In Philly, Hillary Clinton Bashes “Trump Loophole,” Vows to Take on Gun Lobby

She spoke at a rally at West Philadelphia High School on Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton - West Philadelphia High School rally

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally at West Philadelphia High School on Tuesday | Photo by Dan McQuade

Tuesday afternoon, Hillary Clinton urged Philadelphians to get out and vote at a small rally in West Philly, promising the crowd that she would stand up to the gun lobby, create jobs, invest in education, fix the country’s infrastructure, and pay for it all by “going after the corporations” and “going after Wall Street.”

She contrasted her vision with Donald Trump’s economic plan, which includes throwing out the estate tax, something that only affects Americans with estates worth at least $5.45 million.

“He wants a new loophole that we call the Trump loophole,” said Clinton at West Philadelphia High School. “That would help him and everybody else who is really wealthy. He would also eliminate the estate tax.”

Clinton claimed that Trump’s proposal would give his family a $4 billion windfall. “I can find a much better use for those $4 billion. In fact, we could hire 95,000 public school teachers for $4 billion,” she said. “We could actually double health care for our veterans for $4 billion dollars. And we can invest in more infrastructure, affordable housing and small business for $4 billion right here in Pennsylvania.”

Even in the extremely Democratic city of Philadelphia, Clinton made a subtle pitch to Republicans and Independents. A handful of American flags were prominently displayed at the rally, with signs proclaiming, “Stronger Together.” Clinton also said she would “be a president for not only Democrats, but Republicans and Independents, too. I’m going to be a president for the struggling, the starving and the successful!”

Clinton touted American exceptionalism, a major campaign theme since the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

“Have any of you been watching the Olympics? Well, I gotta tell you, I’m a big Olympics fan,” she said. “Team USA is showing the world what this country stands for. … When Donald Trump speaks, he speaks about fear, he speaks about such negativity and such pessimism. Then I watched the Olympics and it’s exactly the opposite. We have young people doing their best every day, and they’re prepared to compete, and that’s what we’re going to do in America. There’s nothing we can’t do if we put our mind to it.”

She acknowledged that, for all the country’s strengths, “it’s not perfect, we know that.”

In an aside, Clinton defended President Barack Obama as well as her husband, former President Bill Clinton. “When I hear folks criticizing President Obama, I’m thinking, what don’t they like? The fact that he helped us save the economy?” she said. “And when I hear people criticize Bill, what don’t they like? The peace? Or the prosperity?”

When Clinton discussed student loan debt, she got some of the loudest applause of the rally. She said she would “help you refinance and pay down your student debt, but I also want to make sure community college is free and get more technical education back in our high schools.”

The part of Clinton’s speech that got the most cheers, though, was when she vowed to “take on the gun lobby.” Philadelphia has seen 177 murders so far this year, the highest number since 2012.

“That doesn’t mean I want to abolish the 2nd Amendment. That doesn’t mean I want to round up people’s guns. What that means is I want to stop you from being shot by somebody who shouldn’t have a gun,” she said. “We need comprehensive background checks. … We need to pass a law finally to say that people on the terrorist watch list can’t buy guns.”

Earlier Tuesday, Trump’s campaign sought to tie Clinton to Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who announced today that she is resigning after being found guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice, and other charges. Bill Clinton had endorsed Kane in the 2012 Attorney General’s race.

“It is unsurprising that yet another Clinton insider has chosen to lie under oath to hide their unethical behavior,” said Trump adviser David Urban. “There is a pattern of criminal behavior that seems to follow Clinton and her allies around. This is another example of Clinton World promising ethical behavior and yet not following through.”

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