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Obama backs Clinton, attacks Trump at Charlotte rally 


Extra firepower needed to gain votes for pivotal state

By: Emmanuel Morgan

CHARLOTTE — In her second trip to North Carolina in the span of two weeks, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, accompanied by President Barack Obama, stressed the importance of togetherness and how she would champion the middle class.

Obama, in his first public campaign appearance with the presumptive Democratic nominee, reiterated Clinton’s qualifications and his high regard of her, which he also stated in his official video endorsement of her last week. Amidst a crowd of thousands in Hall C of the Charlotte Convention Center, both Democrats emphasized the importance the 2016 general election while lashing out at Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.

“Despite all the progress we’ve made under [Obama’s] leadership — and we have made progress — we still have work to do,” Clinton said.

In the past 32 years, the Democratic Party has only won North Carolina once in a general election (Obama in 2008). Clinton currently edges out Trump in the Tar Heel State, beating him by merely two percentage points in a recent CBS Poll. Because of the close relationship Clinton and Obama kindled during their rivalry in the 2008 primary and their time together at Capitol Hill, Obama gladly campaigned with the former Secretary of State to gain favor in a pivotal battleground.

“I’m here for a simple reason,” Obama said. “I believe in Hillary Clinton, and I want you to help elect her to be the next president of the United States.“

Dressed in a pink suit, while the President wore a blue shirt and dark tie, Clinton, 68, bulleted five ways she’ll improve the economy in her first 100 days of office should she become president. The former New York Senator said she would make college debt-free by easing student loans, crack down on companies who outsource American jobs, hold millionaires to the same taxpaying standards of the middle class, and create financial laws that adapt to the evolving living patterns of the typical American family, such as increasing the minimum wage.

Clinton, who drew upon her and Obama’s diversity frequently throughout the rally, said great leaders must be receptive of history while being versatile to changing, uncharted times.

“Just think about those early patriots who met in Philadelphia on that hot summer in 1776,” Clinton said. “They knew we would all rise or fall together. Nobody who looked like Barack Obama or me would have been included in that meeting, but we are here today because America is the story of hard fought, hard won progress.

“For 240 years our history has moved in that direction. As the President reminded us, the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards moral justice.”

Obama, 54, recalled instances he personally witnessed Clinton’s resolve and leadership, which he said merits her the title of the United States of America’s 45th President. Her diligent and meticulous preparation during the 2008 primary debates, the positive esteem foreign capitals hold her, and her first hand involvement in solving problems at home and abroad in the Situation Room such as the Bin Laden raid serve as tangible evidence of what she has proven she is capable of in a position of power, he said.

“Everybody can tweet but, nobody actually knows what it takes to be the President until you’ve been behind that desk,” Obama said in clear jab at presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is known for his use of social media. “You don’t know what goes into making life and death decisions until you’ve done it.

“[Clinton] participated in meetings where those life and death decisions have taken place. She’s seen the consequences of things working well and things not working so well. I know Hillary can do the job. I’m ready to pass the baton.”

Obama had more negative words for the real estate mogul, who he said “has nothing to offer” the middle class as be Commander-in-Chief. The President referenced Trump’s well-documented temper and recent blacklisting of reputable media outlets such as The Washington Post. Obama, who blames the negative perception of Clinton’s tenure of Secretary of State as a product of the “political machine,” said Clinton’s levelheadedness and poise outweighs Trump’s impulsiveness.

“When a crisis hits, you cant just walk off the set, you don’t have the luxury of saying whatever pops in your head,” Obama said. “You’ve actually got to know what you’re talking about. You can just kick out reporters. You’ve gotta apply steady judgment even when things don’t go your way. That’s something that I’ve learned as serving as your President, and that’s something that Hillary learned as Secretary of State.”

While the atmosphere within the rally oozed support, and chants of “Hillary” and “I’m with her,” echoed throughout the event, animosity towards the Clinton campaign surged elsewhere. In Raleigh, Trump voiced his displeasure of Clinton and Obama flying to Charlotte together in Air Force One, saying it was a waste of taxpayers’ money. He also called the justice system rigged because Clinton was acquitted in her federal indictment involving her alleged passing of classified emails.

Clinton never addressed the FBI investigation or Trump’s comment about Air Force One, but she praised Obama’s accomplishments and asked if Trump would be better than Obama or herself.

“Can you imagine [Trump] sitting in the Oval Office the next time America faces a crisis?” Clinton said. “The world hangs on every word our president says and Donald Trump is simply unqualified and temperamentally unfit to be our president.”


About the author: ELN

Elon Local News is Elon University’s student-run broadcast news station.

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