Published August 11, 2016
The 2016 presidential rivals set aside their latest campaign controversies Thursday to trade jabs on jobs, taxes and the economy -- with Donald Trump casting Hillary Clinton as bad for the housing industry and the Democratic nominee accusing her opponent of offering "no credible plans" for working Americans.
Clinton also tried to out-tough Trump on trade, vowing to beef up enforcement on trade rules and punish countries that violate them.
"Mr. Trump may talk a big game on trade, but his approach is based on fear, not strength," Clinton said in Michigan. "If Team USA was as fearful as Trump, Michael Phelps and Simone Biles would be cowering in the locker room, afraid to come out to compete."
Trump delivered an economic speech of his own earlier this week in Michigan. On Thursday, he also spoke to the National Association of Home Builders in Miami Beach, Fla., and decried the Obama administration’s increase in regulations on building properties.
“In the last five years, regulations on building … have increased by 29 percent,” he said.
Trump cited his family’s history in the industry and regaled the crowd with anecdotes of his father Fred’s homebuilding exploits. He told the association, though, that the regulation situation would only get worse if Clinton is elected in November.
“And I will say this, and I say this to you very strongly, if short-circuit Hillary Clinton ever gets elected, it's only going to be worse. It is going to get worse. It's going to be four more years of Obama but it will be worse because she's mandated to go to the left, because 45 percent of Bernie's people -- they want her to head in that direction,” he said.
Clinton, meanwhile, detailed her economic package in a speech in Detroit, calling for the largest investment package since World War II, a "patriotic tax code" that would punish those companies sending jobs abroad, broadband in every home by 2020 and making America a “green energy super power.”
She also reached out to disenfranchised Republicans by saying “a big part of our plan will be unleashing the power of private sector to create more jobs at higher pay.”
She cited analysis that found Trump’s positions would lose over 3 million jobs, while hers would create over 10 million.
“When it comes to creating jobs, I would argue, it’s not even close,” she said, when comparing their two plans. “He hasn't offered any credible solutions for the very real economic challenges we face.”
She also said she would oppose any trade deals that would send American jobs abroad, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Clinton has opposed the deal in its current form after once calling it a "gold standard" agreement when she was secretary of state. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe hinted last month that she may change her position when elected, although this was denied by the Clinton campaign.
“I’ll oppose it now, I'll oppose it after the election and I'll oppose it as president,” she said, also promising to stand up to China if they try and take advantage of American workers.
Clinton also took a shot at Trump for making certain items, such as suits and ties, in China and Mexico.
“One thing he could do to make America great is to make great things in America,” she joked.
Trump outlined his economic package in a speech Monday, pledging to cut taxes for businesses and workers, while proposing a three-bracket income tax system more in line with proposals by House Republicans than his previous plan. He also called for greater child care deductions for families.
Economic issues have frequently been pushed to the side amid controversies over remarks made by Trump -- as well as recurring controversies involving Clinton's email scandals and dealing between her State Department and family foundation.
At a Tuesday rally, Trump said there was no way to stop a future-President Hillary Clinton from packing the Supreme Court with anti-Second Amendment justices, “although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is…I don’t know.” Some saw the remarks as a joke about Clinton being assassinated, a claim that the Trump campaign has denied.
Trump has also faced more controversy after claiming that President Obama is “the founder” of ISIS, and Clinton its co-founder.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.