April 16th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton: McCain is 'digging us a hole to China'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/16/art.hrcspeech0416.ap.jpg caption="Sen. Clinton spoke in Washington, D.C. Wednesday."]
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.”

Filed under: Economy • Hillary Clinton • John McCain
soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. Great

    Too late. McBush was criticized by Obama already. As always, you are second fiddle, Clinton!

    April 16, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. Barbara Roberts

    McCain may be digging us a hole but that big mouth Obama and the people stupid enough to believe him are digging a deeper one. If he is choosen as the democrat nomee I will vote independent. I will not vote for Obama if I have to write someone in and will encourage all I know to do the same. He is to mouthie and self serving to run the country. And the small town remark really made me mad. Then everyone blames Hillary for coming back on him for it. Well guess what he is a Idoit a low life and stupid and all he wants is attention. Well when he comes on the tv goes off.

    April 16, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. JF

    Hillary is absolutely correct on our indebtness to China. It gets worse everyday.

    The way that the dictatorship in China will be able to control the US in terms of us opposition of Chinese policy will be through currency manipulation and debt obligation.

    Currently the US has zero leverage at the negotiation table with China. What does that mean. Well it means that if China decides to unilaterally invade a sovereign county, without provocation. The US will need to turn a blind eye. South Korea and Japan should be highly uncomfortable in this current environment. The unease in the current situation can be seen in Japan's attempts to outpurchase/keep pace China in the US debt purchase market.

    I am a Obama supporter but I got to tell you Hillary is spot on this issure and kudos to her for trying to get this into the topic of discussion. The foreign policy disaster

    April 16, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. sorry we lose

    Lets face it:

    The racial issue is not as big a factor in how we vote as everyone plays up.

    The gender bias is a much bigger issue, that prevents us from voting for the best candidate- but that gets no media play.

    April 16, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Newman

    “It’s because of distorted attacks like these that today’s polls show more voters than ever don’t trust Senator Clinton,” Conant said.

    I think this quote says it all...Case closed.

    April 16, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. phillykat

    Hillary- the root word for hillarious!
    Oh well, it IS the silly season!


    April 16, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. Alex, MA

    Good words. But all of this is kinda bipolar disorder.
    Let's not forget who gave China membership in WTO and the preferable trade status. He has the same last name starts with C.

    April 16, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. ds

    Clinton is a leading dem in a dem-controlled congress. Logically, shouldn't she have more responsibility for the current economic situation than does McCain?

    April 16, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Don, Fl

    What world do you people live in? Obama say something bad behind closed doors & you all blame Clinton, Obama lies & you all blame Clinton, are you all brain dead? God help us if people like you are running this country. Open your eyes, brain & take a good look at your so called God Obama.

    April 16, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. Ardnuas

    YOU are trying to DIVIDE and DESTROY the Democratic Party!!!
    Obama/Edwards08 Si Se Puede

    April 16, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. Joe

    Hmm and this coming from Hillary. A member of the board of directors of WalMart. The worlds biggest purveyor of cheap Chinese products.

    April 16, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. G

    Good Job, Hillary! Don't mind the BITTER OMAMA supporters. I can't wait too see the look on their face when you win the nomination. Keep up the good work!!

    "HILLIARY 08"
    "MCCAIN 08"

    April 16, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Retired Navy Veteran

    Have Hillary Clinton Pay off her Campaign debts yet?

    April 16, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. Kim

    Am I the only one who has noticed how the Go Girl Hillary supporters keep calling Obama , Boy and other racial slurs. Wow! The racist Clintons and thier sickening supporter are really set to implode the Democrat Party.

    April 16, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. jake

    . . .Brothers digging a hole to China. . . .I wouldn't have told nobody

    April 16, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Jake

    "literally digging a hole"???

    Is that true? Are Bush and Obama out there with shovels?

    Figuratively would have been more apt.

    April 16, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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