HANOVER, N.H. — Former President Bill Clinton said Monday his wife’s supporters should reach out to Donald Trump fans after Election Day.
Campaigning for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and down-ballot candidates in New Hampshire, the former president told a crowd at Dartmouth College they should remain optimistic about the nation’s future.
“You cannot give this country’s future away to people who think anger is better than answers, that resentment is much better than empowerment, that endless conflict is better than cooperation,” he said.
While Hillary Clinton recently apologized for saying half of Trump’s supporters are “a basket of deplorables,” Bill Clinton said many of them have good reason to feel alienated. But he said their anger will not take them where they want to go. Telling a joke suggesting Trump, the Republican nominee, would drive the nation off a cliff, Clinton said if voters give Hillary the keys, she’ll fit everyone in and drive them to “a new mountaintop.”
“One of the things I think we have to do when this election is over — every one of us, each in our own way — is not treat the people on the other side the way they and their candidate have treated us,” he said. “We should reach out.”
Clinton limited his criticism of Trump — whom he didn’t mention by name — to rejecting Trump’s view that “everything’s a disaster — except his campaign” and there’s nothing good happening in the world.
He did not mention the recently released 2005 video showing Trump boasting that he could “do anything” to women because of his fame, or the women who’ve come forward since to accuse the billionaire candidate of groping them and kissing them without their consent. He also did not address Trump’s recent claims that Hillary Clinton “viciously” attacked women who accused her husband of sexual assault and impropriety.
Clinton did mention his longtime fondness for New Hampshire, where he dubbed himself “the Comeback Kid” after surviving one of those scandals to finish second in the 1992 New Hampshire primary.
“New Hampshire is a special place to me and my family for reasons that are obvious and some that aren’t,” he said. “I have kept the friends I made here more than 25 years ago. The leaves never turn — not in all these years since I went to the White House — that I don’t wish I had one or two fall days in New Hampshire.”
Clinton’s visit comes two days after Trump spoke at a rally in Portsmouth.