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Tue 27 Sep 2016 09:27 AM

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Trump praises "incredible" Gulf airports during presidential debate

Dubai, Doha airports namechecked as controversial Republican candidate lashes out at US infrastructure

Trump praises "incredible" Gulf airports during presidential debate
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York. The first of four debates for the 2016 Election, three Presidential and one Vice Presidential, is moderated by NBCs Lester Holt. (Getty Images)

Donald Trump has praised two of the Gulf’s largest aviation hubs while taking a dig at American infrastructure during the first presidential debate with his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“When we have $20 trillion in debt, and our country's a mess, you know, it's one thing to have $20 trillion in debt and our roads are good and our bridges are good and everything's in great shape, our airports. Our airports are like from a third world country,” the Republican candidate said, during the debate that took place on Monday night in the US.

“You land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, you land at LAX, you land at Newark, and you come in from Dubai and Qatar and you see these incredible - you come in from China, you see these incredible airports, and you land - we've become a third world country.”

The real estate billionaire went on to say that the US was “a serious debtor nation,” which needed new roads, tunnels, bridges, airports and other infrastructure but lacked the money to pay for it.

Clinton replied that the issue had not been helped by Trump failing to pay federal income tax for “a number of years”.

The Republican candidate has had several business interests in the Gulf, including a deal to build a tower in Dubai with Nakheel, which was cancelled during the financial crisis, and the construction of two golf courses with Dubai developer Damac.

He has also raised hackles in the Middle East during the election cycle by threatening to ban Muslims from entering America.

On Monday evening, the debate’s host struggled to rein in the candidates, with discussions about trade policy suddenly shifting to the fight against ISIL as Trump accused Clinton of giving away information to the enemy by revealing on her website how she planned to defeat the group.

Clinton said that unlike Trump, she at least had a plan for fighting Islamist militants.

Opinion polls have shown the two candidates in a very tight race, with the latest Reuters/Ipsos polling showing Clinton ahead by 4 percentage points, with 41 percent of likely voters.

A second Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday showed half of America's likely voters would rely on the debates to help them make their choice.

*With Reuters

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AS. 3 years ago

This is really not newsworthy...

aslam 3 years ago

No doubt comparing to US airports, even Los Angeles airport.
Dubai's airport is an excellent gate way for all passengers.

MAM 3 years ago

so after this meltdown and the insults he has for the region, THIS was the takeaway that is highlighted??