In Lansing, President Clinton reminds voters of issues

Both campaigns increasing focus on Michigan as election looms

President Bill Clinton, UAW, Lansing
President Bill Clinton stumps for his wife at a UAW hall in Lansing. (Nov. 6, 2016)


LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Former President Bill Clinton on Sunday joined the parade of surrogates on both sides of the presidential campaign making a last-minute push for Michigan.

“It’s close to the election, and I believe Hillary will carry Michigan if we turn out,” Clinton told a packed house at United Auto Workers Local 652 in Lansing. “In a normal election, it wouldn’t be close, would it?”

But this has been anything but normal. In a state that hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, it’s too close to call. A Detroit Free Press poll on Friday showed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democrat, at 42 percent, and Republican candidate Donald Trump at 38 — a statistical dead heat.

“So we all know what’s going on,” the former president said. “There’s a lot of road rage out there.”

Part of the rage, Clinton said, is because the incomes of many aren’t keeping up with inflation.

“That’s really what the election’s about and it ought to make you mad that you didn’t get to hear much about it. And there’s a reason you didn’t, because all that ‘Make America Great Again’ crowd had to keep you torn up and upset,” Clinton said.

He said Trump has clouded the campaign to keep the focus off his wife’s plans for the economy, to fix Obamacare and to help small businesses.

“What about economics?” Clinton said. “He said we need a big double dose of trickle-down, lower taxes for millionaires, billionaires and all corporations. She said no.”

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, was among those who spoke before Clinton took the small stage. She’s glad to see the Clinton campaign’s increased focus on Michigan, but said it doesn’t mean Democrats are panicking.

“I think what they’re doing is working hard and just making sure they don’t take any one for granted,” Stabenow said. “So it’s not about panic, but it is about respect. It is about asking for the votes of people in Michigan.”

Allen Clark of Kentwood worked for Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992. Sunday, he was wearing his Bill Clinton campaign coat and was in the crowd for Hillary.

“Then, I was much younger and now I have a family and children,” Clark said. “What’s going on is more important now. It’s not just about me. It’s also affecting my children. I have a lot more vested in this election.”

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