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John Lithgow, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Make a Case for Hillary Clinton in Ohio

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (top) was at Kent State on Saturday, while former Gov. Ted Strickland and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (below) were at Cleveland State on Sunday -- all discussing student debt, the shrinking middle-class and why they support Hillary Clinton.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (top) was at Kent State on Saturday, while former Gov. Ted Strickland and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (below) were at Cleveland State on Sunday -- all discussing student debt, the shrinking middle-class and why they support Hillary Clinton.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (top) was at Kent State on Saturday, while former Gov. Ted Strickland and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (below) were at Cleveland State on Sunday -- all discussing student debt, the shrinking middle-class and why they support Hillary Clinton.
Credit KABIR BHATIA / WKSU
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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (top) was at Kent State on Saturday, while former Gov. Ted Strickland and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (below) were at Cleveland State on Sunday -- all discussing student debt, the shrinking middle-class and why they support Hillary Clinton.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren appeared before about 300 people at Cleveland State University on Sunday morning in support of Hillary Clinton.

Actor John Lithgow, who grew up in Northeast Ohio, warmed up the crowd by lauding President Obama’s progress over the past eight years.

“If Hillary Clinton doesn’t become our next President, all of that progress will be swept aside. They say that the people who support Trump are looking for a change agent. Well, they would get their change. Everything would be swept aside, we’d be back at square one and we would start going in the wrong direction from there, instead of the right direction.”

Then, Sen. Warren spoke about issues including college debt, raising the minimum wage and the nastiness in this year’s Presidential campaign.

“Donald Trump has repeatedly invited his followers to commit a terrible act of violence on his opponent. What kind of a man does that?  I’ll tell you: it’s a nasty little bully who can’t win in a fair fight and who will never be President of the United States.”

Part-way through her speech, Warren was interrupted by a half-dozen Jill Stein supporters, who began chanting as they left the building.

After the speech, Green Party supporter Michelle Bline from Cuyahoga Falls said she’s not worried about splitting the Democratic vote between Clinton and Stein, which could put Donald Trump in the White House.

“I think Congress would block a lot of things that are irrational. Whereas Hillary owns most of the government and so she’ll force through just because [of] ‘I know your secret.’ I actually think Trump will probably be less damaging. We may become stagnant for four years.”

Julie Quinn from Cleveland Heights does not agree with that logic.

“I think that they should focus on getting a Green Party candidate at any other level of government before they shoot for the White House. Some of the conversation has gotten ridiculous and we need to know what’s at stake here.”

Elsewhere on the ticket

Sen. Warren’s attention was also on another candidate: she was joined by former Gov. Ted Strickland, who’s challenging Sen. Rob Portman. He’s challenging Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who has an 11-point lead in the race according to a Sept. 9 Quinnipiac poll.

During the speech, Warren laid out the case against “trickle-down” economics, saying it was bad for the middle-class. And she used that as one example of the difference between Portman and Strickland.

“[Senator] Sherrod Brown and I worked really hard to get a bill to refinance student loans and bring down the cost of going to college for millions of our students: Rob Portman voted no. When we put together a bill to increase the minimum wage -- for families who are struggling – Rob Portman voted no.”

Sen. Warren also called Portman as “cutter-in-chief,” referencing his time running the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush.

Mark Hennessey from Pepper Pike agrees with Warren that the eroding support for Strickland is due to expensive attack ads.

“He was governor during the time of the great recession. And Ohio was badly hit by that. And they’re portraying that as Ted Strickland’s fault. And it clearly was not.”

Bernie Sanders inKent

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was also campaigning for Clinton in Ohio over the weekend. He spoke to a packed and appreciative house of about 500 people – mostly students -- on Saturday at Kent State’s Student Rec Center.

While hitting familiar notes about climate change, reproductive rights and student debt, he also reminded the audience that the next President will get to choose a new Supreme Court justice. Sanders tied that to what he says is a key difference between Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.

“She will not nominate any candidate to the United States Supreme Court unless that man or woman makes it very clear that he or she will vote to overturn this disastrous Citizens United.”

Sanders also touched on what he calls the country’s “brutal struggle” against discrimination.

“And now we have a candidate for president who is making the cornerstone of his campaign -- not really economics, not healthcare, not the environment, not foreign policy -- the cornerstone of Donald Trump’s campaign is bigotry [and] is dividing us up.”

Sanders’ speech was part of a week of appearances by high-profile surrogates for Hillary Clinton in Ohio, including Chelsea Clinton and actors Sean Patrick Thomas and -- from “The West Wing” – Richard Schiff.

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