Chelsea Clinton promoted her mother’s plans for education and emphasized the significance of the “hugely important” North Carolina race in Raleigh on Wednesday.
Clinton spoke with local leaders on a panel at HQ Raleigh about the role of women in technology and innovation fields and said her mother’s administration will prioritize increasing the presence of women in fields related to science, technology, engineering and math. The daughter of the Democratic presidential nominee made four stops in North Carolina this week, in Winston-Salem and Durham on Tuesday and Raleigh and Carrboro on Wednesday.
“North Carolina will receive – as it has – a lot of attention from the campaign, because we hope that we can win here,” Clinton told The News and Observer. “We’re going to talk about issues that we keep hearing are important from voters across North Carolina: college affordability being a key one, higher education affordability more broadly, investing in the public school system, clean energy, getting back to an economy that really works for everyone.”
These issues are the among the ones Hillary Clinton will address when she campaigns in Greensboro on Thursday, her daughter said. The former secretary of state’s appearance in Greensboro will mark her return to the campaign trail following an unexpected three-day break as she recovered from pneumonia.
Her illness, and a widely circulated video of her stumbling as she left a 9/11 memorial service in New York, have raised concerns about her health – which Republican rival Donald Trump had questioned before the incident but has been largely silent on since.
Clinton said her mom is “definitely feeling better” and added that pneumonia – which she said she herself has had twice – is “miserable.”
“I wish she would have listened to her doctor” and rested, Clinton said. “I think people will just see that she’s feeling healthier and better, and then I hope we can all go back to talking about what’s really at stake in this election.”
Clinton also emphasized the high stakes of the election during her Tuesday campaign stop in at a coffeshop in Durham, where she said “everything I care about” is at risk in this election.
The Republican National Committee released a statement on Clinton’s North Carolina visit Tuesday, stating that voters in the state “deserve real answers about the major conflicts of interest surrounding the corrupt Clinton foundation.” The foundation it is a charity that runs humanitarian programs in the United States and overseas – and it has come under scrutiny as the Democratic nominee’s opponents accuse her of using it as a political tool. Chelsea Clinton currently serves as vice chair of the organization.
“No number of campaign stops from Chelsea Clinton will change that,” Kara Carter, the RNC’s North Carolina communications director, wrote. “The fact that the Clintons see no problem with Chelsea continuing to direct parts of the Foundation even if her mother is elected is just another sign of how out of touch they are with the voters.”
Clinton told The N&O that she hopes voters remember that the Clinton foundation is a charity that “has gotten the highest rating from independent, non-partisan watchdogs.”
Clinton noted that she recognizes that if her mother wins, the foundation “will have to make some changes.” Former President Bill Clinton, who founded the nonprofit in 1997, has said he will cut ties with the organization if his wife wins in November.
“We need a transition period to do that so people’s jobs aren’t interrupted,” Chelsea Clinton said. “I will stay through that transition period, and I hope that anyone would understand that. And then we’ll see what happens.”
With 54 days left before the election, she said she hopes voters will remain focused on the issues, not rhetoric or showmanship.
“We’re not in a reality television show,” she said, in a jab at Trump.
In its efforts in North Carolina, a key focus for the Clinton campaign has been education.
Under Clinton’s New College Compact plan, families with incomes up to $125,000 – more than 89 percent of North Carolina households – would pay no tuition at in-state public colleges and universities. That means 122,000 North Carolina students would pay no tuition, the campaign announced Tuesday.
Three in every five North Carolina graduates of four-year colleges are in debt, and tuition has risen by 42 percent since 2008 at North Carolina’s four-year public colleges and universities after inflation, according to the Clinton campaign.
Hillary Clinton’s appeal to younger voters will be important in the state, which President Barack Obama won in 2008 in large part because of his support among voters under 30. Her daughter recognized this, noting that the campaign has about 300 organizers in the state – some specifically focused on mobilizing young people.
Rachel Chason: 919-829-4629