Clinton bashes Trump's business record in Atlantic City

Hillary Clinton delivers a campaign speech outside the shuttered Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey July 6, 2016.
Brian Snyder | Reuters

Hillary Clinton traveled down to the shore Wednesday to bash Donald Trump's business record in the shadow of one of his old properties, and in the backyard of one of his closest allies.

Speaking in Atlantic City, New Jersey — in the state of close Trump adviser and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — she focused her energy on Trump's record, but did not spare Christie any words.

"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," Clinton said towards the start of the speech.

Standing near the former Trump Plaza Casino and Hotel, which Trump no longer owns, Clinton said that "Trump once predicted it will be the biggest hit yet. ... When this casino collapsed because of how badly he managed it, hundreds of people lost their jobs." After hammering Trump's other business dealings in the city, she sought to tie it to her broader message.

"What he did here in Atlantic City is exactly what he will do if he wins in November," Clinton said.

Throughout the speech, Clinton tied her message to support for workers and small businesses, while highlighting the numerous lawsuits and bankruptcies Trump has endured.

Trump's campaign issued a statement Wednesday defending his record in the city: "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."

Trump's business record has come under intense scrutiny this cycle, particularly in Atlantic City. The New York Times reported last month that Trump profited from his casinos there, even as some of the businesses themselves went through bankruptcy. Clinton's campaign also released a video Wednesday morning highlighting Trump's failures in the city, evidence her campaign sees Trump's travails in the city as a way to discredit his reputation as a successful businessman.

Seeking to preemptively combat and deflect Clinton's attack, Trump sent a series of tweets Wednesday morning, writing that he "made a lot of money in Atlantic City and left seven years ago, great timing (as all know)."

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Her boardwalk speech came as she sought to refocus the spotlight on her opponent after FBI Director James Comey yesterday criticized Clinton and her team's handling of classified information as "extremely careless" even as he recommended Clinton not be prosecuted.

Clinton's speech in Atlantic City came after her campaign unveiled a new education plan earlier Wednesday that would eliminate tuition for families with incomes of up to $125,000 at in-state public institutions.