Pittsburgh celebrities campaign with Hillary Clinton
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made what could be her final direct appeal to Western Pennsylvania voters Friday during a rally at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
"If we have a big win on Tuesday, we will have a big wind behind our backs," Clinton told an exuberant crowd of more than 2,500 inside the stadium's Great Hall.
Clinton portrayed her opponent, Republican candidate Donald Trump, as a thin-skinned man with a long history of insulting and discriminating against minorities, immigrants and women. She said Trump doesn't have concrete plans to improve America but would raise taxes for millions of low-income and middle-class families.
In one of her many Steelers references, Clinton said of Trump's lack of policy specifics: "The Steelers practice. They plan. ... You don't just run out on the field and do what you want."
As for herself, Clinton said, "I have a lot of ideas. I could keep you here until the game starts," referring to the Steelers next home contest on Nov. 13. "I like to make lists and cross things off. Some say that's a woman thing."
Clinton said she would bring pragmatism to the nation's highest political office.
"Everything I've done has started with listening to people and then finding common ground," she said. "That's the kind of president I would be."
'We've got to make sure we fight against discrimination,' Clinton says, as white supremacists for Trump threaten to 'watch' polling places.— Donald Gilliland (@drgilliland) November 4, 2016
. @HillaryClinton on talking w voters: 'Please ask them to search their hearts what kind of country they want for their kids and grandkids.'— Donald Gilliland (@drgilliland) November 4, 2016
Any momentum Clinton built following the Democratic National Convention in July and subsequent controversies that damaged Trump's campaign appears to have vanished. Clinton's lead has shrunk in the waning days of the campaign.
RealClearPolitics' polling average Friday showed Clinton with a 3 percentage point lead over Trump in Pennsylvania, where 20 electoral votes are at stake. A candidate needs at least 270 electoral votes to win the White House.
Clinton's lead was twice as large as recently as Tuesday. Several polls released since, all conducted mostly after the FBI announced new developments in its investigation of Clinton's use of a private email server, contributed to narrowing the gap.
"This is one of those make-or-break moments for the United States," Clinton said. "It might be the most important election of our lifetimes."
The event had a definite Western Pennsylvania flair, including local rock icon Donnie Iris singing the national anthem, appearances by Steelers legends Franco Harris and Mel Blount and Clinton's introduction by billionaire businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a Mt. Lebanon native who has been critical of Trump throughout the campaign.
"We cannot put our trust in (Trump) ... There's one candidate I will trust," Cuban said as he introduced Clinton.
'Do we want somebody who ripped off hardworking americans?' asked Cuban. 'This is a guy truly going to trial in 3 and a half weeks.'— Donald Gilliland (@drgilliland) November 4, 2016
Cuban claims Trump, 'a guy who rips people off for thousands,' is ripe for bribing by foreign dictators.— Donald Gilliland (@drgilliland) November 4, 2016
Katie McGinty, a Chester County Democrat who is trying to unseat U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, in Pennsylvania's pivotal U.S. Senate race also spoke. She called Trump a "fraud," and described Toomey's unwillingness to say whether he will vote for Trump as "dainty and delicate."
The program also featured Andrew Tesoro, a contract architect who was paid a fraction of the money owed to him for designing the clubhouse at one of Donald Trump's golf clubs. Tesoro was featured earlier this year in a Hillary for America video that has been viewed more than 50 million times on Facebook.
The Trump campaign issued a statement from Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.: "As Hillary Clinton scrambles in the final days of this election to save her sinking campaign, it's clear she knows Donald Trump has all the momentum. The latest revelations about the FBI's investigation into her emails and the pay-to-play culture surrounding the Clinton Foundation is deeply troubling to voters in Pennsylvania.
"Even more troubling is the sharp rise in Obamacare premiums coming next year in our state. On November 8th, Pennsylvania will vote for a candidate who will drain the swamp of corruption in Washington, D.C., and repeal Obamacare. Donald Trump is the candidate to do so."
Tom Fontaine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.