Hillary Clinton's 3-Pronged Approach to Attacking Donald Trump on the Campaign Trail

Clinton appears to be taking a three-pronged approach when it comes to Trump.

ByABC News
May 24, 2016, 6:21 PM

—COMMERCE, California -- Hillary Clinton appears to be taking a three-pronged approach when it comes to Donald Trump.

While campaigning in Los Angeles today, the Democratic presidential front-runner delivered roughly 40-minutes of remarks in which she hit the Republican presidential candidate on everything from his business record, to his taxes, to foreign policy, to his ego and personality.

The attacks got to the corps of what is likely to be Clinton's general election Trump strategy: Cast Trump as a bad businessman, go after him for being dangerous on foreign policy, and paint him as not being an easy person to work with. (Meanwhile, ignore his attacks against her husband, Bill Clinton.)

Here’s a breakdown of the three approaches Clinton is taking -- and what she said today to make her case.

Strategy No. 1: Cast Trump as a Bad Businessman

Here’s what she said: Clinton started by accusing the real estate mogul of rooting for the housing market crash during the Great Recession (so “he could take advantage of it to make some money for himself,” she said), and for having failed business ventures. “He has experience in bankruptcy right?” she asked the crowd. "So you know I don’t know if that’s one of the qualifications for running for president, but I kind of doubt it.”

Clinton also called on Trump to release his tax returns and suggested he may have never paid any federal income taxes ever. However, according to New Jersey officials who saw his tax returns, Trump has paid taxes: He paid $18,714 in 1975, $10,832 in 1976 and $42,386 in 1977.

Strategy No. 2: Peg Trump as Dangerous When It Comes to Foreign Policy

Here's what she said: As she often does, Clinton went after Trump for his foreign policy proposals such as banning Muslims from entering the United States and for wanting to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border. (Trump has since said that his controversial plan to ban most Muslims from entering the U.S. is "just a suggestion.") She warned that these policies will only backfire. “Loose talk, like a loose cannon, can misfire,” she said.

The former secretary of state continued by saying Trump praised North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un. "He has praised the dictator in North Korea,” she exclaimed. “Although I was kind of struck today when spokesman from North Korea said they are not interested in talking to Donald Trump. I suppose that is a blessing -- I guess, right?” (Trump has only said that he would have "no problem" speaking to the North Korean leader.)

Meanwhile, Clinton talked up her own foreign experience -- going into a detailed account of her role in the raid against Osama bin Laden.

Strategy #3: Paint Trump as Being Difficult to Work With

Here’s what she said: Lastly, Clinton accused Trump of having a personality unfit for the president’s office.

“In a democracy you cannot order other elected officials to do something. You have to build a relationship you have to work with them. You can’t say to the senator from some state, 'You’re fired,’” she joked, referring to Trump's famous line on his reality TV show, "The Apprentice." "That’s not the way the government works.”

Earlier, she accused him of speaking without thinking. “You know here’s a person running for president, who calls in to shows and basically says whatever the thought of the day might be,” she said, to laughter. "You know, I mean, call me old fashioned, I think it matters ... what you’re saying when you’re running for president and it really matters when you are president.”

Clinton’s Trump-focused speech came just one day after her potential future opponent brought up Bill Clinton's old sex scandals in an Instagram video. Clinton did not address that video today.