TIME 2016 Election

President Obama Makes Spirited Case for Hillary Clinton in Ohio

President Barack Obama campaigns for Hillary Clinton at a "Get Out the Early Vote" rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Oct. 14, 2016.
Jeff Swensen—Getty Images President Barack Obama campaigns for Hillary Clinton at a "Get Out the Early Vote" rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Oct. 14, 2016.

Calling on voters to "reject cynicism" and "choose hope"

President Obama kicked off his final battleground push for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, stopping in Ohio for a raucous rally for the candidate.

The president used his voice to demonize Republican nominee Donald Trump in the Buckeye State, painting the businessman as “uniquely unqualified” and “temperamentally unfit” to be the president and the wrong choice for working class voters. He told the crowd of 3,700 that Trump “wouldn’t let you into one of his hotels unless you were cleaning the rooms.”

“Don’t be bamboozled,” the president said. “That guy has never worn a baseball hat… until he started selling them to make some money.”

The president directed a portions of his remarks to voters who may be more reluctant to vote for Clinton, including men and Republicans, who he hoped to convince that Trump on the campaign trail—and his positions on Muslims, his statements about women, and admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin—are who he would be if her were to be elected office. He also seemed to suggest that internal sexism could be the reason why some men are not as enthusiastic about Clinton as they are about Trump.

“She is so much better qualified than the other guy. She has conducted herself so much better in public life than the other guy. That this notion that it’s somehow hard to choose. It shouldn’t be,” he said. “Has she made mistakes? Of course, so have I. But she is a fundamentally good and decent person who knows what she’s doing and will be an outstanding president.”

A RealClearPolitics average of polling shows Trump in the lead in the Buckeye State, but the Ohio is historically tight on Election Day. The stop in Ohio is the president’s first in a last-ditch sweep across the country on behalf of the candidate.

The president laid out the case before voters during his speech in Ohio; telling the crowd that a vote for Republicans would be a vote for “gridlock.” “If you think a vote for gridlock is a good vote, then you should vote Republican,” he said.

“This week will decide the future of this country that we love,” Obama told the crowd, adding that the progress the U.S. has seen over the past eight years would “go out the window” if voters make what he believes is the wrong choice.

 

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