Clinton makes last-minute Grand Valley campaign stop
Less than a day before polls open across Michigan, democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton urged the crowd at Grand Valley's Fieldhouse arena to get out to the polls on Election Day.
In a wide-ranging speech that touched on topics from equality and inclusion to tax policy and family leave, Clinton repeatedly stressed the importance of turning political enthusiasm into results by casting a ballot.
"Are you ready to vote tomorrow, Michigan? Are you ready to help get your friends to vote tomorrow? We have a really important election tomorrow, and the choice in this election could not be clearer," Clinton said. "This election is basically between division and unity. It's between strong and steady leadership or a loose cannon that would put everything at risk."
Clinton's roughly 40-minute speech to a vocal, enthusiastic capacity crowd of about 4,600 talked about the importance of West Michigan in the election, given tightening poll numbers between the two candidates.
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Michigan Democratic Party chair Brandon Dillon, who introduced Clinton, also focused on mobilizing voters to get to the polls.
"We know that when Secretary Clinton wins Michigan she will be President Clinton," Dillon said. "This part of the state is going to be critical to making sure we have a 'Madam President' on November 9."
Stabenow spent a portion of her introduction criticizing Donald Trump, saying that voters in Michigan and nationwide "have a once-in-a-generation choice" to make on Election Day.
Clinton told the crowd to consider not just the presidential candidates on the ballot on Election Day, but the issues and values that would be decided on the ballot as well.
"I want you to think about what you care about, and what you want your future to look like," Clinton said. "This election will be consequential."
Playing to the West Michigan crowd, Clinton touted her internship experience with President Gerald Ford during her speech, saying that over the decades she had come to know many former presidents on a personal level. She said that while she didn't always agree with the policies and positions of the former presidents, that she had never doubted if they were fit for the presidency. She said the same couldn't be said about Donald Trump.
During the second half of her speech, Clinton focused on the differing perspectives on the future of America being presented by each of the candidates. She said that Trump's campaign messages focused on a "dark and divisive" vision for America, and acknowledged that while the country has always had problems, wondered aloud "When did we get pessimistic about it and stop thinking of ways to fix things together?"
Clinton cited child care costs, equal pay for women, student debt and interest rates as major issues challenging middle-class Americans, and said she would work to solve those problems, claiming that the costs would be borne by major corporations and the wealthy, pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making $250,000 or less per year.
Clinton wrapped up her speech by focusing on potential and positivity, telling the crowd that "there is nothing we can't do when we make up our minds" citing the ability of previous generations of Americans to "rise to meet the challenges of their time."
"We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us," Clinton said. "You can vote for a hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America tomorrow, and I want to say especially to the students here, I really believe that America's best days are still ahead of us if we reach for them together."
Reiterating a common campaign tagline, Clinton said she wants to be a president for all Americans, "not just the people who support me but everyone in this country."
"Each of us has a role in building a better future. Let's take a first step tomorrow," Clinton said. "When your kids and grandkids ask what you did in 2016 when everything was on the line, you can say that you voted for a better, stronger, fairer America, where we build bridges, not walls. An America where we prove that yes, love trumps hate."