DETROIT (AP) — Hillary Clinton is set to go after Donald Trump’s economic agenda, aiming to portray her rival’s approach as offering handouts for the rich that could imperil the economy.
The goal of her speech Thursday afternoon at manufacturing company in Warren, Michigan, was to play up her focus on job development, public works projects and tax policy while trying to undercut the Republican nominee’s approach. Clinton was not expected to come out with any major new policies during her remarks.
Her appearance follows a Trump speech on the economy, also in Michigan, on Monday. But those remarks were quickly eclipsed by the latest in a series of controversial statements which Trump has spent much of the week trying to clarify. Clinton is trying to taking advantage of the turmoil in the Trump campaign, pitching herself to independents and moderate Republicans, and building on her momentum after party conventions.
Clinton intended to try to make the case that Trump’s agenda would benefit him and his wealthy friends, and to characterize his plans as an update of “trickle-down economics,” according to her campaign.
Also look for Clinton to argue that Trump’s drive to cut taxes on certain business income would benefit many of his companies.
Clinton is also planning to release her 2015 tax returns in the coming days, as she seeks to keep the pressure on Trump, who has not provided his. Trump has said he won’t release them until an IRS audit is complete.
A source close to Clinton said she would soon release the return, supplementing the decades of returns she and her husband have already made public. Her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine and his wife will also release the last 10 years of their returns. The source spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the plans in advance.
Trump outlined a revamped economic package in his speech Monday. Clinton attempted to draw contrasts when she spoke at a rally Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa. She said that according to independent analysis “under my plans, we’ll create about 10.4 million new jobs. Under Donald Trump’s so-called plans, we will lose about three and a half million jobs.”
Clinton has proposed a large public works project, pledged to roll back tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and said she would not raise taxes on the middle class. She has promised more money for education, a higher federal minimum wage and increased support for small businesses.
“We’re going to stand up for small business and help create more of them to create more good jobs here and across America,” Clinton said in Iowa.
Trump wants to cut taxes for businesses and workers, and go with a three-bracket income tax system that’s close to what House Republicans have recommended. With few exceptions, Trump has provided more of a philosophical basis for an economic plan than specifics, although he did call for greater child care deductions for families.
At a rally Wednesday in Abingdon, Virginia, Trump was dismissive of Clinton’s upcoming speech and criticized her economic record as a senator for New York. He said her remarks would be “very limited.”
Both candidates chose tightly contested Michigan — specifically, the Detroit area — to make their updated economic pitches. The former manufacturing powerhouse has been hard hit by the decline of the automobile industry and the real estate market.
Trump has struggled to keep the focus on his economic proposal week after fresh controversy with his comments about the Second Amendment. At a rally Tuesday, Trump falsely said his Democratic rival wanted to revoke the right to gun ownership. He then said there was no way people would be able to stop a President Clinton from stacking the Supreme Court with anti-gun justices, before adding, “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is — I don’t know.”
Democrats said such comments were further evidence that Trump was undisciplined and unprepared for the presidency. Trump insisted he was never advocating violence against Clinton.
Clinton said it was one more example of words that could have “tremendous consequences.” Clinton said the remark was a “casual inciting of violence” that shows Trump lacks the temperament to be commander in chief.
Later Wednesday, Trump stirred up another fuss by calling President Barack Obama the “founder” of the Islamic State militant group — and Clinton its co-founder.
Clinton’s campaign stepped up efforts to win over Republicans and independents, launching a group that aims to use a wave of nearly 50 recent endorsements of Clinton by high-profile Republicans and independents to persuade voters to cross party lines.
Associated Press writer Josh Lederman contributed to this report from Abingdon, Virginia. Lerer reported from Washington.