In Ohio, Clinton Zeroes In On Trump's Tax Returns

Oct 4, 2016
Originally published on October 4, 2016 8:49 am
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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And Donald Trump's tax returns, or lack of tax returns, have turned into campaign fodder for Hillary Clinton. In Ohio yesterday, Clinton slammed Trump's tax history, as NPR's Asma Khalid reports.

ASMA KHALID, BYLINE: Hillary Clinton came to this Rust Belt state to talk about the economy, but there was a personal finance story she could not let go - Donald Trump and the latest revelations from The New York Times that he had declared a near $1 billion loss in the mid-1990s on his taxes.

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HILLARY CLINTON: Doesn't look like he paid a dime of federal income tax for almost two decades.

KHALID: Now, of course, there's no way to know if Trump has paid taxes because he hasn't released his returns. But the Clinton camp is eager to use this as an attack line. They've already turned the issue into a new cable TV ad.

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UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You work hard. You pay your taxes. So why didn't Donald Trump pay his?

KHALID: And in Ohio, Clinton ripped into her opponent, questioning his business acumen.

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CLINTON: Some of his supporters said, well, it just shows he's a genius...

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: ...That he didn't pay any taxes. Well, what kind of genius loses a billion dollars in the first place?

KHALID: And she questioned his ethics.

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CLINTON: You can look at 40 years of my tax returns.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Right.

CLINTON: I think we need a law that says if you become the nominee of the major party, you have to release your tax returns.

KHALID: This was Clinton's first trip to Ohio since Labor Day. The demographics here seem to tilt against her. It's a state with a large white working-class population. Still, she told voters she needs their help.

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CLINTON: But I need your help to talk to anybody you know here who thinks they might be voting for Trump. I know you know people. I know you do. And you've got to stage an intervention.

KHALID: Today, Bill Clinton kicks off a bus tour in Ohio to reiterate that message. Asma Khalid, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.