Trump tries to reach Sanders voters by attacking Clinton – USA TODAY
MANHEIM, Pa. â Wrapping up a rough debateÂ week,Â Donald Trump tried Saturday to appeal to Bernie Sanders supporters withÂ harsh attacks on foreign trade and even harsher attacks on Hillary Clinton.
Perhaps preparing for next weekend’s secondÂ debate, Trump attacked Clinton over her past support for trade, her record during three decades in national politics, her big money donors, and what he called “Clinton corruption.”
“She should be in prison,” Trump told supportersÂ at a sports complexÂ near Lancaster, spicing his speech with cracks about Clinton’s health and her near-faintingÂ a month ago. At one point, Trump said his Democratic rival “could be crazy.”
Trump combined his attacks on Clinton with denunciations of trade agreements that he says have sucked manufacturing jobs out of Pennsylvania and other states â an argument designed in part to appeal to Sanders supporters. During his Democratic primary battle against Clinton, the Vermont senator also criticized free trade.
“He was right about one thing â only one thing â and that was trade,” said Trump, who also accused “Crazy Bernie” of betraying his supporters by endorsing Clinton.
The New York businessman was more than 100 minutes late to his only political event of the day. Awaiting his appearance,Â the crowd Â occasionally booed as the same set ofÂ songs looped on the public address system. “Turn it off! Turn it off!” the crowd chanted at one point.
Like other Republicans throughout the day, Trump played up to Sanders backers by citing theÂ release of a hackedÂ audio recording in which Clinton could be heard talking about Sanders supporters.
During a fundraiser in February â shortly after losing the New Hampshire primary to Sanders â Clinton described his supporters as “children of the Great Recession”Â who are “living in their parentsâ basement,”Â and are dis-satisfied with their lack of opportunities.
“Thereâs just a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free health care, that what weâve done hasnât gone far enough, and that we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means,ââ she said. “Half the people donât know what that means, but itâs something that they deeply feel.”
Trump described the comments as “demeaning and mocking,” and saidÂ Clinton “thinks Bernie supporters are hopeless and ignorant basement dwellers.”
Noting that Clinton has described half of his supporters as “deplorable” and “irredeemable,” the Republican candidate said the Democratic nominee looks down on people who do not support her.
Clinton aides said the Democratic nominee was talking about young “millennial” voters, not just Sanders people.
“As Hillary Clinton said in those remarks, she wants young people to be idealistic and set big goals,”Â said Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin. “SheÂ is fighting for exactly what the millennial generation cares most about â a fairer more equal, just world.”
Mike Casca, deputy communications director for Sanders, said critics are distorting Clinton’s words, and tweeted that “she’s clearly saying she gets whyÂ Bernie’s supporters are frustrated.”
Sanders himself has campaigned with Clinton, and urged supporters to vote against Trump.
Clinton and her aides also have said that Trump is lashing out in the wakeÂ of a poorly reviewed debate performance.
In his speech in Pennsylvania,Â Trump disputed polls and numerous political analysts who said the Democratic nominee won Monday’s debate.
Polls in recent days show Clinton building leads in battleground states, in the wake of the debate and days of publicity about Trump defending his comments on the weight of a former Miss Universe, one of the topics that surfaced during Monday’sÂ face-off.
Their second debate is scheduled for Oct. 9 in St.Â Louis.
Trump, who launched a pre-dawn tweet storm Friday against Clinton, Miss Universe, and the media, hit social media again Saturday.
“I won the debate if you decide without watching the totally one-sided ‘spin’Â that followed. This despite the really bad microphone,” Trump tweeted at one point.
Saturday’s messages included criticism of CNN’s low ratings and the Commission on Presidential Debates over theÂ microphone problems, subjects he also raised in his speech in Pennsylvania.
“They gave me a bum mic,” he told the crowd, later adding: “How many of you think they did it on purpose?”
Trump also faced another headache late Saturday: A New York Times story which said that, based on a tax document it obtained, Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income â a deduction so large it would have allowed him to legally avoid paying federal income taxes for 18 years.
The Trump campaign said the Times “illegally obtained” a 20-year-old document and applied a misleading spin.
“Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required,” the statement said. “That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes, along with very substantial charitable contributions.”
The Trump statement did not provide specifics.