expected to release her 2015 tax filing this week, along with 10 years worth of her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine’s, tax returns.