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Clinton, Kaine talk economy during stop in Columbus

by MARC KOVAC | CAPITAL BUREAU CHIEF Published: August 1, 2016 2:56 PM

Columbus -- Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton continued to slam Republican nominee Donald Trump July 31 for comments the billionaire businessman made about a Muslim couple whose U.S. soldier son was killed in Iraq in 2004.

"I don't want folks to be misled, to listen to the rhetoric and the demagoguery," Clinton told a crowd of several thousand supporters gathered at a downtown Columbus school during an afternoon campaign stop. "I personally think that Donald Trump poses a serious threat to our democracy. It's going to be up to all of us to repudiate the hatefulness /"

Khizr Khan spoke at last week's Democratic National Convention, with his wife at his side, at one point offering Trump a copy of the U.S. Constitution after describing how his son, an Army Captain, died in a car bombing trying to save other troops.

Trump subsequently suggested Khan's wife was not allowed to speak at the convention. Democrats and some Republicans criticized Trump's comments over the weekend. On July 31, Clinton called out Trump for "insulting the family of a fallen soldier, Capt. Khan, an American Muslim who sacrificed his life to protect his unit and other soldiers as a taxi raced toward the gates of a base containing a bomb."

She added later, "I want us always to stand for freedom, equality and justice and opportunity, now and forever. Help us to go out and win an election that will keep our democracy strong, our economy growing and give every American a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential."

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In a released statement late July 31, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump's running mate, said Trump would "support our military and their families and we will defeat the enemies of our freedom."

He added, "Donald Trump and I believe that Capt. Humayun Khan is an American hero and his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American. Capt. Khan gave his life to defend our country in the global war on terror. Due to the disastrous decisions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a once stable Middle East has now been overrun by ISIS. This must not stand. By suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism, rebuilding our military, defeating ISIS at its source and projecting strength on the global stage, we will reduce the likelihood that other American families will face the enduring heartbreak of the Khan family."

It was the first joint campaign appearance by Clinton and her running mate, Virginia Sen. and former Gov. Tim Kaine, since the pair accepted the Democratic nomination during their party's national convention in Philadelphia.

Most of the comments from Clinton and Kaine focused on plans for boosting the national economy and the nation's work force rolls, with promises to push for a higher minimum wage, equal pay regardless of gender, higher taxes on the country's wealthiest residents, wider access to high-speed Internet and big investments in roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects, including an updated electric grid.

Clinton and Kaine took shots at Trump, too, criticizing his campaign as being heavy on promises but light on details or specific plans.

"Donald Trump -- no plans folks, no plans," Kaine said. "/ He'll say, 'I'm going to create jobs,' or 'We're going to all be rich,' or 'We're going to beat ISIS' or 'We're going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it.' And you ask him how are you going to do any of those things, and he just says, 'Believe me.'"

Clinton took time to praise former Gov. and current U.S. Sen. candidate Ted Strickland, a Democrat who is in a tight race with Republican incumbent Sen. Rob Portman.

"He got dealt a bad hand, being governor during the Republican-generated Great Recession and doing everything he could to try to help Ohioans get through that/," Clinton said. "I think your other great senator, Sherrod Brown, deserves a partner [in the U.S. Senate]."

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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