MAHONING COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN) – Former president Bill Clinton visited the Western Reserve Building Trades hall as part of a bus tour through Ohio, but that wasn’t his only stop in the Valley on Wednesday.
Bill is campaigning for his wife, Hillary, and spent the morning at a voter registration event. He is working to get votes out for the start of early voting on October 12.
Wednesday, Bill Clinton was introduced by Congressman Tim Ryan, who bashed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Ryan said Trump is “two-faced” and criticized reports that Trump may have avoided paying taxes for 15 years.
Bill Clinton’s message was that his wife is ready and prepared to be president.
He spent his speech talking up Hillary Clinton’s platform, including her proposal for free college. He also touted her ability to work with Republicans.
He said good things are happening now with 79 straight months of job growth, and talked down Trump’s “trickle-down economics” approach.
“America is coming back, and this election season will make it happen quicker and fuller and fairer and better, or we’ll put it all at risk,” Bill Clinton said.
He said this was an election about change but warned people to pick the right candidate, saying that electing Hillary would be a colossal opportunity for America.
“Stronger together is not just a political phrase, and we need allies.”
Not everyone at the union hall was there to support Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Six people stood across the street holding signs supporting Donald Trump. They were chanting things like, “Where’s the jobs?” and booed as former President Clinton arrived and left.
As part of the bus tour, Clinton also stopped in downtown Youngstown. His motorcade rolled into the middle of Central Square, sirens blaring.
As a crowd gathered to snap cell phone pictures and shake hands, Clinton stopped briefly to chat with downtown resident Robin Ollie, who was thrilled at the experience.
“They talked about our poor little city, you know? But we have royalty here today. I shook his hand, okay?”
Clinton’s first stop there was at the Starting Line Up Barber Shop, a relatively new business that’s been open just a short time.
He did a walk-through, chatting with customers. The national media joked if he was getting his hair cut.
Then he walked next door to Joe Maxx Coffee.
He spent much more time there, getting a cup of coffee and talking with barista Victoria Clark. She got to share the story of a speech she wrote and presented in fourth grade which won an award.
While Clinton was drinking his coffee, he explained how he believes Hillary can help Americans in Youngstown. He talked about a new markets tax credit that’s already working in the city.
“It gives investors big tax credits. Go into areas, simply, and so that it could be used in a way that’s beneficial to investors.”
Bill Clinton talked with Clark a long time about coffee, and answered some questions from the national press about Monday’s comment when he called Obamacare “the craziest thing in the world.”
The stop downtown lasted less than an hour before the motorcade headed off to Niles.
Congressman Ryan, who acted as a tour guide, was proud to show Clinton off.
The Clinton-Kaine bus pulled into Vernon’s Café in Niles, starting his Trumbull County visit. He interrupted lunch, but nobody seemed to mind.
Clinton was gracious at every stop, taking selfies and even posing for picture with Vernon’s owner, Vernon Cesta.
Clinton talked with the media again, saying that Hillary wants to create a 21st Century version of the middle class and that she is better prepared to be president than he was.