Before President Obama took the stage at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Wednesday tonight, to again make his case to the nation that Hillary Clinton should be elected the next president, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown had been scheduled to be among the speakers preceding the president’s scheduled address at 10 P.M. that included remarks by Vice President Joe Biden, and Mrs. Clinton’s pic for Vice President, Tim Kaine.
Sen. Brown told the Ohio delegation Wednesday morning at its breakfast meeting that he spent 90 minutes with Hillary Clinton, who had a list of vice presidential candidates to look over that included Mr. Brown, a former two-term Ohio Secretary of State who left state service to enter Congress in 1992 in the House and who has now won back-to-back elections for senate in Ohio in 2006 and 2012 even though more than $40 million has been spent by opponents to knock him off.
Schedules at such events are subject to change, and so it was that Sen. Brown got rerouted to speak Thursday night, before Hillary Clinton delivers her acceptance speech.
Before he had a bite to eat Wednesday morning, Sen. Brown spoke to the Ohio delegation about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president—one he thinks she’s more qualified than anyone before her. He also took on the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, who was in Toledo, Ohio Wednesday.
Gaggling with reporters after his remarks to the delegation, Sen. Brown made his case that Donald Trump makes huge dollars when he outsources the making of his ties, sits and tableware to children and low income workers without worker protections. “That’s money that goes into Trump’s pockets that should go into workers’ pockets.”
Sen. Brown spoke about Tim Kaine, who Hillary Clinton picked for her vice president. Brown said Kaine is one of his best friends in the Senate. Asked about Kaine and the Trans Pacific Partnership, Brown said Kaine] will be there to oppose it and that its only chance is being jammed through congress after the election, when Hillary is elected, by Senate President Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. “If they try to jam it through congress, Hillary will oppose it, Tim Kaine will oppose it, I will oppose it.”
Reporters including Plunderbund asked about Bernie Sanders supporters going forward. Brown said polls are already showing that 90 percent of Sanders’ supporters will vote for Clinton, because among other reasons, she understands them, especially rules to protect workers and the environment. Donald Trump doesn’t understand at all, he suggested, again stating that Trump has made lots of money over the decades from them, and that to now voice concern isn’t valid.
Reporters were unaware that he went through a month-long process in Mrs. Clinton’s vetting process. Brown said he spent two days in a room with six lawyers, then sat with Mrs. Clinton for 90 minutes. “No reporters knew I was being vetted like this,” he said surrounded by reporters. He didn’t have an interest then and he doesn’t have an interest now in being vice president or president, he said.
To Sherrod Brown, becoming chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which also oversees housing and urban affairs, when Hillary Clinton becomes president next year pumps him up. He noted that he and his Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and wife, Connie Schultz, in the 44105 zip code in Cleveland, which the senator reminded the gaggle had more housing foreclosures than any zip code in America in 2007. “There is lots to do to provide housing in America,” he said.
His message tonight will be economic at it core, contrast what Hillary wants to do with what Trump would do. He said people are unhappy for a reason, but blaming the nation’s ills on immigrants and people of color and the disabled, as Donald Trump and his faithful followers have suggested is wrong.
Brown said he’s no fan of long-time Republican columnist George Will, but he said Will’s hypothesis that Trump refuses to release his taxes because it might show he has investments with foreign oligarch in Russia is there to take on. “I don’t know that,” he said, but he’s curious why Trump hasn’t criticized Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin. Brown told reporters to “take that for what it’s worth,” but Trump’s secret dealings trouble him.
For Brown, Donald Trump is a great salesman, but his documented history of defrauding suppliers and not paying banks is worrisome to him. The GOP has been “dog whistling” about race for decades, and when Trump “barks” the GOP is shocked. Brown reminded reporters that Ronald Reagan started dog whistling in the south in 1980, and that George H.W. Bush took it further with his Willie Horton political spot in 1988. Trump’s lax disavowing of Klansman David Duke, he said, sent a signal to white supremacists. “There party created this guy,” he said about Donald Trump.
Asked by Plunderbund about unity week and the walkout at roll call yesterday by many Sanders’ delegates, Sen. Brown set the record straight. Bernie Sanders had great victories and successfully influenced the Democratic Party’s platform, from opposing the TPP to a higher minimum wage and the resignation of the DNC Chairman this week. Other Sanders’ victories included the elimination of a large number of superdelegates. Brown considers Sen. Sanders a good friend he knows well. “I thanked him for what he’s done for unity,” Sen. Brown said, noting that there’s always a few disgruntles. He said there are more Bernie supporters who will vote for Clinton this year than there were Hillary voters eight years ago who voted for then Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
“I meet almost nobody, anyplace, who tells me they voted for Bernie that isn’t on-board for Hillary,” he said, adding, “They generally like Hillary, they find Trump detestable, personally and politically.”