In the fallout of Ohio’s top Republicans pulling their support of their own presidential nominee, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton visited the battleground state to try to shift momentum in her favor.
Hillary Clinton was greeted by a large and energetic crowd in the center of Ohio State University’s campus hot off her second debate with Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump.
Clinton’s main goal of the night was to get out the vote and encourage people to register before the deadline, but that didn’t stop her from addressing the latest Trump scandal - a tape in which he is heard describing behavior against women that many, including Republicans, have said amounts to sexual assault.
“We all heard on that tape, what he thinks of women and how he treats women. And last night he doubled down on his excuse that it’s just well locker room banter,” said Clinton.
Trump has apologized for the comments, but several Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, have said they can no longer support or vote for him.
More than 18,000 people were estimated to be at the rally - her campaign said it was her largest crowd to date. Most were college students and young adults. After listing the other times Trump has used divisive language about immigrants, Muslims and African Americans, Clinton said young voters have a chance to show how that their generation is a generation of tolerance.
“The only way to rebuke this is to vote. Use the single most important fundamental right you have as citizens of America,” Clinton said.
Polls show that Clinton has been struggling to connect with voters between 18-34 years old with a big portion leaning towards the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Winning over more of those millennial voters could be an important tactic in winning Ohio.
One of those younger voters is Ramone Cummings, who says he’s voting for Clinton so she can continue what President Barack Obama started with the economy in 2009.
“People just forget history so fast, we were on the brink of the second Great Depression, President Obama and the decisions that were made in Washington kept us from that and she wants to continue on that trajectory and build upon that,” said Cummings.
Alex Cofield of Hillard says, as a fellow public employee, she admires Clinton’s skill in getting things done.
“I know what it’s like to work in government, I know what it’s like to make and implement policy and I know how challenging it is and I think that she has tremendous skill and leadership in order to bring all the people together to do what is needed to continue to move our nation forward,” Cofield said.
The former U.S. secretary of state tried to position herself as a candidate that can bring people together and tap into the country’s optimistic spirit.
“That America’s best days are ahead of us not the dark and divisive vision of my opponent but one in keeping with what I see as I travel across America, the energy, the dynamism, the entrepreneurial spirit of all Americans but particularly young Americans,” said Clinton.
Trump’s Ohio spokesperson said Clinton’s message to help the middle class is just lip service and that leaked speeches show that she’s comfortable with helping Wall Street.
Quite often, presidential candidate visits are met with criticism by the chair of the other major political party. Not this time. Ohio Republican Party chair Matt Borges issued no official statements about the Clinton visit, and has admitted struggling over what to do about this latest Trump controversy.
Recent polls taken before the scandal last week showed the presidential race is tight in Ohio. The Clinton campaign will keep pressing on the gas with an appearance from Obama at a few events in Ohio Thursday, the day after early voting begins. On that same day Trump will be in Cincinnati.