'I have met a lot of the people who were stiffed by you and your businesses, Donald' Hillary Clinton issues scathing attack on Trump's business credentials
Published 27/09/2016 | 06:30
Hillary Clinton issued a scathing attack on one of the key arguments of Donald Trump’s campaign in a heated exchange at the first US Presidential debate.
Ms Clinton attacked Mr Trump’s much lauded claims that he will be a good president due to his business acumen which will enable him to run the country like a corporation.
Ms Clinton accused Mr Trump of not treating employees from his golf course well and failing to pay one for their services. She said: “If your main claim to be president of the United States is your business, then I think we should talk about that.
“You know, your campaign manager said that you built a lot of businesses on the backs of little guys. And indeed, I have met a lot of the people who were stiffed by you and your businesses, Donald.
“We have an architect in the audience who designed one of your clubhouses at one of your golf courses. It's a beautiful facility. It immediately was put to use. And you wouldn't pay what the man needed to be paid... what he was charging you.”
Mr Trump retorted that: “Maybe he didn't do a good job and I was unsatisfied with his work, which our country should do, too.”
However Ms Clinton continued: “Do the thousands of people that you have stiffed over the course of your business, not deserve some kind of apology from someone who has taken their labor, taken the goods that they've produced and then refused to pay them.”
She added: “And when we talk about your business, you've taken business bankruptcy six times… Sometimes what happens in business is bad for government.”
Mr Trump has been vocal in advancing his argument that his success as a businessman will equip him to be a strong president.
He has a long career in real estate, building a property empire which has included flagship buildings including Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. His business ventures have included a casino brand and Trump University. The politician first entered the public eye while spearheading The Apprentice and penned the book ‘The Art of the Deal’ in which he shared business advice from his career.
However, despite his many ventures, his claims to be a successful businessman have been fiercely contested by his critics. He has been declared bankrupt on multiple occasions and it was revealed his career was helped by a substantial loan from his father when he was first starting out.
In 2011 he told Rolling Stone he was running for office because: “We need a businessman and I’ve been successful. Right now, I have the greatest properties in the country. I have great stuff.
“The point is, I’m running for office in a country that’s essentially bankrupt, and it needs a successful businessman."
An estimated 100 million people around the world watched the presidential hopefuls clash in the first presidential debate.