TAMPA — Democrat Hillary Clinton spent her 69th birthday Wednesday campaigning in Florida, where she chastised Republican Donald Trump for using the waning days of the election to promote his new luxury hotel in the nation’s capital.
At campaign rallies in Tampa and the Palm Beach county suburb of Lake Worth, Clinton assailed Trump’s business record, calling the real estate mogul “the poster boy for everything wrong in our economy.”
“While the hotel may be new, it’s the same old story,” Clinton told a crowd of about 2,100 supporters inside a gymnasium at Palm Beach State College He relied on undocumented workers . . . most of the products were made overseas . . . he has used Chinese steel instead of American steel. The facts show he has stiffed American workers, he has stiffed American businesses.”
Earlier, Trump, 70, celebrated the official opening of the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, where he touted the $212 million project as being built “under budget and ahead of schedule,” according to The Associated Press. He later headlined two campaign rallies in North Carolina.
In July, The Washington Post reported that undocumented immigrant workers were hired as subcontractors on the site. At the time, Trump’s corporate attorney said, “The obligation to check all workers on site is exclusive to Lend Lease” a company Trump hired to oversee construction work at the site.
In Tampa, before a crowd of 4,500 supporters at the Curtis-Hixon Waterfront Park, Clinton was joined by celebrity chef José Andres, a native of Spain, who backed out of opening a restaurant at Trump’s new hotel, citing his disdain for Trump’s comments on Mexicans and other immigrant groups.
“I think one of my biggest jobs after this election will be bringing this country together, and I’m going to need your help,” Clinton told the Tampa audience, which also featured an appearance by actress Angela Bassett.
At both rallies, Clinton continued to question Trump’s ability to uphold the nation’s founding principles, saying she did not think he had read the U.S. Constitution.
“Listening to Donald Trump campaign I truly doubt that he has ever read the Constitution,” Clinton said. “Or if he did, back in school, he certainly doesn’t remember it, and he doesn’t understand it is the most important founding document for the longest lasting, greatest democracy in the history of the world.”
Clinton’s two-day Florida trip was part of a weeklong effort to rally voters in battleground states that permit early voting ahead of Election Day on Nov. 8.
“We can’t take our foot off the gas, even for a short time,” Clinton told supporters in Lake Worth. “Every vote counts.”
According to the Florida Division of Elections as of Wednesday morning about 2 million early ballots had been cast, with Republicans slightly outnumbering Democratic participation — 832,000 registered Republicans had voted, compared with 826,000 registered Democrats.
Underscoring the significance of winning Florida and its 29 Electoral College votes, Clinton’s campaign announced Wednesday she will return to the state on Saturday for multiple rallies.
Clinton, speaking to reporters aboard her campaign plane Wednesday, said she “felt good” about her prospects leading up to Election Day, but said she hoped voters would not be lulled into “complacency” and not turn out to vote thinking she was assured a victory based on her polling edge.
“We’re not taking anything for granted,” Clinton said. “Not even an ounce of complacency. We want everyone to keep helping us . . . knocking on doors . . . reaching out to everyone.”
Looking ahead to election night, Clinton’s campaign announced that she would cap off the campaign, addressing supporters at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center — a venue on Manhattan’s West Side fitted with a glass façade and ceiling.