NEWARK, N.J. — Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that Donald Trump is “trying to scam America,” citing the multiple lawsuits filed against the presumptive Republican nominee’s defunct business school.
At a campaign rally at at Rutgers University’s Golden Dome Athletic Center, Clinton, who was joined on-stage by rock singer Jon Bon Jovi and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), railed against Trump’s qualifications to an animated crowd.
The former secretary of state called Trump a “fraud”, noting the lawsuits filed by former students of Trump University, who allege the defunct for-profit school bilked them out of thousands of dollars in fees to attend unaccredited business seminars and courses they could not afford.
“Trump and his employees took advantage of vulnerable Americans, encouraging them to max out their credit cards, empty their retirement savings, destroy their financial futures, all while making promises they knew were false from the beginning,” Clinton said. “This is just more evidence that Donald Trump himself is a fraud. He is trying to scam America the way he scammed all those people at Trump University.”
On Tuesday, a federal court judge ordered court records in a California lawsuit to be unsealed, which revealed a Trump University “playbook” used by employees, that featured instructions on persuading students to pay for fees by tapping into their savings or by taking out loans.
Trump has defended the school’s practices, claiming thousands of students were satisfied with the program, and cast the lawsuits as politically motivated. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, is leading one of the lawsuits on behalf of New York students.
Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to an e-mail requesting comment about Clinton’s remarks.
Bon Jovi and Booker each billed Clinton as the best candidate to take on Trump in November and encouraged voters to support her bid against Democratic rival Bernie Sanders in the state’s upcoming June 7 primary.
“We’ve come too far to let our tomorrows fall into the wrong hands,” Bon Jovi said.
Booker called Trump the “least presidential person to ever be put up for office,” labeling the Republican’s campaign rhetoric “an insult to our inner angels and our best selves.”
Clinton made no mention of primary rival Bernie Sanders during her 30-minute address. She enters the state’s June 7 primary with a 14 percentage point polling edge over Sanders, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on May 19.
The Democratic frontrunner drew loud roars of support when she reminded the New Jersey crowd “you have the chance to decide the nominee of the Democratic Party.”
There are 142 delegates up for grabs in New Jersey’s winner-takes-all primary — more than enough for Clinton to lock-up the nomination before polls close on the west coast in five other state primaries to be held June 7, including California.
Clinton is 71 delegates short of the party’s 2,383 delegate requirement, compared to Sanders who needs 838 delegates.
Clinton, a former U.S. senator from New York, holds a slight polling lead over Trump in a general election match-up, according to a Monmouth University poll of likely New Jersey voters released Tuesday.
The poll found Clinton had 38 percent support compared to Trump’s 34 percent; 15 percent of voters said they were undecided and 11 percent said they planned to vote for a third party or independent candidate.