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Bill Clinton Defends Hillary Clinton, Foundation Before Labor Crowd

Former President Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States, told thousands of union workers at Coney Island Monday that this is a strange election, but one where they must work to make his wife, Hillary Clinton, the 45th president.

"She never got anything done in Washington- as First Lady, as senator, as Secretary of State – without the strong support from Democrats and Republicans,'' Clinton told the crowd at the annual Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council picnic.

Her opponent, Donald Trump, and his Republican allies, Clinton said, "have to demonize her. But there is nothing that they can say or do to make her close the door on open honest, negotiations."

Bill Clinton also defended the Clinton Foundation, a charity he founded after leaving the White House. Hillary Clinton has been accused of giving close access to foundation donors when she was Secretary of State.

"He even went after my foundation,'' Clinton said. ""I was sort of a Robin Hood, but I didn't rob anybody. I took money from people who had a lot of money and spent it on people who needed it."

He used as an example Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble, which he said funded "billions and billions" of clean water packs for people in Africa.

"Is there something wrong with that?,'' Clinton asked, to the cheers of the crowd.

President Clinton's speech took place in the picnic grounds, where several thousand union members and their families had gathered for their annual Labor Day picnic.  (He spoke for about a half hour)

The speech was only a stone's throw away from the spot where, on Labor Day in 1992, presidential candidate Bill Clinton, delivered a campaign speech that was filmed by a Hollywood production crew and ended up in a campaign commercial that year.

Entering the day, Real Clear Politics, a website that tracks national polling, had Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump nationwide by 3.9 percentage points – by no means an insurmountable lead but usually the candidate who leads in the polls on Labor Day ends up winning the election.

But, then again, this is a most unusual election.

Dave Baker, business manager of Ironworkers Local 44, said he'll be nervous about this presidential election "up until it is over."

"We're in a fight; there is no question about it,'' Baker said. "It's a fight we can win, but we are going to have to work hard every day between now and then."

Hamilton County, Baker said, is a "critical county in a critical state. We are trying to reach people, one voter at a time."

He said that when his union members encounter someone who might be inclined to vote for Trump, "we just tell them that the record speaks for itself. He has absolutely no record of fighting for working people. Hillary Clinton has a lifetime of fighting for us."

The former president was in downtown Detroit Monday morning, marching in organized labor's annual Labor Day parade. Hillary Clinton had campaign events in Cleveland and Illinois.

Trump, on the other hand, was in the Mahoning Valley of Ohio Monday.


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