Speaking to a crowd in south Minneapolis on Thursday, Chelsea Clinton said the U.S. is nearing what she sees as the most important presidential election of her lifetime — and not just because her mother is the Democratic candidate.
At a rally to encourage participation in Minnesota’s early voting system, Hillary Clinton’s daughter highlighted her mother’s plans on issues ranging from immigration reform to early education. And she criticized the tactics and commentary of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose campaign she said had nearly normalized hate speech and discrimination.
“We have to have a president who understands that words matter, and understands how to act to help us move forward together,” she said. “When my mom talks about ‘stronger together,’ it’s not just a slogan. It’s what she believes in the marrow of her bones and the depths of her heart.”
The stop at Plaza Verde, a marketplace of immigrant-run businesses on E. Lake Street, was part of a fast-paced tour in the final weeks of an extraordinary campaign. Chelsea Clinton was in Iowa on Wednesday and stopped in North Dakota on Thursday morning before traveling to Minneapolis.
She brought along her 3-month-old son, and told the crowd that being a parent — she also has a 2-year-old daughter — has deepened her interest in politics.
She joked that she hadn’t known she could get more involved in politics, having been a part of it her entire life, including her father’s time as governor of Arkansas and later as president. “Becoming a parent sharpened the intensity I already felt about who was running for and holding political office at every level in our country,” she said.
Trump supporters, meanwhile, said the fact that Clinton’s campaign has deployed high-profile advocates to a traditionally safe Democratic state is a sign her campaign is in trouble.
“For the third time in seven days, Team Clinton has deployed a surrogate to paint a false tableau of enthusiasm for Hillary among millennial voters,” said Andy Post, state director for Trump. “We’ve also heard Al Gore may soon hit the trail to ‘fix’ bad numbers with millennials. You simply can’t make this stuff up.”
Chelsea Clinton took a few questions from the crowd, including from a 9-year-old dressed in an astronaut’s suit who wanted to know if Hillary Clinton would invest in the space program. The boy also said he attended the St. Paul school where Philando Castile, the man shot and killed earlier this year by a police officer in Falcon Heights, had worked, and he wanted to know what Hillary Clinton would do about the loss of Castile and others involved in similar incidents.
Chelsea Clinton said that her mother did plan to support research and development related to space and that she would work to erase racial disparities.
“We have a lot of work to do to ensure that anyone and everyone can live up to their God-given potential, as my mom has talked about,” she said, “and not have to worry that they will not be alive and not have every opportunity they deserve because of the color of their skin.”
Latina leaders also speak
Her comments were preceded by speeches from local DFL political leaders, including Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, along with several state and local elected officials and candidates — nearly all of whom were Latina.
Several spoke to the crowd in Spanish, urging for broad participation in the November election.
State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, DFL-Minneapolis, said the Twin Cities area’s growing Latino community shares many of the values championed by the Clinton campaign.
“We love our families, and many of us crossed the border to come here with very little, pursuing dreams for our children,” she said. “We know how to work hard. We build homes. We take some of the most difficult jobs. We work in restaurants, in hotels, we put roofs on houses and we get paid very little. Like her, we know how to work hard.”
Richfield City Council candidate Maria Regan Gonzalez said it’s crucial for those voters to pay attention to every race, not just the contest for president.
“This is our time,” she said, “and please don’t forget about local politics.”