PHILADELPHIA – After the Democratic National Convention wrapped up, Hillary Clinton stayed up so late she and husband Bill, the 42nd president, needed coffee through an “IV” to get going, she said Friday.
The caffeine worked.
“As of tomorrow, we have 100 days to make our case to America,” Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, said at a rousing rally at Temple University here.
Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine, a Virginia Senator, picked up where they left off at the convention in attacking Republican Donald Trump as a cheat who gets rich by shortchanging others.
Their rally in the Temple University gym was the start of a three-day bus tour through the Rust Belt battlegrounds of Ohio and Pennsylvania — states that hosted the just-concluded conventions.
Bill Clinton and Kaine’s wife, Anne Holton, were with their spouses on stage before joining them on the bus. The bus trip evoked memories of 1992, when, after the Democratic convention in New York, Bill Clinton and Hillary were joined by his vice president pick Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, for a barnstorming bus tour.
Kaine, introducing Clinton to the wildly friendly crowd, drew a contrast between the Democratic convention, which he called “optimistic” and “upbeat” and the Republican gathering in Cleveland, where Trump was nominated.
The GOP convention “was like a twisted and negative tour. It was a journey through Donald Trump’s mind, and that is a very frightening place,” Kaine said.
Alluding to Trump’s signature line from his reality show, “The Apprentice,” Kaine said with Clinton, you have a “you’re hired president” rather than the “you’re fired” Trump.
Clinton said that, in Cleveland, “Donald Trump painted a picture, a negative, dark, divisive picture of a country in decline. He insisted that America is weak, and he told us all, after laying out this very dark picture, that ‘I alone can fix it.’
“Now, as I watched and heard that, it set off alarm bells because just think about what happened here 240 years ago. Think about our founders, coming together. A Declaration of Independence, writing a Constitution. They set up our form of government, the longest-lasting democracy in the history of the world. And you know they did it because they knew they didn’t want one person, one man, to have all the power, like a king,” she said.
(Trump did say at the GOP convention “I alone can fix it.” Politifact, a fact-checking organization, noted Trump did not entirely say he would be a solo act. “Clinton omitted that in other portions of his speech he showed a willingness to work with partners including prosecutors, law enforcement and foreign allies,” Politifact concluded, rating the Clinton use of the Trump line as “mostly true.”)
Trump argues that his success as businessman – which he claims made him a billionaire – qualifies him for the presidency.
The Clinton campaign believes raising doubts about his success is key to cutting into his popularity with working-class and swing voters.
That’s why the campaign for weeks now – and at the convention and rally – are using the stories of students who accuse his Trump University of fraud and small businessmen who faced financial disaster because Trump refused to pay in full – as well as highlighting Trump products that are not made in America.
“I find it highly amusing that Donald Trump talks about ‘Make America Great Again.’ He doesn’t make a thing in America except bankruptcies,” she said.
Temple University is not far from Independence Hall. Clinton noted that proximity, the history made there, and her own place as potentially the first female president.
Some 240 years ago, “nobody who looks like me was thought to be possible to run for president back then. No one who looked like Barack Obama was thought to be possible.
“But contrary to Donald Trump, I believe every time we knock down a barrier in America, it liberates everyone in America.”