Donald Trump’s long-awaited Hillary Clinton slam-speech arrived Wednesday morning. The presumptive Republican nominee issued his full-frontal assault on Clinton, lambasting her for being the "most corrupt person to ever seek the presidency of the United States."
It was an uncharacteristically calculated speech from Trump, who is known for his off-the-cuff bombastic stage presence. The presidential candidate repeatedly highlighted Clinton’s insider politics, what he called her "old and tired" campaign message, and pieced together his best "America first" arguments on immigration and isolationist economic policy.
"We have to go back to putting our American people first," Trump said. "We got here because we switched from a policy of Americanism — focusing on what's good for America's middle class — to a policy of globalism, focusing on how to make money for large corporations who can move wealth and workers to foreign countries, all to the detriment of the American worker and the American economy itself."
On Tuesday, ahead of the speech, Trump gave a Trump-style preview on Twitter, questioning Clinton’s judgment: "Hillary says this election is about judgment. She's right. Her judgement has killed thousands, unleashed ISIS and wrecked the economy," he tweeted.
Trump reiterated the sentiment Wednesday, basing much of his argument on Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, by claiming that Clinton has used her political stature as "her own personal hedge fund."
"The book Clinton Cash, by Peter Schweizer, documents how Bill and Hillary used the State Department to enrich their family at America’s expense," Trump said. "She gets rich making you poor."
The speech signals a substantial shift in Trump’s campaign strategy. Trump has only recently begun a shift toward a more "presidential" general election image, one that he resisted even after being named the presumptive Republican nominee.
This week, Trump’s team announced Corey Lewandowski, formerly the presumptive nominee’s campaign manager, was no longer with the campaign. Lewandowski was known for his "Let Trump be Trump" campaign style, a strategy that was reportedly met with some pushback within the campaign.
"Her campaign slogan is ‘I’m with her.’ You know what my response to that is — I’m with you, the American people," Trump said.