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Clinton, In Tampa, Punches Back Against “Fear and Resentment” as Florida Showdown Looms

| July 23, 2016

clinton in tampa

Hillary Clinton in Tampa Friday. (Hillary for America)

Punctuating the significance of battleground Florida’s role in the 2016 presidential election, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton delivered what was essentially a rebuttal to the Republican National Convention before an enthusiastic crowd Friday in Tampa.

Shortly after the Tampa appearance, Clinton announced she had chosen U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia as her running mate.

“I’m thrilled to announce my running mate, @TimKaine, a man who’s devoted his life to fighting for others,” Clinton said in a Twitter post.

Clinton’s visit to Tampa came a day after the GOP convention wrapped up in Cleveland — and three days before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. She focused much of her remarks on the GOP event and on the Republican nominee, real estate and entertainment magnate Donald Trump.

Characterizing Trump’s acceptance speech Thursday night as dominated by “fear and resentment,” Clinton painted her opponent as a divisive and angry threat to the nation’s future.

“No matter what your political leanings, I think we can all agree that never in the history of conventions, certainly, but I think even more broadly, have we moved forward together by pointing fingers and scapegoating and blaming people,” she said.

Clinton also made light of the verbal attacks on her that dominated much of the convention.

“It was kind of perversely flattering,” she joked, adding that the Democratic convention — which kicks off Monday — would have a “very different vision.”

Clinton drew loud applause from a crowd of more than 3,500 supporters by evoking Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who was essentially booed off the stage Wednesday night when he refused to endorse Trump.

“I never thought I would say these words but Ted Cruz was right. … Vote your conscience,” Clinton said, quoting the onetime presidential candidate.

The former secretary of state began a tri-city swing through Florida on a somber note, leaving flowers at a memorial to the victims of the June 12 massacre at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando that was the site of the worst mass shooting in the nation’s history. Clinton will appear at a rally Saturday at Florida International University in Miami.

After meeting earlier with survivors, victims’ family members and first responders in Orlando, Clinton launched an attack during the Tampa rally on Trump’s comments Thursday night that “I alone can fix” the nation’s problems.

The police captain in charge of the team that rescued clubgoers during the attack “didn’t say I can fix it alone,” Clinton said.

“I’ve never heard of an American leader, or at least someone who wants to be an American leader, claiming that he’s all we need. … That’s not a democracy, my friends. As I recall, we had a revolution to make sure we didn’t have someone who said I can fix it alone,” she said.

Calling for more “love and kindness,” Clinton pointedly contrasted herself with her Republican opponent, striking a decidedly upbeat note throughout her 30-minute speech and ending by expressing empathy for people “who are feeling insecure and anxious about their lives.”

“I know there’s a lot of angst. I understand all that. And I respect those who have legitimate concerns and questions. But I’ve never known America to quit on ourselves. I’ve never known us to give up on the face of tough challenges … to retreat in the kind of isolation that was being advertised at their convention,” she said. “That is not who we are. Those are not the values that made us a great country.”

Clinton closed with a play on words for the supporters who crowded into a fairground hall to hear a speech that set the stage for what Democrats can expect at the Philadelphia party convention.

“Just remember, love trumps hate,” she said.

Perry Miller, 86, and his wife, Sandy, traveled from nearby Sun City Center to show their support for Clinton.

“She was able to take advantage of all the ridiculous statements that Trump made,” Sandy Miller said.

Florida’s 29 electoral votes make it the crown jewel of the states at play in the presidential election.

“If you look at all the battleground states in the country, and if you add up all the votes over the last six presidential elections, we’re also the closest battleground state in the country,” said Steve Schale, a Democratic consultant who ran President Barack Obama’s Florida campaign in 2008. “We’re the biggest and the most competitive. So it makes perfect sense to come and lay an early marker down here.”

While a Florida victory is considered an essential element in the path to the White House for Democrats, the state may be even more critical for the GOP — Calvin Coolidge in 1924 was the last Republican candidate to win the presidency without the Sunshine State’s support.

