Trump compares US airports to 'third-world country'

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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE on Monday lambasted the state of American infrastructure at the first presidential debate, comparing a major New York airport to a “third-world country.”

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“We have a country that needs new roads, new tunnels, new bridges, new airports, new schools,” Trump said about 40 minutes into the debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

“We owe $20 trillion, and we’re a mess,” the Republican presidential nominee said.

Trump specifically said flying into U.S. airports like LaGuardia in New York felt like visiting a “third-world country” when compared to brand new airports in China.

Infrastructure — including roads, bridges and airports — have been centerpieces of both Trump's and Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump's economic approval takes hit in battleground states: poll This is how Democrats will ensure Trump's re-election The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico MORE's domestic platforms.

The GOP nominee has said he would spend more than $500 billion on infrastructure, which he said would be “at least double” the amount Clinton would invest. He has declined to say how he would pay for his massive new government program.

“We'll get a fund. We'll make a phenomenal deal with the low interest rates,” Trump said earlier this week when discussing his infrastructure plan.

In the same back-and-forth in the debate, Trump also sought to blame Clinton for the national deficit.

“We don’t have the money because it’s been squandered on so many of your ideas,” Trump said.

Clinton replied, “Maybe it’s because you haven’t paid your taxes.”