Less than 30 minutes into the first general election debate on Monday night, Donald Trump took the bait in a tense exchange with Hillary Clinton on the issue of trade.
Describing the economic effects of her husband signing the North American Free Trade Agreement, Clinton said manufacturing jobs increased, “if you look at the facts,” and she scrutinized all trade deals that came across her desk as a senator from New York.
“So I know how to really work to get new jobs and to get exports that help to create more new jobs,” Clinton finished.
Trump interjected: “Well, you haven’t done it in 30 years or 26 years or whatever –”
“Well, I’ve been a senator –” Clinton started to respond.
Trump fired back: “You haven’t done it.”
“And I have been a secretary of state –” Clinton continued.
Trump interrupted again, raising his voice to say, “Excuse me, your husband signed NAFTA, which was one of the worst things that ever happened.”
“Well, that’s your opinion,” Clinton replied cooly.
The New York real estate mogul went on to admonish Clinton for initially supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, a policy plan she now opposes.
“Donald, I know you live in your own reality, but those are not the facts. The facts are, I said I hoped it would be a good deal, but when it was negotiated, which I was not responsible for, I concluded it wasn’t,” Clinton said.
Trump wasn’t content to let the matter go, asking the former secretary of state multiple times: “So, is it President Obama’s fault?”