Chelsea Clinton campaigned for her mother, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Wednesday at an Ohio Democratic Party campaign office in Grove City, urging those attending to vote early for Democrats up and down the ballot. Chelsea Clinton’s visit was her second stop in Ohio today, campaigning in Cincinnati this morning and traveling to Cleveland this afternoon.
Chelsea Clinton’s visit fell on her mother’s birthday, who turns 69, encouraging those in attendance to vote early as a birthday gift. The crowd of volunteers and audience members sang “Happy Birthday” before her daughter took the stage.
Chelsea Clinton focused much of her visit on the topic of family, talking about both her parents’ political careers and her own family, including hopes for her own children.
“For me, this election is first and foremost about my kids,” she said. “Our next president will make decisions that shape the country, the future and the world that our kids and grandkids will grow up in.”
Chelsea Clinton talked about her mother’s contributions as an advocate for children’s health care and adoption services, as well as Hillary Clinton’s work as a senator to lower the cost of prescription medications.
Additionally, Chelsea Clinton jabbed at her mother’s opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, warning that his “daily diet of hate speech” has created a bullying trend that she called “the Trump effect,” as well as criticizing Trump’s campaign slogan.
“‘Make America Great Again’ is code for ‘Make America Great Again for white, straight men,’ which isn’t most of us,” Chelsea Clinton said.
Chelsea Clinton took time to answer questions and listen to stories from audience members, ranging on topics from Social Security and health care for seniors to college affordability and entrepreneurship.
When asked about college debt and loan repayment, Chelsea Clinton spoke about her mother’s college affordability plan, which would include a three-year grace period — for those aspiring to be entrepreneurs — before beginning to pay off student loans, and a cap of 10 percent of income going toward loan repayment.
“You shouldn’t have to make professional decisions on whether or not you can repay your loan,” she said.
Columbus resident Karen McCall, who brought her 12-year-old daughter, Rianna, said she was impressed with Chelsea Clinton’s speech and hopes that Hillary Clinton’s college affordability plan would be able to help her family.
“I have two kids who are struggling to get through college. My oldest daughter had to drop out because she couldn’t study and work enough hours to pay for college,” McCall said. “(Rianna) is 12, so she’s going to be heading off (to college soon).”
Alison Leddy, a recent graduate of Notre Dame and Cleveland native, said that Hillary Clinton’s proposals about delaying loan repayment for graduates looking to become entrepreneurs was encouraging.
“There’s so much risk in entrepreneurship,” Leddy said. “I’m starting at a lower income than I would be if I was working for a corporation. But I believe in entrepreneurship. (Hillary Clinton) delaying loan repayment would be huge so that we can have people of all backgrounds, regardless of race, gender or economic status, can become entrepreneurs.”
With less than two weeks before election day, Chelsea Clinton urged everyone to sign up to volunteer as campaign workers and to remember to take the opportunity to vote early.
“I’m just going to work my heart out over the next 13 days and I hope you do, too,” Chelsea Clinton said.