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Clinton, Trump Rallies Draw Crowds In Florida

Oct 27, 2016
Originally published on October 27, 2016 10:16 am
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep with the sound of two campaign rallies - one for Donald Trump, one for Hillary Clinton. We attended them on consecutive days in the vitally important state of Florida. People waited hours to get in, as we hear elsewhere this morning. And then the rallies started almost the same.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: I pledge allegiance to the flag...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America...

INSKEEP: We're hearing both rallies here at once.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: ...And to the Republic for which it stands...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: ...One nation under God...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: ...One nation under God...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: ...Indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: ...Indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

(APPLAUSE)

INSKEEP: From then on, everything was different.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BLAISE INGOGLIA: Tampa, how are you feeling tonight?

INSKEEP: The Trump event was at an outdoor ampitheater. The nearly 10,000 seats seemed full.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Thank you so much. Hello, Broward County.

(APPLAUSE)

INSKEEP: The Clinton event was indoors at a college with about 1,700 in the room.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WOMAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE")

SHERYL CROW: (Singing) Yeah, I think it's time we put a woman in the White House. Girls, how about you?

INSKEEP: Music at the Clinton event sent obvious messages. The Trump event, as always, featured music selected not to sound like a political rally.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I WANT IT THAT WAY")

BACKSTREET BOYS: (Singing) I want it that way. Am I...

INSKEEP: Warm-up speakers played each campaign's greatest hits.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

INGOGLIA: Is it a great day to be a deplorable in the great state of Florida?

(APPLAUSE)

INSKEEP: Republican state chairman Blaise Ingoglia repeated a word Clinton had used. Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz used a phrase dropped by Trump.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SCHULTZ: I have a question. Where are all the nasty women in the house?

INSKEEP: Schultz was among speakers who triggered memories of this year's news. She resigned as Democratic chair last summer when hacked emails showed the party leaning against Bernie Sanders. Trump speakers included Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PAM BONDI: And I believe in the Second Amendment.

(APPLAUSE)

INSKEEP: She declined to investigate Trump University and received a campaign contribution from Trump's foundation. Clinton's rally had the advantage in members of Congress attending, like Alcee Hastings who hammered Trump.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ALCEE HASTINGS: This is a man that tells his charges that they want their country back. We want our country back. Where the hell did the country go? It's our country. And I'm not going back, and you're not going back either.

INSKEEP: Trump's rally had the advantage in famous former football coaches.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Coach Bobby Bowden. Let's hear it.

(APPLAUSE)

INSKEEP: Thousands greeted Bowden with the tomahawk chop, a common gesture by the Florida State Seminoles.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BOBBY BOWDEN: I'm a great reader of history. I love history, especially the beginning of our country. And one of the great qualities that men had back in those days - and I hope we get it back, and I hope Donald Trump will do it - they were men who depended upon God.

(APPLAUSE)

INSKEEP: Leaving the word God hanging in the air, Bowden walked off stage. And after a long pause, the main event began.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: Back in my second home, Florida - I love my second home. I love Florida.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

HILLARY CLINTON: Hello, Broward County.

INSKEEP: Clinton wore a red jacket. Trump wore a red tie. Each discussed polls in revealing ways.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: In case you haven't heard, the new poll...

INSKEEP: Trump cited just one poll, one of the few that, on that particular day, did not show him behind.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: Nationwide, we're leading - No. 1.

INSKEEP: Clinton is leading most polls - some by a lot - but she urged her backers to ignore them.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CLINTON: It's going to be a close election. Pay no attention to the polls. Don't get complacent because we've got to turn people out.

INSKEEP: Both politicians tied national issues to local concerns.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CLINTON: We're seeing the reality of climate change every day in Florida.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: Going to authorize $1 trillion in new public-private infrastructure.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CLINTON: We are seeing areas in Miami, even on sunny days without a drop of rain, where the streets are flooding.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: Projects that will be funded include repairing the Herbert Hoover Dike in Lake Okeechobee which is affecting everybody in Florida.

INSKEEP: And Trump briefly struck an optimistic note.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: I'm asking the American people to rise above the noise and the clutter and to embrace the faith and optimism that is crucial - and the most crucial ingredient - of the American character.

INSKEEP: But after that short passage, his vision darkened. He began a 13-minute stream of consciousness denunciation of Hillary Clinton and the media.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: These people are among the most dishonest people in the world, the media. They are the worst.

(BOOING)

TRUMP: They're trying to fix the election for crooked Hillary.

INSKEEP: He later ticked off proposals like term limits and better trade deals, but his most heartfelt argument was simply that Clinton must not win.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CLINTON: The good news was it was the last debate.

UNIDENTIFIED CLINTON SUPPORTERS: (Singing) Happy birthday to you...

CLINTON: Oh, well, thank you (laughter).

INSKEEP: During Clinton's speech, people broke out in "Happy Birthday." She turned 69 this week, one year younger than Trump.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CLINTON: I have the stamina to be president and commander in chief.

(CHEERING)

INSKEEP: As she spoke, one difference between the rallies became apparent. She kept talking up Democratic Senate candidate Patrick Murphy who had introduced her.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CLINTON: Unlike his opponent, Patrick Murphy has never been afraid to stand up to Donald Trump.

(APPLAUSE)

INSKEEP: Clinton made an extended pitch for Democrats to win control of the Senate. Many Republicans are straining to limit their exposure to Trump. And in Tampa, Senator Marco Rubio did not join Trump onstage. Trump never mentioned it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: God bless you, Tampa. God bless you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT")

THE ROLLING STONES: (Singing) I saw her today at a reception...

INSKEEP: As the crowds cleared, we spotted a man in white who'd been showing up at Clinton rallies.

And I see you're wearing a shirt that says Clint Eastwood, U.S. Navy, Pitbull, Hannity, O'Reilly Factor...

JANUSZ BISKUPEK: Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.

INSKEEP: ...Donald, you are the future.

BISKUPEK: OK.

INSKEEP: So I'm thinking you're a Trump fan.

Janusz Biskupek said he respects Clinton but he finds her rallies offer no change. A Clinton supporter, Linda Bird, couldn't help but break in.

BISKUPEK: There is a lot of people here - they don't understand. They come over here no legal. OK? And that's what you like over here?

LINDA BIRD: That's what the country was built on, immigrants. My grandparents were immigrants.

INSKEEP: They didn't agree on anything. But the Trump supporter finally reached out his hand, and she shook it. Then he bent as if to kiss her hand. She pulled her hand back. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.