In Ohio, Clinton blasts Trump as unfit to manage the economy
As for Trump's attack speech, Clinton campaign spokesperson Glen Caplin said Trump offered only "more hypocritical lies and nutty conspiracy theories," all in an effort to distract voters from his campaign problems. In a statement, the Clinton team noted that independent fact-checking organizations have frequently given Trump's statements failing grades.
Trump's speech in New York City came two days after he fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski,
The nominee-in-waiting's anti-Clinton speech — initially scheduled for last week, but delayed so that Trump could respond to the Orlando terrorist attack — is part of an attempt by the real estate mogul to move on after bad reports about the state of his campaign.
Hours after Lewandowski's dismissal, the Trump campaign filed a financial report showing it had only $1.3 million in the bank at the start of June; Clinton reported $42 million, one of the biggest financial advantages in the history of American politics.
Trump enters general election in weak financial position
Republicans continued to voice anxiety about the state of Trump's campaign, citing what they described as its small size, reluctance to invest in micro-targeting and other get-out-the-vote techniques and lack of message discipline.
Tom Rath, a Republican convention delegate from New Hampshire who is pledged to former Trump opponent John Kasich, said Trump's campaign trouble is not just a "process story."
It "guts his strongest argument — that he is an accomplished executive who makes large organizations work," Rath said.
Republican consultant Bruce Haynes, founding partner of Washington-based Purple Strategies, said the Trump campaign seems to be realizing that it has a different job in the general election than it did during the primaries, and "they have to make drastic changes fast."
Clinton on Tuesday delivered another speech describing Trump as temperamentally unfit for the presidency, focusing on economic polices that she said would lead to a recession.
As she did in an earlier speech hitting the Republican candidate over foreign policy, Clinton said, “every day we see how reckless and careless Trump is. He’s proud of it."
David Brock, who heads a pro-Clinton political organization called Correct the Record, said in a memo to reporters that Trump's attacks on Clinton rely on "right-wing books" that have been discredited. He described Wednesday's speech as an attempt to divert attention from his own troubles.
"Donald Trump's presidential campaign is melting down," Brock said.
In his speech Wednesday, Trump said he has built a multi-billion-dollar business, and "that's a talent our country desperately needs."
Attacking Clinton's stewardship of the State Department, Trump cited the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the deadly attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a U.S. ambassador, and her use of private email that is currently the subject of investigation, and, he suggested, could have been hacked by the nation's enemies.
The result has been "one deadly foreign policy disaster after another," the Republican candidate said.
Trump also cited a letter from a woman whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant, saying she wrote that Clinton "needs to go to prison to pay for the crimes that she has already committed against our country."
Trump cast the fall campaign as one pitting "the people" against "the politicians" who have "rigged" the system in their favor, and are symbolized by both Clintons.
Reciting his favorite campaign themes, Trump linked his opponent to open immigration refugee policies, bad trade deals, President Obama's health care plan, and the weakening of the military, and he pledged a new approach on all of those issues.
Trump and associates have described Lewandowski's firing as part of an effort to re-orient his team toward the challenges of a fall campaign. They also downplayed the fundraising report, saying they have raised millions in June and that Trump can put in his own money if necessary.
Trump blames money woes on 'difficulty' with Republicans
Republican critics said Trump's problems are self-inflicted, and they still hope to somehow head off his nomination at next month's convention in Cleveland.
GOP strategist Liz Mair, who has headed up a "Never Trump" group, said "convention delegates — and indeed Trump himself — ought to be looking for a way out of this, whether that means delegates throwing out the rule book, or Trump withdrawing and going back to running his business."