Three days after the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine came to Columbus Sunday afternoon as part of their “Stronger Together” bus tour.
Held outside Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center to a crowd of a few thousand, Clinton and Kaine arrived approximately two hours after their expected arrival time of 2:45 p.m.
Clinton started her speech by addressing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent remarks regarding Khizr and Ghazala Khan. The Khans spoke at the Democratic National Convention about their Muslim-American son who died fighting in Iraq.
“I really think Donald Trump poses a serious threat to our democracy,” Clinton said.
She addressed issues such as maintaining funding for Planned Parenthood, creating debt-free college plans, raising the minimum wage and providing high-speed broadband Internet to all homes and businesses.
Clinton also highlighted allegations against Trump by former workers who claimed they were never paid for work connected to his business interests.
“I know how hard (my dad) worked, and I am personally sickened when I hear about Donald Trump refusing to pay workers,” Clinton said. “It’s not just that he couldn’t pay. He wouldn’t pay.”
In addition, Clinton addressed Trump outsourcing jobs, saying he “makes barware in Slovenia, not Jackson, Ohio.”
Clinton also endorsed former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate running against incumbent Republican Sen. Rob Portman, stating, “I think … (U.S. Senator) Sherrod Brown deserves a great partner.”
Clinton thanked Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, representing Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District — which includes portions of Ohio State’s campus and some students who live in the off-campus area — for her remarks before Clinton’s speech.
“She won’t talk about how women look,” Beatty said. “She won’t judge you by where you’re from.”
Kaine’s speech was focused on emphasizing what he believed was different between the Democratic and Republican conventions and their candidates. He commented on how he thought Trump’s acceptance speech lacked substance, including a jab at the Republican candidate’s previous job as a TV show host.
“After this is all said and done with, there’s only two words the American people will remember about Donald: ‘You’re fired,’” Kaine said.
Joe Warnimont, a third-year in aerospace engineering, said this was the first time he heard Tim Kaine speak.
“I was really impressed with his public persona,” Warnimont said.
Kaine emphasized community within the Democratic party.
“I think we showed this week what an upbeat, patriotic, loving party we are in the Democratic party,” he said.
Jake Vasilj, president of College Democrats and a third-year in political science and history, echoed Kaine’s sentiment.
“I think it was pretty clear when you contrast the tone between the conventions that our party is unified, our party is excited about the future,” Vasilj said. “Contrasting that with a lot of the fear tactics at the RNC, I think we’re in a good place.”
Spencer Dirrig, a second-year in political science and economics, was at the Democratic National Convention as Delaware county’s delegate. Dirrig, who is also chairman of Buckeyes for Hillary within College Democrats, was selected as delegate when Clinton won the state of Ohio.
“It was an incredible four-day event,” he said. “We got to meet a lot of people. We also got little sleep.”
Dirrig said that despite protests from Bernie Sanders delegates on the first day, after Sanders formally gave his delegates to Clinton, roll call votes were made with little to no issue.
“It was really cool to see that and be there to nominate our first female presidential candidate of the United States,” Dirrig said.
Vasilj echoed the weight of the process and the election in November.
“This election is perhaps going to be the most important election in our lifetime,” he said.
Trump is scheduled to speak Monday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center at 3 p.m.