General election preview: Trump vs. Clinton

Reaction from the 'Special Report' All-Star panel


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 22, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESUMPTIVE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Hillary Clinton has perfected the politics of personal profit and even theft. She ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund, doing favors for oppressive regimes and many others and really, many, many others in exchange for cash.

HILLARY CLINTON, PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I know Donald hates it when anyone points out how hollow his sales pitch really is. He's going after me personally because he has no answers on the substance.



WALLACE: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton trading fire today both on economic policy and ethics. Let's bring in our panel: editor in chief of Lifezette, Laura Ingraham, A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. Laura, how do you compare Trump and Clinton's speeches both in terms of policy and in terms of their political effect?

LAURA INGRAHAM, LIFEZETTE.COM: I think it was a stark contrast in this way, Chris. Hillary Clinton's been around public life, national public life, for 25 years not counting Arkansas. And in her speech she really didn't make an aggressive pitch for her record and why her record indicates her strength as a president. Foreign policy, she didn't tick off we did this, this, this, and this. On economic policy, she was around when a lot of the decisions were made. If she had the secret to reviving the economy, maybe she should have shared it with Barack Obama and not just spring it on the nation on January 20th.

So I think she, she went after Trump's temperament, Trump University, all that usual stuff. But she didn't make the case for why her record indicates that she should be the nominee.

And Trump on the other hand comes out and he says, look, this is what she's done. She's part of the corrupt regime of Washington, D.C. I am going to lead the country in a new path for renewal in our economy and foreign policy. And I think he was pretty specific on regulatory reform, on tax reform, on the issue of immigration and of course foreign policy. I think it was a stark contrast.

Obviously he got very hopped up on the Clinton Foundation. But I think a lot of that cuts right to the heart of corruption and what people think of Washington. I think he had a good performance today, and I think Hillary Clinton is going to do what she's going to do, but she can't run on record, because the record is really shoddy.

WALLACE: One of the things that Trump did today that was interesting is he made an explicit appeal almost at start of his speech to Bernie Sanders supporters. Take a look.


TRUMP: The insiders wrote the rules of the game to keep themselves in power and in the money. That's why we're asking Bernie Sanders voters to join our movement, so together we can fix the system for all Americans so important.


WALLACE: A.B., after a couple of I think it's fair to say rocky weeks, did Trump at least begin to stabilize his campaign for president today?

A.B. STODDARD, THE HILL: It's an interesting comparison. You know, compared to what, but Trump has a great day. It was a very well-written speech. It was very focused. It was substantive. I thought the direct appeal on trade and corruption to Bernie Sanders voters was very shrewd. I thought he gave Republicans every reason to believe that he's serious about coming up with a good contrast against Hillary Clinton and taking it to, right to her. It's a message that he has to stay on, but it was a good message for him today.

WALLACE: Charles, you were critical of Clinton's speech yesterday, saying that she offered platitudes instead of policies, the future lies ahead. She was much more specific today in terms today of what her economic program would be. Were you at all mollified?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: No, I but I rarely am by Hillary Clinton. I think the fact is she doesn't really have a program. She doesn't really have a vision. She does small ball. Her appeal is she's going to patch the safety net of the welfare state. She's not -- she doesn't offer large ideas like Sanders or large hope the way that Obama did in 2008. She basically says I'll fix stuff. People who are hurt, I will try to compensate, use the government to compensate. For example she says the coal miners will be driven into penury and unemployment, but the government will provide some billions of dollars to soften the blow. That's basically what her appeal is.

It is extremely uninspiring, which is why, as I said yesterday, she had a line where she said I believe in an America that moves towards the future, which, I mean, is as empty as you can get.

WALLACE: So let me push back for a minute, and you can argue how good the program it is, but she did talk about infrastructure. She talked about clean energy. She talked about manufacturing, restoring those jobs, stopping people from moving overseas. I'm not saying that she's got the new secret sauce, but it's a program.

KRAUTHAMMER: Infrastructure, green energy -- Obama has been talking about that for seven and a half years. We have the slowest growth of any recovery after the Second World War. We're under one percent -- even the Democrats in the primary campaign argued against, criticized, inveighed against a government that's leaving the middle class squeezed and helpless. That's Democrats speaking.

So all of the stuff we've heard before. We had the stimulus, we had all of these attempts under Obama. And here we have a stagnant economy and a suffering middle class. There is no argument that she can make that sounds remotely visionary. And anything new, this is Obama redux. If you liked his economy you're going to like her. That's her problem. There's no escaping it.

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