And Clinton’s stops in Tampa and Orlando were likely a harbinger of a focus on the I-4 corridor between now and November.

“Our success in the I-4 corridor is essential to our winning,” Clinton said.

Tampa Bay is home to “a lot of persuadable targets, persuadable voters,” Ashley Walker, a Democratic consultant who coordinated Obama’s 2012 campaign in Florida, said in a telephone interview Friday. “So seeing her visit there today is not a surprise.”

Clinton can also be expected to focus on Hispanics, who make up a growing number of voters along the I-4 corridor and who have been alienated by Trump’s views on issues such as immigration. Hispanic voters “will make or break” the presidential election, according to Democratic consultant Ana Cruz, who lives in Tampa.

Waiting beneath gray skies in a long line to enter the fairgrounds arena, Angel Cantillano called Trump’s positions on immigration insulting.

“I don’t like his ego,” Cantillano, who was born in Honduras and has lived in Lakeland for 23 years, said. “He doesn’t realize we are legal immigrants. He’s probably a good businessman, but I don’t think he’s a good politician.”

–Dara Kam, News Service of Florida

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23 Responses for “Clinton, In Tampa, Punches Back Against “Fear and Resentment” as Florida Showdown Looms”

  1. Snickerdoodle. says:

    She can “punch back” as much as she likes. She still need to be put before a firing squad or at the very least be in prison. The Clintons are not above the law like they think they are. Trump for President. Print that.

  2. No to the Evil says:

    Killary ” The Butcher of Benghazi “……………Thanks for selling out 20% of our countries Uranium mines to Russia. I’m sure their going to be making a very special “package” just for you. Gee, I hope that 46 million in cash they gave you and Bill is enough to buy Bill some more air time to ORGY ISLAND. And the 176 million given to the Clinton Foundation , I’m sure will keep Syria in arms for the next 12 years……..You DISGUST me !!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Voting for what we don’t know provides us hope, voting for a Clinton that we know, provides us the continuation of this county going further down the tubes. We must stop what has been going on or we may get a point of no return. When I think Clinton I think of Watergate, the death of Foster, Monica Lewinski, speeches that won’t be released, mega donations to the Clinton foundation (buying her or Bill), the echo of “what does it matter” when people were losing their lives, and releasing secure confidential information from her home server jeopardizing or safety, deleting emails, and lying to the American people playing them for fools. The shame the Clinton’s have brought us is enough to last a life-time-there’s no need for anymore. I’m voting TRUMP.

  4. yellowstone says:

    “He’s probably a good businessman, but I don’t think he’s a good politician.” Think so, huh?

    This is a slippery cat whose got a least 3 Bankruptcies sitting on his desk – 2,500 law suits against him in just one case alone. He has proven who is, and people are buying it regardless their common sense tells them not to.

    A good businessman – indeed!! Think so, wanna buy a share in the Brooklyn Bridge?

    Remember this when you go into the General Election: “You gets what you pay for”.

    GO VOTE SMART!!

  5. Knightwatch says:

    Hillary/Kaine is a winning team. Brains, experience, wisdom and leadership. America wins!

  6. Shadowoftruth says:

    Where is the article on the new Wikileaks showing the media and DNC collaborating to destroy Bernie and screw voters?

    #dncleaks #dncleak

  7. r&r says:

    I don’t care how you sugar coat your speeches but anyone concerned about the future of the USA would supporting the FACT that you belong in prison for lying to congress and treason. Martha Stewart went to prison for a lot less …

  8. Sherry says:

    I really love that. . . “Love trumps Hate”!

    We, as an already great nation, need to come together in love, peace, compassion and joy, and passionately reject those who attempt to divide us by sowing fear, hate and violence against our family of the human species! Fear and hate begets only fear and hate. . . love and acceptance begets love and acceptance! What kind of world would you rather live in?

  9. karma says:

    Hillary and the DNC worked together in defeating Bernie Sanders. I would only hope the Bernie has the guts to call them out. People can say what they want about Ted Cruz, but at least he stood up for what he believed. I doubt Bernie will do the same. What would make anyone think Hillary will fight for you. She has a lot of big donors and current government officials to repay.

