Bill Clinton: Voters face ‘fundamental decision’ Nov. 8

Former President Bill Clinton campaigns for his wife and presidential Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during an event at Washington Park in Cincinnati on Friday. Bill Clinton urged supporters to vote early and vote Democrat up and down the ballot.
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Former President Bill Clinton campaigns for his wife and presidential Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during an event at Washington Park in Cincinnati on Friday. Bill Clinton urged supporters to vote early and vote Democrat up and down the ballot.

Former President Bill Clinton told supporters at Washington Park in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine that the voting American public has a choice in November.

“Anger or answers … resentment or empowerment,” said the 42nd president to the crowd of about 1,000 people Friday.

Clinton was stumping for his wife, Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, after campaigning in Delaware County and the day after her rival, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, rallied his supporters at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.

Bill Clinton said the “fundamental decision” voters need to make in this election is, “How do you feel about America and where it’s going?”

“Maybe you want someone who’s great at dividing us, distracting us and demonizing those who are different,” he said of Trump. “But if you think our best days are still ahead, and if you think we’re fortunate that with all the problems that we’ve got … we’re still outperforming every other big economy in growth.”

Clinton appears to be separating herself from Trump, according to recent polling and after a 2005 recorded conversation where he made lewd comments about groping women.

The rally was held just a mile away from the Hamilton County Board of Elections, where Clinton and other speakers encouraged to vote early.

“Don’t vote late, vote early,” said Ohio Rep. Alicia Reece, D-Cincinnati, before the former president took to the stage. Early voting in Ohio began Wednesday and runs until the day before Election Day.

The Clinton rally in Washington Park was a stark contrast from less than 24 hours earlier. A smaller, community rally versus a raucous, concert-like atmosphere. And 15-year-old Jessie Silver of Indian Hill attended both events.

“The Trump rally was more people cheering for one person and one person’s idea, and people were cheering by themselves, and here they were cheering together,” she said Friday afternoon.

While she can’t vote in this election, she said it was important to be at both rallies.

“It’s something that all people should be involved in,” Silver said of the political process. “It’s our government, it’s our country and how our government and how our country runs affects every single person living in America.”

A couple vocal Trump supporters, disrupting the rally, were kicked out. But John Carstens of Cincinnati, complete with a Trump-Pence bumper sticker on his bald head and a “Hillary for Prison” button, stood and listened.

He also attended Thursday’s Trump rally and wanted to see the turnout between the two rallies —some 18,000 for Trump’s Thursday evening rally and around 1,000 for Clinton’s Friday afternoon rally. For him, it’s “an indication of how people are really going to vote.”

“A lot of them are here for political correctness or to be in the right crowd, or whatever,” Carstens said. “(Thursday) night was the general public. Just real people.”

Carstens said the big difference was Bill Clinton’s speech “wasn’t solid information, to me, like Mr. Trump gave me last night.”

Sue Ellen Shupe of Price Hill was pleased with the points Bill Clinton covered “so clearly and succinctly that Hillary has actually given thought to.” And it’s important for her to see Hillary Clinton elected on Nov. 8, repeating what the 42nd president said: “If you want somebody to drive the truck off the cliff, just give Trump the keys.”

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