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Clinton: Trump Remarks on Black Communities 'Insulting, Ignorant'

  • Ken Schwartz

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event at Truckee Meadows Community College, in Reno, Nevada, Aug. 25, 2016.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event at Truckee Meadows Community College, in Reno, Nevada, Aug. 25, 2016.

For more than a week, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been calling Democrat Hillary Clinton a racist and a bigot, accusing her of looking at African-American communities only for votes while ignoring joblessness and crime.

Trump has been telling black voters that decades of Democratic governments have failed them, asking them, "What have you got to lose?" by voting Republican in November.

WATCH: Trump Says Blacks, Hispanics Should Reject Politicians Who Have Failed Them

After days of little comment, Clinton hit back hard at Trump on Thursday.

Speaking in Nevada, Clinton said Trump has been talking about black neighborhoods in "insulting and ignorant" terms, only seeing failure, murder, drugs and bad schools.

She said it is "sad" that Trump does not see the successes, such as thriving businesses, successful graduates from black colleges, and strong churches deeply involved in their communities.

WATCH: Clinton Says Trump Builds Campaign on Prejudice, Paranoia

Lawsuit on rental policies

Clinton noted that the U.S. Justice Department has sued Trump for alleged racist policies in renting apartments to blacks and Hispanics, and that it was Trump who continued to insist Barack Obama was born in Kenya rather than accept a black man as president.

"I read and hear some people say that his bluster and bigotry is overheated campaign rhetoric — an outrageous person saying outrageous things for attention," Clinton said. "But look at his policies. The ones that Trump has proposed would put prejudice into practice. ... Here is the hard truth: There is no other Donald Trump."

Clinton said the "alternative right" has hijacked the Republican Party. She described it as a fringe element that rejects mainstream conservatism as a threat to white supremacy.

WATCH: Clinton: Donald Trump's Latest 'Paranoid Fever Dream' is About My Health

She said such paranoia and extremism have never had a "national megaphone" until now. She criticized Trump for not turning his back on far-right extremists like radio talk-show hosts, obscure politicians, conspiracy theorists and gossip-mongering tabloids — including one that said she is mortally ill and predicted she would be dead by this time.

Trump has said Clinton does not have the "strength and stamina" to be president.

"His latest paranoid fever dream is about my health," she said, telling Trump to "dream on."

Watch video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke:

'Disgusting argument'

At a New Hampshire rally Thursday, Trump said charging opponents with racism is the "oldest play in the Democratic playbook" when policies do not work. He called it a "tired, disgusting argument." Clinton is "all talk and no action" on improving the lives of African-Americans, he said.

"I don't want to dignify her statements by dwelling on them too much, but a response is required for the sake of all decent voters that she is trying to smear," Trump told fellow Republicans. "Hillary Clinton is going to try and accuse this campaign and all of you and the millions of decent Americans ... of being racists, which we're not."

Trump said it is not racist to want to secure the country's borders from illegal immigrants, and that those afraid of radical Islam are not "Islamaphobes."

WATCH: Trump Says Democrats Use Racist Attacks as Excuse for Failed Policies

Trump boasted on Twitter that his national poll numbers are "rising ... way up."

But a new Quinnipiac University survey gives Clinton a 51 percent-to-41 percent head-to-head lead, and a 7 percentage-point lead when the Libertarian and Green party candidates are included.

WATCH: Harlem Residents on What Trump Must Do to Earn African Diaspora Votes

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