  10. Just me says:

    Fear and resentment? That is ALL the socialist demacrat party has. They like a street pusher sell it to the dumb masses. They say if this republic once aging looks to the Constitution it will somehow be a bad thing. They also push resentment on any who have made a good life for themselves and tell the poor its the fault of those who have more that they are poor. They do not even suggest that in this republic (even with all the destruction done to it by the socialist Ds) one still has a shot at making it for themselves.

  11. r&r says:

    Reminder. Bill deserted the USA and went to Canada to burn his draft card because he was a coward. My brother was drafted along with many other young men of which many did not come back. This was going on while Bill was laughing his ass off and getting drunk up in Canada. They both belong in prison.

  12. tulip says:

    @ Knightwatch Kaine took thousands and thousands of dollars of clothes, vacations, about 160,000 as bribes and is involved in the Clinton Foundation. Sure, he goes to church on Sunday, but that does not make him a saint. He is as crafty as Hillary.

    Flagler voters persecuted Fleming for accepting a gift card to get discounts on meals and golf. But it’s okay for Kaine to take bribe gifts and money?

  13. Katie Semore says:

    The devil you know vs the devil you don’t know. Trump is too much of a loose cannon to be trusted not to destroy totally this country. He will not listen to facts and learn if it does not suit him and feed his ego. He cares only about himself and his and the rest only as it benefits him. Stupid is as stupid does, and a vote for Trump is stupid.

  14. A.S.F. says:

    Re: “The Butcher of Benghazi”–Repeated attempts by the Republican Party to lynch Hillary Clinton in hearing after hearing have failed for a reason. And, did you hear, the mother of Christopher Stevens has pointedly demanded that Donald Trump and his campaign apparatus stop invoking her son’s name (and his tragic death) in his speeches. RE: The DNC leaked emails–Only the most cynically immoral of Republicans and the most “useful idiotic” of Bernie-bots could be so ecstatic about “leaks” produced by a megalomanaical Clinton-hater like Assange which he pulled off, not so coincidentally right before the Democratic Convention with the help of the Russian government and their underground network of Russian hackers. Pffffttt!

  15. Knightwatch says:

    The ignorance and hate that spews from republicans is hilarious. I can tell a republican by the red face and drool as they contemplate another eight years under a Democratic president… and a woman, even. Oh, god, but I love to hear them squeal.

  16. jasonb says:

    Try as they might, the Republic party can never live down the fact the 9/11 happened on their President’s watch.

  17. Sherry says:

    ANDDDD. . . here is the “FACT CHECK” on Trump’s convention speech. . . mostly “trumped up” BS. . . take a read, if you can handle the truth:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/ap-fact-check-donald-trumps-rnc-speech/

  18. Shadowoftruth says:

    Vote for the establishment , no one wants real change! Hilary 2016! We need TPP for less jobs too.

    Feel the BERN

  19. TruthWillSetYouFree says:

    r&r, where did you get your info? Bill Clinton was at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship that kept him from being drafted. His number was 311 — never called.When he came home to go to law school, he did register and yeah, he never got called or served. My husband was drafted and joined about the same time. He would have gotten out of it if he could too along with a lot of others.

  20. Sherry says:

    Now let’s look at the “Pants on Fire” Lies:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/rulings/pants-fire/?page=2

  21. footballen says:

    The DNC is in shambles and there couldn’t be a better person as the face of that sinking ship. As long as you pull back the frame far enough to see her drowning Bernie with one hand because she thinks its out of the picture.

  22. Ws says:

    Lock her up, lock her up!!!

  23. Sherry says:

    OK. . . please show “credible” proof that the Republican party has NEVER favored one Republican Presidential over another. I’m waiting!

    The DNC in shambles. . . LOL! You’ve got to be kidding. . . Trump and his racist/xenophobic supporters have ripped the Republican party apart. . . and the entire country apart!

    GO HILLARY! We need some sort of sanity, more than ever!

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