"I guess my speech yesterday
must have gotten under his skin because right away he lashed out on Twitter with outlandish lies and conspiracy theories and he did the same in his speech today," Clinton said at a campaign rally here in Raleigh.
"He's going after me personally because he has no answers on the substance," she added. "In fact, he doubled down on being the king of debt, so all he can do is try to distract us."
Just hours before, Trump had unleashed a scorching tirade against Clinton, calling her a "world-class liar" as he took the former secretary of state apart on everything from foreign policy to her personality.
Clinton, Trump said, "may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency of the United States."
Trump also hit Clinton for her ties to the Clinton Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded by former President Bill Clinton after his presidency. Trump charged that Clinton used the organization as a pay-to-play scheme during her time as secretary of state.
Clinton responded by accusing Trump of "attacking a philanthropic foundation that saves and improves lives around the world."
"It's no surprise that he doesn't understand these things. The Clinton foundation helps poor people around the world get access to life-saving AIDS medicine," Clinton added. "Donald Trump uses poor people around the world to produce his line of suits and ties."
Clinton's speech in Raleigh was initially billed as an economic policy address, but her campaign felt it was necessary to refute some of Trump's criticisms. Campaigning the day before in Columbus, Ohio, Clinton had delivered remarks dedicated to dismantling Trump's economic policies and casting him as a danger to the U.S. economy.
Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin slammed Trump's speech as being filled with "hypocritical lies and nutty conspiracy theories."
"Donald Trump continues to prove that he is unqualified and unfit to be president," Caplin said in a statement.
Clinton stressed the need for government investment to create new jobs and argued for her plan to make college debt free. She also pushed raising taxes on "the super-rich" and pledged as president to push policies like affordable childcare and expanding Social Security.
She laid out her vision for the economy: "We need to make sure our economy works for everybody, not just those at the top, not just for the rich or the well-connected, not just for people living in some parts of the country or people from certain backgrounds and not other. I mean everyone."
This platform is intentionally similar to what Clinton ran on in her race during the Democratic primary against Bernie Sanders.
Clinton's top aides hoped Wednesday's speech would signal that Clinton intends to run on the same Democratic platform that she used to win the nomination and does not need to pivot towards the general election, something Trump has struggled to do for the last three weeks.
"It's smart strategy for Hillary Clinton to double down on bold progressive ideas that she and Bernie Sanders campaigned on in the primary," Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said after Clinton's speech. "Keeping the volume high on popular progressive ides gets Clinton a two-fer, bringing Sanders supporters along for the ride while fending off Donald Trump's attempt to woo swing voters with his faux economic populism."