Clinton accused Trump of using Atlantic City as a cash cow, extracting wealth for himself and leaving the town and its workers out to dry.
"When everything falls apart, people get hurt and Donald gets paid," Clinton said, with the faded letters spelling "Trump Plaza" evident on the building behind her.
The boardwalk event is a rare moment of political theater for Clinton. The campaign stop in New Jersey does not boost her standing on the electoral map, but it was used to hammer home her accusation that Trump's pattern of business practices would be devastating to the country if he is elected president.
Clinton was introduced by Marty Rosenberg, whose company Atlantic Plate Glass did business with Trump's Taj Mahal casino. But Rosenberg said he was never paid after completing hundreds of thousands of dollars of work on Trump's casino.
"It was this time that Donald Trump made a promise to me, my family and to the people of Atlantic City," Rosenberg said. "If you do a good job —if you do a good job, in a timely manner, you will be paid an agreed-upon agreement."
"This promise went unfulfilled," he added.
The campaign's attempt to paint Trump as a greedy, heartless businessman follows the playbook that President Obama's campaign deployed against former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in 2012. The midsummer effort to define Trump is backed by millions in ads from the campaign and the super PAC supporting Clinton.
Trump fired back Wednesday, insisting that his businesses have created tens of thousands of jobs and that only in four instances has he used bankruptcy laws to "restructure" his companies and "ultimately save jobs."
"It is an effective and commonly used practice in business to use bankruptcy proceedings to restructure a business and ultimately save jobs," Trump said in his statement. "I created thousands of jobs and made a lot of money in Atlantic City, which was what, as a businessman, I am supposed to do for my company and my family — and as President I will make America rich again, and Make America Great Again."
But Clinton argued that Trump earned his title the "King of Debt" in Atlantic City, racking up debt on his ventures before cashing out.
"He doesn’t default and bankrupt as a last resort; he does it over and over again on purpose," Clinton said. "Even though he knows he will leave others empty-handed."
In taking on Trump, Clinton has often taken on a more mocking tone, in some cases chuckling as she delivers the carefully crafted lines intended to get under his skin.
"According to The Donald, isn’t he supposed to be some kind of amaaazing businessman?" Clinton said. "Isn’t it fair to ask, since he is applying for a job, what in the world happened here?"
Trump was not the only subject of her criticism. Trump supporter and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) also took a few hits.
"If your governor would start doing his job instead of following Donald Trump around holding his coat, maybe we could really get New Jersey’s economy moving again," Clinton added.
Left unmentioned was Clinton's own controversy involving her use of a private email server to conduct government business when she served as secretary of state. On Tuesday, FBI Director James B. Comey sharply criticized Clinton for her "careless" approach to dealing with classified documents, but he said he would not recommend that the Justice Department pursue criminal charges against her.
Clinton has not responded to any questions about Comey's decision and did not address it in her remarks.