Hillary Clinton attacked Donald Trump’s business record Wednesday in Atlantic City, where Trump previously owned several businesses that later suffered bankruptcies.
“He calls himself the king of debt, and he earned that title right here in AC. His bad decisions hurt the whole city,” Clinton said, standing in front of the abandoned building that was once the Trump Plaza casino and hotel.
“It’s fair to ask—since he is applying for a job—what in the world happened here?” she said.
Trump defended his business record earlier in the day, blaming Democratic city leaders for making “all the wrong moves” and hurting business. He has previously argued that his ability to profit from bankruptcy is part of the business experience he will bring to the White House—a claim Clinton countered in her speech on Wednesday.
“Donald Trump says he’s qualified to be president because of his business record,” she said. “What he did for his businesses and his workers is nothing to brag about. In fact, it’s shameful, and every single voter in America needs to know about it, so we don’t let him do to our country what he did to his businesses.”
Clinton was introduced by Atlantic City resident Marty Rosenberg, who said he was one of the contractors who worked on the Trump Taj Mahal. He accused Trump of manipulating small business owners and failing to pay them what he promised. A USA Today investigation in June found that Trump failed to pay hundreds of small business owners over the years.
But Trump argued that he was simply using the laws available to all business owners.
“It is an effective and commonly used practice in business to use bankruptcy proceedings to restructure a business and ultimately save jobs,” he said in a statement after the speech.
“I created thousands of jobs and made a lot of money in Atlantic City, which was what, as a businessman, I am supposed to do for my company and my family– and as President I will make America rich again, and Make America Great Again,” he said.
Clinton has hit Trump on his business background and economic proposals repeatedly in recent weeks, criticizing him of making “over-the-top promises” and failing to follow through.
She also leveled criticism on Wednesday at New Jersey Governor and Trump supporter Chris Christie.
“You’ve got a city council and a mayor working hand in hand,” Clinton said. “And if your governor would start doing his job instead of following Donald Trump around holding his coat, maybe we could really get New Jersey’s economy moving again.”
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