US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has criticized his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton over the trade policies of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, which led to the outsourcing of thousands of American jobs.
Speaking to supporters on Thursday in Toledo, Ohio, Trump said Clinton would handle trade deals so badly that the country should “just cancel the election” and name him the victor.
Trump said the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed in 1994 by Clinton’s husband had led to the outsourcing of thousands of jobs from Ohio to Mexico and China, a practice he vowed to stop if elected president on November 8.
Clinton, who lost the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination to then-US Senator Barack Obama before becoming his secretary of state, spoke favorably of NAFTA as first lady. However, she changed her position on the deal during her first White House bid, calling it a “mistake.”
The celebrity businessman said he believed Clinton would seek passage of the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership, one of the trade agenda goals of the Obama administration, which she now opposes.
“We should just cancel the election and just give it to Trump, right?” he said. “What are we even having it for? Her policies are so bad.”
With just eleven days to go before the US presidential vote, the New York businessman is struggling to handle the fallout from the release of a 2005 tape that showed him talking on an open microphone bragging about groping women.
Since the video’s release, about a dozen women have accused Trump of groping them or kissing them without their consent.
Trump has called the allegations “absolutely false.”
According to the latest Real Clear Politics
average of recent polls, Clinton holds a 5 percentage-point lead over Trump, fueled by declining support among women for his candidacy.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) speaks as US first lady Michelle Obama (R) listens during a campaign event on October 27, 2016 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Photo by AFP)
Meanwhile, Clinton attended a campaign rally with first lady Michelle Obama on Thursday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, urging young people and women to vote.
Clinton praised Michelle Obama for standing up for the rights of girls and women worldwide, drawing a sharp contrast with her Republican rival.
The race between Trump and Clinton represents a battle between two of the least liked major party candidates in history. A Washington Post/ABC News
poll released in August found Clinton and Trump were the most unpopular presidential candidates in decades.