Clinton Warns of ‘Large-Scale Misery’ Under President Trump

Likely Dem nominee opens line of attack on GOP foe's business tactics

Posted June 21, 2016 at 2:26pm


Hillary Clinton sought Tuesday to cast Donald Trump as unfit to oversee the American economy, warning of a “Trump recession” and “large-scale misery” if he ever occupies the Oval Office.  

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee sprinkled pointed one-liners and her likely Republican foe’s own words throughout a speech in Columbus, Ohio, as she tried to discredit Trump. She sounded off on his promise to build a wall along the southern U.S. border at Mexico’s expense, and teed off on his experiences with debt and bankruptcies in the business world.   

Clinton warned that, should he defeat her in November, Trump’s ideas about the economy and the world would translate into policies that would “cause millions of Americans to lose their jobs .” She then pivoted to his plan to build the border wall, focusing on the potential economic ramifications.  

The plan, if enacted, would include deporting millions of immigrants who are in the United States illegally. Then there’s the matter of forcing, as Trump has promised, to make the Mexican government finance the wall.  


Hillary Clinton Courts Congressional Democrats


The former secretary of State dubbed the wall “wrongheaded and unachievable.” But in a new attack angle, Clinton also labeled it “really bad economics .” She warned it would end up costing the U.S. “hundreds of billions” while also shrinking the economy.    

The cumulative effects of the likely GOP nominee’s immigration and border-sealing ideas would “send us into a Trump recession,” she said. “Instead of causing large-scale misery,” the next president and lawmakers should “pass sensible immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship,” the former first lady said.  

She also opened a new front on Trump’s tactics and record running the businesses which he so often boasts about.  

After noting that Trump says he wants to do for America and its economy what he did for his businesses, Clinton dropped a quip likely to show up often throughout the general election: “He’s written a lot of books about his business. They all seem to end at Chapter 11 . Go figure.”  

Her message seemed aimed at independent and undecided voters — and traditional Republicans for whom economic issues are their top concern. To that end, she described Trump’s longtime business strategy as too reliant on “huge” amounts of debt and lacking any concern about workers affected by deals that went south.  

Trump, as he often does, fired back on Twitter with a series of tweets posted as Clinton spoke. “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.,” he wrote in one.

Essentially, Clinton’s line of attack on Trump as the general election heats up is to portray him as a failed businessman who made money at the expense of others.  

“We can’t let him bankrupt America like one of his casinos,” Clinton said, alleging that Trump has no plan to address America’s aging infrastructure or to help reduce college loan debt. And she hit his tax plan, saying it would benefit only 120,000 of the richest Americans while endangering things most Americans value, including Social Security and Medicare.   


Hillary Clinton to Meet With House Democrats Wednesday


Clinton spoke in Columbus a day after Trump ousted campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.  She is riding the wave of a bump in the polls in key states.   

A Quinnipiac University poll published Tuesday shows Clinton with an 8 point lead over Trump in the largest presidential swing state, Florida. The former secretary of State also made gains in Ohio, tying Trump in that contest, according to the poll. And in Pennsylvania, the survey found the race too close to call with only a point separating the two.  


Poll: Clinton Makes Gains in Swing States, Leads Overall


Clinton’s remarks represented just the latest attempt by the presumptive Democratic nominee and the Obama White House to cast Trump as unfit for the presidency.  

A recent Economist/YouGov poll showed independent voters, who could decide the election in swing states, believe Clinton is far more suited for the job than Trump. More than half (54 percent) called her qualified to be president, compared with just 26 percent who said the same of the Manhattan businessman.  

However, before she took the stage in Columbus, Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short blasted out an email criticizing President Barack Obama ‘s handling of the economy and Clinton’s embrace of his record.  

Short pointed to Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony on Tuesday to a Senate panel about “uneven” U.S. economic growth and a recent “substantial slowdown.”  

“With Clinton proposing four more years of failed ‘Obamanomics’ — including proposals that could ‘intensify’ a recession by ‘exposing workers to the whims of the economy,'” Short wrote, “Yellen’s comments are another reminder of how reckless it is to stay the course.”  

The RNC email did not mention Trump or his economic proposals.

Contact Bennett at

 and follow him on Twitter 



Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.