CANTON, Ohio (CN) — President Bill Clinton called for "answers, not anger" as he promoted his wife's run for the White House at an Ohio bus-tour stop on Wednesday.
The Hillary Clinton campaign sent the 42nd president to greet an overflow crowd of 550 people at the Ironworkers Training Center in Canton.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced Clinton, who came out to "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. The song matched his optimistic message.
"Hillary is someone who thinks about your tomorrows," he said. "I know what this election should be about: your future."
The former president told the young people in the audience they have "a better than 50-50 chance of living to be 100 without Alzheimer's or dementia."
"We are on the verge of the greatest period of prosperity, discovery and advances, if we do the right thing," Clinton said.
He repeated Brown's statement that job growth has increased for the last 79 months, but he acknowledged that "too many people haven't had a raise and are having trouble meeting basic expenses."
Clinton also noted the recent spike in deaths from drug overdoses and said the addiction rate is higher in rural areas than in big cities.
He said America also needs to provide universal, affordable internet access.
"We have 5 million kids who can't get to their homework online, and South Korea's download speeds are four times ours," Clinton said.
He said America has regained most of the 2 million jobs it lost after the economic crash of 2008, but it needs to support small businesses and millennials who are in debt from student loans.
"This is real stuff," Clinton said. "How come it never gets discussed in a debate?"
He said his wife will "finish the work of health-care reform," pointing out a problem with Obamacare.
"If you don't work for a big company, you face higher premiums and co-pays," Clinton said. "Hillary will let people age 55 and over participate in Medicare and add a public option."
He added, "She believes this will work, and so do I. We need to take this worry off the plate of the American people."
The former president also had a few words for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
"He wants to dissolve NATO or make them pay more," Clinton said. "He's treating them like tenants in his apartment building, and he's raising their rent."
Clinton also said Trump's plans to keep America safe would not work against the online recruitment tactics of ISIS.
"Can we be safe if we build walls that won't keep social media out in the first place?" he asked.
To wrap up his remarks, Clinton borrowed a one-liner from a friend in Texas.
"If you don't want a guy to drive a truck off a cliff, don't give him the keys," Clinton said. "Give Hillary the keys!"
With the exception of a heckler waving a "Bill Clinton is a rapist" T-shirt, the crowd seemed to respond well to Clinton's message.
"We heard policy and answers instead of hate and tax write-offs," said James Aller of Canton. "Honesty and policy: that's just what we need."
Tammy Johnson of North Canton said, "He was very good and very inspirational. He got right to the point and said what we wanted to hear."
Photo caption: President Bill Clinton in Canton, Ohio on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Photo credit: Jeff D. Gorman.
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