- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is defending his past comments about the notion of making money off of a housing collapse last decade, saying he feels “badly for everybody” but that he’s a businessman.

“I see this lowlife, she puts on an ad: ‘Did you know that Donald Trump was rooting against housing because he wanted housing to go down because he wanted to buy?’” Mr. Trump said at a rally in New Mexico Tuesday evening.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s campaign had released a web ad earlier Tuesday hitting Mr. Trump on the issue.

“And they’ve got some clip of me from many years ago where I’m saying yeah, if it goes down, I’m going to buy,” he said. “I’m a businessman - that’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s what I’m supposed to do.”

“I mean, I’m a businessman,” he said. “I like it - when it goes down it goes down.”

“I feel badly for everybody. What am I going to do? I’m in business. Never thought I was going to run for office,” he said.

Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign has seized on comments Mr. Trump made before the 2008 economic crash saying that if there is a “bubble burst,” “you could make a lot of money.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who has emerged as a chief critic of Mr. Trump, also went after him on the issue during a speech on Tuesday in Washington, calling the billionaire businessman a “small, insecure moneygrubber.”

Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown, because it meant he could buy up more property on the cheap,” Ms. Warren said during a speech at an event for the Center for Popular Democracy.

“What kind of a man does that?” she said. “What kind of a man roots for people to get thrown out of their house? What kind of man roots for people to get thrown out of their jobs? To root for people to lose their pensions? To root for two little girls in Clark County, Nevada to end up living out of a van?”

“What kind of a man does that?” Ms. Warren said. “I’ll tell you exactly what kind of a man does that. It is a man who cares about no one but himself - a small, insecure moneygrubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt so long as he makes a profit off it.”

Ms. Warren has not endorsed either Mrs. Clinton or Sen. Bernard Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary contest.

But it’s clear Mrs. Clinton’s campaign plans to continue to use the line of the attack. The campaign organized a press call on Tuesday with an Ohio congressman and the mayor of Tampa, Florida to hammer Mr. Trump for the remarks.

The Clinton campaign has also announced an event with members of Congress Wednesday morning in front of the headquarters of House Democrats’ campaign arm to hit Mr. Trump for the comments.

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