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Bob Buckhorn blasts Donald Trump’s decade old comments on exploiting the housing market collapse

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Citing reports about Donald Trump rooted for the housing market to collapse a decade ago, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn called such sentiments “shameful” and “disqualifying” during a short conference call organized by the Hillary Clinton campaign on Tuesday.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure how you make America great again by rooting for it to fail so that you can make a quick buck, or to advise people that in the wreckage of the hopes and aspirations of millions of Americans in their most vulnerable moment, that you can make money at their loss,” said Buckhorn. “It’s not great to pay nothing in taxes while schools and infrastructure go underfunded. It’s not great to take taxpayer dollars meant to help small businesses bounce back from 9/11. It’s shameful, and it’s disqualifying.”

Buckhorn was joined on the call by Youngstown, Ohio Democratic Representative Tim Ryan. It was just one of the many events that surrogates for Hillary Clinton conducted in a number of battleground states on Tuesday, a day after comments by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee surfaced from a Trump University audiobook from 2006, two years before the housing market crashed. In the audiobook, Trump said when asked about predictions that the real estate market was headed for a crash.

“I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy,” Trump said in 2006. Those comments are included in a new web video released by the Clinton campaign. “If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you can make a lot of money.”

Another comment the Clinton campaign is focusing on comes from March 2007 when Trump told the Globe and Mail that “people have been talking about the end of the cycle for 12 years, and I’m excited if it is … I’ve always made more money in bad markets than in good markets.”

“Trump was ‘excited’ about the housing market collapse in 2007,” said Ryan. “They may look like nameless, faceless, numbers from his gold-plated perch in Trump Tower, but these are real human beings, real communities, that are just trying to get ahead, and they need a president who will root for them, not root against them. But in this is trump’s view of the world: When Americans suffer, Trump looks to cash in.”

Buckhorn has emerged as one of Clinton’s top campaign surrogates in Florida. He campaigned for her in New Hampshire in February, and stood onstage alongside her when she spoke at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa back in March. The Clinton state campaign headquarters will also be located in Tampa.

“On the campaign trail, he pretends to whack big corporations responsible for shipping American jobs overseas, but his investment portfolio tells a different story, showing that he made big bucks out of outsourcers,” Buckhorn said. “The last time information about his tax returns went public, we found out that he had paid zero federal income taxes for multiple years, and he has a history of lowballing his property tax values to cut his own taxes, leaving middle-class families in cities and towns like Tampa holding the bag.”

Buckhorn also said that when Congress created a special fund to help small businesses recover from the economic downturn after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, “Trump took advantage.” He was citing a 2006 New York Daily News report that revealed that a Trump-owned property at 40 Wall Street received $150,000 in a federal grant for losses incurred after the attacks.

Most analyses of recent presidential elections show that the Republican nominee cannot take the White House winning out winning Florida’s 27 electoral votes. A CBS News/You Gov poll released over the weekend showed that with more than five months to go before the general election, the race is virtually tied in Florida, with Clinton up 43-42%.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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