TRUMP: I’ll run Amer­ica like my busi­ness; CLIN­TON: Let’s not

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

HIS PRES­I­DEN­TIAL dreams in­creas­ingly in ques­tion, Don­ald Trump pushed his busi­ness em­pire to the cen­tre of his po­lit­i­cal cam­paign yes­ter­day. Tak­ing a break from bat­tle­ground states, he made the case at his new­est ho­tel that all Amer­i­cans should look to his cor­po­rate record for ev­i­dence of how well he would run the coun­try.

Hil­lary Clin­ton agreed, but not the way he meant it. She used cam­paign events in Florida to at­tack the GOP nom­i­nee for hav­ing “stiffed Amer­i­can work­ers”, say­ing that he built his em­pire with Chi­nese-man­u­fac­tured steel, over­seas prod­ucts, and labour from im­mi­grants in the coun­try il­le­gally.

“Don­ald Trump is the poster boy for ev­ery­thing wrong with our econ­omy,” she told sev­eral thou­sand sup­port­ers in Tampa, Florida. “He re­fuses to pay work­ers and con­trac­tors.”

Trump’s po­lit­i­cal as­pi­ra­tions have long been deeply in­ter­twined with pro­mot­ing his cor­po­rate goals. He an­nounced his cam­paign in the gilded lobby of Trump Tower in Man­hat­tan and has held dozens of cam­paign events at his own prop­er­ties. His re­marks at his new Wash­ing­ton ho­tel, which has strug­gled to fill rooms amid the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing his pres­i­den­tial bid, fol­lowed a visit on Tues­day to his Do­ral golf course out­side Miami.

“Un­der bud­get and ahead of sched­ule. So im­por­tant. We don’t hear those words so of­ten, but you will,” said Trump, link­ing the ho­tel re­de­vel­op­ment – just blocks from the White House – to his promised per­for­mance as pres­i­dent. “To­day is a metaphor for what we can ac­com­plish for this coun­try.”

Though the GOP nom­i­nee fo­cused his re­marks on his po­lit­i­cal mes­sage, the event was heavy with mar­ket­ing, too. Stand­ing un­der glit­ter­ing chan­de­liers, top com­pany ex­ec­u­tives, in­clud­ing his daugh­ter, touted the ho­tel. And after his brief speech, Trump and his fam­ily headed to the ho­tel’s grand lobby, where they cut a wide red rib­bon with golden scis­sors be­fore he flew to North Carolina for what his cam­paign billed as an ur­ban pol­icy speech.

As Trump cut the rib­bon, Clin­ton was slam­ming his busi­ness prac­tices in Florida, a state he must win to have any chance on Novem­ber 8. In Tampa, she was in­tro­duced by restau­ra­teur José An­drés, a nat­u­ralised US cit­i­zen who pulled out of the Wash­ing­ton ho­tel to protest Trump’s anti-im­mi­grant rhetoric. Trump and An­drés are cur­rently locked in lit­i­ga­tion over the deal.

Trump’s un­usual travel sched­ule, com­ing amid signs that the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing his cam­paign has hurt his cor­po­rate brand, raises ques­tions about whether the GOP nom­i­nee has be­gun to turn some of his fo­cus to post-elec­tion plans.

Rooms at the over­hauled $212-mil­lion ho­tel that bears his name at Wash­ing­ton’s Old Post Of­fice Pavil­ion have been heav­ily dis­counted, and smart­phone data sug­gest that fewer peo­ple are vis­it­ing his prop­er­ties com­pared to ri­val venues nearby.

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