During a two-day bus tour in Ohio, former President Bill Clinton campaigns in Athens on College Green for his wife Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Oct. 4. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)

Former President Stumps For Clinton In Athens

Posted on:

< < Back to

Former President Bill Clinton addressed supporters and a few protesters about claiming their future with their vote this November, along with laying out the plans of his wife, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Bill Clinton spoke to a large crowd on Ohio University’s College Green during the Ohio leg of the Stronger Together bus tour, touching on the economy, universal broadband access, free tuition and getting already indebted students out from under student loans.

Though he never referred to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump by name, the former president criticized his rhetoric and what he called a lack of inclusivity on the part of Trump.

“Stronger together means we are more secure in a world where everybody’s borders look more like nets than walls,” Clinton told the crowd.

The speech was interrupted by one protester who challenged Clinton on high incarceration rates of African Americans.

“I will not vote for a candidate who puts so many of my people in prison,” the protester yelled to Clinton.

An Ohio University student, wearing a 'Make America Great Again' hat, the campaign slogan for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, listening to Bill Clinton speak on College Green at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, on Tuesday. (Carolyn Rogers/ WOUB)
An Ohio University student, wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, the campaign slogan for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, listening to Bill Clinton speak on College Green at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, on Tuesday. (Carolyn Rogers/ WOUB)

Clinton called off boos and chants from the crowd and addressed the man directly.

“It’s okay to hold people accountable, but you need to paint the right picture,” Clinton said.

Student organizer Bailey Williams, of Ohio Together, introduced Clinton after speaking about his support of Bernie Sanders during the primary. He said he changed his changed his support to Hillary Clinton after the primary instead of supporting candidates outside the Democratic Party.

“This election is too important to stand on the sidelines or vote third party,” Williams said.

Clinton touched on other topics during the speech, including Hillary Clinton’s proposal to make it easier to obtain small business loans, bringing modern manufacturing back to America and immigration reform without mass deportation. He said mass deportation would “cause a recession” in many cities in America.

He also spoke of Hillary Clinton’s plans when it came to wage inequality and the social hierarchy.

“Hillary doesn’t want to pull anyone up on the social totem pole,” Bill Clinton said. “She wants to pull the dadgum thing down.”

The conclusion of the presidential candidate’s husband’s focused on the importance of voting. Voter registration in Ohio ends Oct. 11.

“Don’t let people tell you your vote doesn’t matter, don’t let people tell you there are no consequences to the election,” Clinton said.

Introductions before Clinton included 94th District State Representative candidate Sarah Grace and U.S. Senate candidate Ted Strickland. Strickland used his time to talk about his opponent, Rob Portman’s stances on climate change, minimum wage and equal pay for women.

Strickland was also heckled by a member of the audience, who claimed the candidate was down by 15 points. An analysis of a collection of polls by FiveThirtyEight gives Strickland a 6.6 percent chance of winning against incumbent Portman.

“Athens will make up the difference, my brother!” Strickland said.

Some audience members said they came to see a celebrity for the first time, and others said they hoped to see the husband of the woman they hope will be elected president.

“We’re all going to go and vote for Hillary Clinton because she’s going to be our first woman president and I want my 9-year-old to remember that,” said Barbara Fisher, of Athens.

WOUB’s Aaron Payne contributed this report.