PUEBLO – Democrat Hillary Clinton came to Pueblo on Wednesday, where she promised to protect Americans from “bullies” like Republican Donald Trump.
Clinton’s stop at the Colorado State Fairgrounds came just over a week after Trump stopped in the critical southern Colorado region, where he spoke of revitalizing manufacturing jobs and defended using nearly $1 billion in business losses to have possibly avoided paying taxes.
“They’re going to use a ‘scorched earth’ strategy for the remaining four weeks of this race. That just shows how desperate they are,” Clinton told a screaming audience, referring to recent reports that the Trump campaign will try to paint Clinton as revolting in an effort to deflect from his own public perception woes.
At the Trump rally last week, several voters told The Durango Herald that they were on the fence ahead of the November election. But as about 2,600 people wrapped around the grounds awaiting Clinton’s arrival on Wednesday, a greater sense of certainty existed.
Clinton said she was feeling the love, adding, “I think I’ll come here anytime there’s an election.”
She pointed out that ballots go in the mail next week in Colorado, and encouraged voters to speak with their friends and family.
“I’ve never felt this strongly in an election,” said Katie Shaw, who drove from Denver for the event. “I’ve always thought every candidate, Republican or Democrat, has been suitable for office. But Trump is not suitable.”
A teacher, Shaw brought her two daughters, ages 6 and 8, with her, saying Clinton is an “idol” for possibly being the first woman president and breaking the glass ceiling.
She said she was watching television with her girls last week when news broke revealing a 2005 recording of Trump, in which he made crude remarks about a married woman he tried to seduce. Trump bragged about women letting him kiss and grab them because he is a celebrity.
“Grab them by the p----. You can do anything,” Trump said in the recording.
“I had to explain the word ‘p----’ to my child and go back to them and explain to them that that’s not OK,” Shaw said.
“I’ve had to have conversations with a 6- and 8-year-old that I never thought I would have to have,” Shaw added. “We had this conversation of respect and having honor for yourself.”
Clinton agreed that children have been particularly impacted by the election, especially when it comes to immigrant children, who fear that Trump would round up their families and deport them.
“That’s the kind of fear and anxiety that I hear from immigrant families who are scared to death, especially the children,” Clinton said.
The event highlighted the importance of Southern Colorado in the election in the Centennial State, where recent polls show Clinton leading, though Republicans believe the battleground state is tied.
For Democrats, the Clinton rally – her first in Colorado since coming to Adams County in early August – offered a chance to lift down-ticket candidates, including Gail Schwartz, who hopes to unseat Republican incumbent Scott Tipton in the 3rd Congressional District, and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet.
“Let’s create a more stable economy by investing in our existing businesses and emerging industries and bringing manufacturing jobs back to Colorado, back to the United States,” said Schwartz, who also made the case for protecting public lands, curbing student debt and investing in rural Colorado.