Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was not shy about chastising Donald Trump’s proposed fiscal plans during her speech on the economy Tuesday in Columbus.
Clinton spoke at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center to a crowd of about 200 people in the school’s automotive shop. Despite the sweltering heat, the crowd did not hold back any applause as Clinton took to the stage to Rachel Platten’s upbeat “Fight Song.”
The former secretary of state was quick to begin pointing out what she called flaws in a number of Trump’s economic proposals, saying his words are a “string of empty promises” and he needs to be held accountable.
“Every day we see how reckless and careless Trump is,” Clinton said. “Well that’s his choice. Except when he’s asking to be our president; then it’s our choice.”
The speech came as new poll numbers were released today in a Quinnipiac University Poll showing that Clinton and Trump are both tied at 40 percent in Ohio.
Her main form of attack was quoting Trump himself, who she often referred to as “the king of debt,” a title the presumptive Republican nominee once called himself in an interview with CNN. Clinton also quoted Trump referring to pregnant women in the workplace as an “inconvenience.”
Clinton focused much of her attention on Trump’s plans to tackle America’s debt. She said that a Trump presidency would “throw us back into recession.”
She also spoke on Trump’s tax plan, mentioning he has refused to release his tax returns.
“Ask yourself, what’s he afraid of?” Clinton said.
Along with Trump’s plans for the economy, Clinton took aim at Trump’s track record of failed businesses.
“He’s written a lot of books about business, but they all seem to end in Chapter 11,” Clinton joked.
Clinton urged voters to consider Trump’s character, which she described as “thick-skinned” and “quick to anger,” when choosing who to trust with America’s economy.
“Just as he shouldn’t have his finger on a button,” Clinton said, “he shouldn’t have his hands on the economy.”
Nick Davis — president of Ohio State’s Students for Trump, which is unaffiliated with Trump’s campaign but brands itself as a “positive environment on campus where people can support Trump” — challenged Clinton’s assertions, particularly on business and the economy.
“Trump’s four business bankruptcies are in no way a bad thing,” Davis said in an email. “He has never declared personal bankruptcy, there were all on casinos in Atlantic City during times when casinos were not doing too well.”
And for a speech on the economy, Davis asked why Clinton was fixated on Trump.
“(Clinton) focuses on attacking (Trump), calling his ideas bad, and simply saying her ideas are better,” Davis said. “That is not a winning strategy.”
Spencer Dirrig, a second-year in political science and economics and chairman of Buckeyes for Hillary caucus of OSU College Democrats, attended the rally and said he believes Clinton is one who can hold Trump accountable.
“I think Hillary is finally doing something that the Republicans in the race couldn’t do, which is hold Donald Trump accountable to these ridiculous ideas and statements,” Dirrig said. “He has these obscure viewpoints that have no real detail whatsoever.”
Even if Trump was able to implement and finance his fiscal policies, Dirrig said politicians and economists across the board agree that his plans would “tank our economy.”
“Trump may be the king of debt and maybe that’s how he runs his businesses,” Dirrig said. “But when you bankrupt the United States, you risk our entire economy and that affects real people. That’s something that Ohioans and Americans won’t put up with.”
OSU’s chapter of College Republicans did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
Nick Roll contributed to this story
Update, 6/22: This story was updated with comments from OSU’s Students for Trump student organization.