WASHINGTON (CNN) - A day after John McCain's high-profile economic speech in Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the presumptive GOP nominee “has very little understanding” of the national debt to China.
“Yesterday, he made it clear that when it comes to the economy he looks at the hole President Bush has dug us into and says, ‘Why not more? Let’s go deeper,’” Clinton said in remarks to the Building and Trades National Legislative Conference in Washington.
Accusing China of steel dumping, exporting tainted toys and currency manipulation, Clinton blasted Republicans for accommodating growing Chinese influence.
She said she remembered her brothers pretending to dig a hole to China in their family backyard.
“Little did I believe, all these years later, that we would have the Republican Party and president and a Republican nominee who are literally digging us a hole to China,” she said.
Clinton said McCain “has very little understanding of how we are going to get our selves out of that hole” and issued a familiar attack against his economic credentials.
“I know that many people will be very impressed and admiring of Sen. McCain’s record of service,” she said, “but he’s admitted he doesn’t understand the economy. He has proved that in this campaign.”
Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, accused Clinton of using political rhetoric to disguise “plans for tax hikes and big government expansion.”
“It’s because of distorted attacks like these that today’s polls show more voters than ever don’t trust Senator Clinton,” Conant said.
The New York Senator, who is spending the rest of the day preparing for tonight’s Democratic debate in Philadelphia, avoided criticizing her primary rival Barack Obama in the speech.
Clinton called Obama an “incredibly important candidate with an enormous amount of talent and ability who has demonstrated a tremendous capacity for inspiring people across our country.”