Before Hispanic group, Clinton rips Trump on ‘birtherism’

Associated Press


Hillary Clinton on Thursday accused rival Donald Trump of fostering ugliness and bigotry by refusing to acknowledge President Barack Obama was born in the United States, and urged Hispanic leaders to stoke a large voter turnout in November’s election.

Taking the stage shortly after Obama, Clinton noted at a gala of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute that Trump had declined to acknowledge the outgoing president had been born in the United States. Trump, who helped fuel the rise of the so-called “birther movement,” told The Washington Post in an interview that he would “answer that question at the right time. I just don’t want to answer it yet.”

“He was asked one more time where was President Obama born, and he still wouldn’t say Hawaii. He still wouldn’t say America,” Clinton said. “This man wants to be our next president? When will he stop this ugliness, this bigotry?”

Obama and Clinton made successive appeals to 3,000 Hispanic leaders and supporters, pointing to a large turnout of Latino voters as the antidote to Trump. Both noted the Republican’s hard-line position on immigration, referencing his opposition to a comprehensive overhaul of the system and his vows to build a wall along the Mexican border.

Obama said the political season’s discussion of immigration “has cut deeper than in years past. It’s a little more personal, a little meaner, a little uglier.” He said Latinos need to “decide who the real America is” and push back against the notion that the nation “only includes a few of us.”

Meanwhile, Trump spent Thursday laying out plans to lower taxes by $4.4 trillion over a decade and cut regulations, including some of those currently intended to protect the food Americans eat and the air they breathe. The Republican said his plans would raise the nation’s economic growth rate to at least 3.5 percent, well above its current rate of about 2 percent, and create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years.

The heart of Trump’s plan is a revised tax code, which includes a pledge that no business should pay more than 15 percent of its income in taxes, down from the current 35 percent highest corporate tax rate. Few businesses now pay the full 35 percent rate, taking advantage instead of many deductions in the existing tax code.

A fact sheet issued by Trump’s campaign Thursday said he would roll back food-safety regulations if the billionaire businessman is elected president, arguing they are burdensome to farmers and “overkill.”

The campaign later deleted the fact sheet from its website and issued a new release that did not include the food-safety language.

In the original fact sheet, the campaign said that Trump would eliminate several regulations, including the “food police” at the Food and Drug Administration. The Trump campaign did not respond to a request to comment on the food safety proposal or why it was deleted.

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