Hoping to capitalize on the criticism battering Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has begun portraying support for her candidacy as a patriotic duty of voters. She’s broadening her message and appealing directly to Republicans to keep him out of the White House.
It’s a twist for a Democratic presidential candidate who has some of the highest unpopularity ratings in history. But aides believe Trump’s controversial campaign and the chaos it’s caused within the Republican Party offers a unique opportunity.
In Ohio recently, Clinton urged Republicans “to pick country over party.” She told several thousand at a union hall in Las Vegas on Thursday, “I want to be the president for all Americans. Democrats, Republicans independents. We’re going to pull America together again.”
Clinton had always planned to speak to a broader audience during the general election campaign, a standard move for presidential candidates after their party conventions. But the state of Trump’s campaign and his decision to stick with his inflammatory primary message has prompted her to intensify her focus across party lines.
Democrats, including President Barack Obama, have begun arguing that Trump poses a unique danger to democracy. That’s an argument they did not make against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or Arizona Sen. John McCain, the past two GOP presidential nominees.
As she’s campaigned across the country this week, Clinton has framed the election as a choice between economic growth and “demagoguery” and “insults.” And she’s making a point of acknowledging the deep economic anxiety that helped fuel Trump’s rise in the primary polls.
“I know people are angry and frustrated,” she said in a speech on a factory floor in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. “I’m not going into this with some kind of rose colored glasses.”