Hillary Clinton Stumps at Tri-C in Cleveland
In a speech that tried to reach out to voters of all parties -- and no party -- Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton largely addressed issues that appealed to her liberal base – increasing the minimum wage, college affordability and clean energy.
But it was her criticism of her opponent that appealed most to the crowd at Cuyahoga Community College Friday night.
Clinton was jovial as she asked the audience if anyone had watched the presidential debate Wednesday night – teeing up her punch line.
"Well, that was the third and last time that I will ever have to debate Donald Trump. I have now spent 4.5 hrs on stage with Donald proving once again I have the stamina to be president and commander in chief."
She referenced Trump’s refusal to promise that he would accept the outcome of the election. Clinton said his comment was a threat to the nation’s peaceful transition of power.
"But we know in our country the difference between leadership and dictatorship, right?"
Audience members in the stands held up big block letters spelling out “Vote Ohio.”
"Those are great! That’s great!" said Clinton, laughing.
She urged people to go out and vote as a symbol of American democracy.
From suits to steel
Ohio is a state where many are sour on trade deals, and Trump’s pledge to rework them is popular. So Clinton made a point of criticizing Trump’s use of products made overseas – from suits to steel.
She also addressed voters who may be wavering in their support of Trump, acknowledging they have questions about whether to turn to her.
“I want to answer them. I want to earn your vote. I am reaching out to all Americans, Democrats, Republicans, independents. I think America needs every one of us.”
Black Lives Matter
Before the speech, Clinton met with representatives of the Black Lives Matter movement in Cleveland. And during her speech, she pledged to address systemic racism if she’s elected.
“All the advocates and activists who have challenged us to think about these issues of race and justice and equality and opportunity in new and powerful ways really deserve our appreciation.”
Cleveland is under a consent decree to reform its police department’s training and policies to address a pattern use of force problem and problems with community relations. But in a vote that was controversial even among officers, the police union voted to endorse Donald Trump several weeks ago. And the head of the union, Steve Loomis, blasted Clinton for meeting with what he called a racist group but not police.
Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, will be holding a rally in Cleveland Saturday night. Polls show Trump and Clinton are in a virtual tie in Ohio.