Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tied herself to President Barack Obama’s legacy, saying Republican Donald Trump was unfit to follow in the footsteps of the man she once ran a hard-fought campaign against.
Speaking to a predominantly black audience at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gala in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Mrs. Clinton said this year’s election “comes down to who will fight for the forgotten, who will invest in our children and who will really have your back in the White House.”
“We need ideas, not insults. Real plans to help struggling Americans in communities that have been left out and left behind—not prejudice and paranoia,” she said. “We can’t let Barack Obama’s legacy fall into the hands of someone who doesn’t understand that.”
Mrs. Clinton’s challenge going forward in the final seven weeks of the election is to motivate the coalition of progressives, nonwhite voters and young people who helped elect Mr. Obama to two terms to show up to the polls on her behalf. Polls show Mrs. Clinton has a comfortable lead among registered voters, but the race narrows dramatically among likely voters.
She has spent the last few days campaigning before interest groups and audiences whose members make up some of the most loyal Democratic voters. On Thursday, she attended an Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute event in Washington. On Friday, she spoke to the Black Women’s Agenda Symposium, saying she owes the Democratic nomination to the support she received from African-American voters.
And on Monday, she is scheduled to attend an event in Philadelphia aimed at boosting her support among younger voters. Her campaign is also dispatching surrogates like Sens.Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both popular liberal icons, to shore up her support among young people.
On Saturday, Mrs. Clinton didn’t appear on stage with Mr. Obama, who also spoke at the black caucus gala, but an aide for Mrs. Clinton said they met briefly backstage. Mr. Obama was Mrs. Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
Mr. Obama poked fun at Mr. Trump’s recent announcement that he had finally accepted that the president was born in the U.S. Mr. Trump emerged as the central figure in popularizing a false conspiracy that Mr. Obama was born overseas and possibly ineligible for the presidency. The president was born in Hawaii to an American mother.
“With just 124 days to go—under the wire—we got that resolved. That’s a boost for me in the home stretch,” Mr. Obama said to laughter.
He warned about the dangers of complacency and linked Mrs. Clinton’s election to preserving his legacy.
“After we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community, I will consider it a personal insult—an insult to my legacy—if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election,” Mr. Obama said. “You want to give me a good send-off? Go vote.”
Write to Byron Tau at firstname.lastname@example.org
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