TOLEDO, Ohio — Hillary Clinton excoriated Donald Trump on his tax returns here Monday, arguing that not paying federal income tax for almost two decades meant the GOP nominee was “taking from America with both hands and leaving the rest of us with the bill.”
Clinton dedicated a large portion of her speech, which was primarily economy-focused, to ripping apart Trump’s business practices.
“What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in a single year? This is Trump to a tee. He's taken corporate excess and made a business model out of it,” Clinton said at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza. “He abuses his power, games the system and puts his own interests ahead of the country’s. It’s always Trump first and everyone else last.”
Clinton argued that Trump essentially contributed “nothing,” while Americans nationwide struggled to make ends meet. “While millions of American families, including mine and yours, were working hard, paying their fair share, it seems he was contributing nothing to our nation. Imagine that. Not fair,” Clinton said.
Repeating a line she deployed repeatedly over the summer, Clinton said: “Now, how anybody can lose a dollar, let alone a billion dollars in the casino industry, is kind of beyond me.”
In addition to calling out companies like Wells Fargo for taking advantage of consumers, Clinton proposed a new law that would stipulate that every major party nominee released his or her tax returns.
And she used her once-rival, Vermont, Sen. Bernie Sanders, to hammer home her argument about Trump’s approach to business.
“My friend Bernie Sanders was right yesterday when he said Trump reflects a ‘distorted view of the American people and what this country is about,” Clinton said. “Trump represents the same rigged system he claims he will change.”
Before The New York Times published its bombshell report on Saturday, the Clinton campaign planned for the Democratic nominee to talk mostly about companies that “put profits over people.” Slamming Trump on taxes fit easily into that narrative.
“Today I want to send a clear message to every boardroom and executive suite across our country: if you scam your customers, exploit your employees, pollute our environment, or rip off taxpayers, we will find ways to hold you accountable,” she said.
Monday marks Clinton’s first visit back to Ohio since Labor Day. After Toledo, she heads to Akron for another afternoon rally.
After receiving the endorsement of NBA superstar LeBron James Sunday, Clinton touted the news and thanked him for his support.
“I hope to be elected president but I know here in Ohio, LeBron will always be the King,” she joked.