Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump pledged to "tax Wall Street" as he sought to use a severe stock market selloff to plant new seeds of fear among voters during a campaign rally Saturday in Iowa.
At times, the real estate mogul sounded more like Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, a constant critic of Wall Street, than a billionaire candidate running for the Republican presidential nomination.
"There's a bubble," Trump told his audience in Ottumwa, southeastern Iowa, noting the nation's high level of debt. "You see the stock market is starting to, you know, see what's going on," he said. "It's starting to have some very bad weeks and some very bad numbers."
Volatility skyrocketed in financial markets last week as anxiety about global growth increased. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index tumbled 6 percent on the week, the biggest drop since September 2011 and the steepest slide over five days to begin a year on record.
Trump said his financial experience was right for such troubled times.
"I'm really good at that stuff," he said. "I know Wall Street. I know the people on Wall Street. We're going to have the greatest negotiators of the world, but at the same time I'm not going to let Wall Street get away with murder. Wall Street has caused tremendous problems for us. We're going to tax Wall Street."
Trump also highlighted his independence from campaign contributions. "I don't care about the Wall Street guys," he said. "I'm not taking any of their money."
The theater where Trump spoke seated about 700 and was filled an hour before his schedule appearance, forcing hundreds more to stand in an indoor space set up with a video feed.
Trump was scheduled to appear at the historic Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake later on Saturday.
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