Usually, when presidential campaigns visit Utah, it’s to hold a private fundraiser. But to have actual campaign events is a rare thing indeed for the Beehive State.
That rarity happened Tuesday when Chelsea Clinton came to Utah to stump for her mother, the Democratic frontrunner ahead of next week’s vote.
“This is the most important presidential election of my lifetime,” said Clinton during a question and answer session with supporters at the Clinton campaign headquarters in Salt Lake City.
Clinton, naturally, said her mom, the former Secretary of State, as the best person to lead the country because she has a history of getting things done. Clinton rattled off her efforts to fight for health care coverage, benefits for veterans and her experience leading the State Department, as well as her experience collaborating with conservative lawmakers like Tom DeLay and John McCain.
“She has demonstrated the ability to build bridges across party lines to get things done. She has a record of being able to break down barriers to get things done. I hope that matters to voters here.”
Clinton also characterized her Democratic opponent, Bernie Sanders, as a “single issue candidate” with what she called his “free college plan.”
“That plan will require the federal government and states to come up with billions of dollars they don’t have on day one,” she stated. “We don’t live in a single-issue country. We can’t have a president who is focused on a single issue.”
The latest UtahPolicy.com survey finds Sanders with a sizeable lead over Clinton among all Utahns 41-19%. However, when just Democrats are queried, Clinton pulls ahead 51-44%. The Utah Democratic caucus is open to any registered voter, regardless of party affiliation, so it’s hard to predict which way Utah’s 33 pledged delegates will go. However, two of Utah’s four “superdelegates” have already pledged their support for Clinton regardless of the vote on March 22.
She also hit Donald Trump’s seemingly limited knowledge of how government works, mocking his claim that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan would have to listen to what Trump wants.
“So many don’t understand what a president can and can’t do. My mom understands these issues.”
Clinton characterized the tenor of rhetoric coming from the Republican side of the contest as dangerous and alarming.
“The Republican race is seeing the normalization of hate speech,” she said, referring to the controversial statements coming from GOP candidates, particularly Donald Trump.
Clinton also said the Supreme Court will be a huge issue in this campaign as the next president may get to appoint two or maybe three justices. She said the Justices will weigh in on issues like abortion, voting rights, campaign finance, union rights and gun rights.
“It matters that my mom knows so much about these issues,” she said.