Clinton Returns To Ohio To Share Vision For Equitable Economy | KUOW News and Information

Clinton Returns To Ohio To Share Vision For Equitable Economy

Oct 3, 2016
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The new week is bringing new revelations in the race for president. The New York Attorney General's office revealed today that it has ordered Donald Trump's charitable foundation to stop fundraising in the state. Now, this comes a few days after a report from The New York Times that shows Trump had a net loss of more than $915 million on his federal income taxes in the mid-90s. We'll hear more about both in a moment but first how Hillary Clinton is capitalizing on that report.

She's campaigning in Ohio, and NPR's Asma Khalid is traveling with the Clinton campaign and joins us now. And Asma, to start, what was Clinton's focus in Ohio today?

ASMA KHALID, BYLINE: So yeah, Audie, this speech here in Toledo this afternoon was about the economy and Clinton's vision for building a more equitable corporate America. But the big headline was her response to Donald Trump's taxes and that story you mentioned that came out over the weekend in The Times.

Today she ripped into her opponent. She spent more than seven minutes questioning his ethics and business acumen. And in particular she, you know, questioned how he could have declared an almost $1 billion loss in 1995 as The Times reported.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

HILLARY CLINTON: Now, how anybody can lose a dollar, let alone a billion dollars in the casino industry is kind of beyond me, right?

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: It's just hard to figure. But as a result, it doesn't look like he paid a dime of federal income tax for almost two decades.

KHALID: Of course, Audie, it's impossible to know for sure how much money Donald Trump could or may have paid in federal income tax because Trump has not released his tax returns. But still, you know, the Clinton campaign is using this as an attack line. And she also raised questions about his own tax plan. You know, a lot of economists who've analyzed his plans say that it would actually cut taxes even more for the ultra-rich.

CORNISH: So beyond Trump, what will Hillary Clinton's message be in Ohio?

KHALID: She specifically talked about defending people's right to organize. You know, unions are a huge factor in northern Ohio. And she also talked about trade. You know, this is something where Donald Trump has made inroads and tried to attack her, suggesting that many Rust Belt workers here had been hit hard by some trade deals that were approved during her husband's presidency.

Clinton, though, tried to show that she's with these voters on their trade concerns and that she will not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CLINTON: I oppose TPP now. I will oppose it after the election. I will oppose it as president because it is one-sided and unfair to American workers.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

KHALID: And she insisted that she would advocate for having some sort of exit tax in place for companies that try to shift their headquarters overseas.

CORNISH: You know, Asma, Hillary Clinton hasn't been to Ohio much in the last month. Why not?

KHALID: Well, Audie, Ohio has long been considered this ultimate bellwether. But I, you know, normally cover demographics, and I think that the demographics here are really interesting because they don't seem to represent the way that a changing America looks.

Ohio has a large white, working-class population, and that's a group whose political power has been declining across the country. So all this is to say that the demographics here seem to tilt more in Donald Trump's favor. And there's been some thought that maybe Hillary Clinton is OK with conceding Ohio to Trump.

You know, I should mention she did get a big-name endorsement last night here from Cleveland Cavs star LeBron James. You know, whether that's enough to actually sway this state - who knows? But Ohio - yes, it's an important state, but I would say its importance electorally could be shrinking because Hillary Clinton can lose the state and still have a very viable path to the White House.

CORNISH: That's NPR's Asma Khalid traveling with the Clinton campaign. Thanks so much.

KHALID: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.