Clinton campaigns in Kentucky before Tuesday’s primary

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the home of Nathan Smith during a campaign stop in Fort Mitchell, Ky., on Sunday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the home of Nathan Smith during a campaign stop in Fort Mitchell, Ky., on Sunday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Hillary Clinton is making a big final push in Kentucky, where rival Bernie Sanders hopes to extend his winning streak and further delay her clinching the Democratic presidential nomination.

Big-name surrogates have been sent, television ads are playing and Clinton is touring the state in advance of Tuesday’s voting. On Sunday, the former secretary of state dropped in at Louisville churches and held rallies in Louisville and Fort Mitchell.

“We need a president who will work every single day to make life better for American families,” Clinton said at a union training center in Louisville. “We want somebody who can protect us and work with the rest of the world. Not talk about building walls, but building bridges.”

While Clinton leads Sanders by nearly 300 pledged delegates going into Tuesday’s primaries in Kentucky and Oregon, the Vermont senator continues to win contests and has pledged to stay in the race until the July convention. With Donald Trump set as the presumptive Republican nominee, Clinton’s team would like to turn their attention to the general election contest, but they still can’t fully make that shift.

A win in at least one of the two upcoming contests would give Clinton momentum heading into the primaries in California and New Jersey in early June. Oregon is favorable terrain for Sanders, but Clinton’s campaign thinks the race is competitive in Kentucky, where she planned to spend Sunday and Monday courting voters.

“It will be close, but either way, as with all the contests this month, we will gain additional delegates and move that much closer to clinching the nomination,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said in an email.

Clinton easily won the Kentucky primary over President Barack Obama in 2008. But this time she has come under criticism in parts of the state after saying in March that “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Clinton later said she misspoke, but the comment has drawn fire in mining communities.

On Sunday in Louisville and in Fort Mitchell, Clinton touted her plan for coal country. Her proposals include protecting miners’ health care coverage and retirement programs, investing in infrastructure in mining communities and repurposing mines. Before a cheering crowd in a Fort Mitchell backyard, Clinton pledged to put husband Bill Clinton — who won the state in 1992 and 1996 —”in charge of revitalizing the economy.” She provided no further details, but during Bill Clinton’s administration, economic growth averaged 4 percent per year, median family income rose and the budget deficit was turned into a surplus.

Clinton said that when people feel left behind, they “become very interested in easy answers and the kind of demagoguery we’ve seen in this election.”

Clinton only briefly mentioned Sanders at both events, repeating a critique that he did not vote to fund the auto industry bailout. Sanders has accused Clinton of mischaracterizing his record on the issue.

Clinton focused most of her fire on Trump, calling him a “loose cannon.” She said his record will “be a big part of the general election, because Americans, regardless of our political affiliation have to really take this vote seriously.”

High-profile advocates campaigning for Clinton in Kentucky include Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Reps. James Clyburn of South Carolina, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Hakeem Jeffries and Joe Crowley of New York.

Clinton is spending about $325,000 on Kentucky ads. Sanders, after seeing her reserve airtime, followed behind with $126,000 in ads, according to advertising tracker Kantar Media’s CMAG.

Going into Tuesday, Clinton has 1,716 pledged delegates from primaries and caucuses, compared with 1,433 for Sanders. When you add superdelegates, or party officials who can back any candidate, Clinton holds a much wider lead. She remains on track to reach the 2,383 needed to win the nomination by early next month.

Clinton and her supporters have avoided calling on Sanders to drop out of the race. But they worry that Sanders could damage her chances by staying put. The Vermont senator’s economic hits on Clinton could benefit Trump, as he seeks to appeal to independent voters. In addition, Clinton cannot start wooing Sanders supporters until he is out of the way and she must continue campaigning in primary states, rather than general election battlegrounds.

A Trump adviser told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the campaign was hoping to appeal to Sanders supporters in the general election.

“You see Democrat support for Bernie Sanders that is potential Trump support, when it’s indicated that they will never vote for Hillary Clinton, and when you analyze who those people are that are saying it, they’re the very demographic that Trump is appealing to in independents and crossover Democrats,” Paul Manafort said.

In the audience for Clinton at the Louisville rally Sunday was local resident Nancy Hatcher, 69, who said she liked Clinton’s experience, though said she wasn’t sure if she could win in Kentucky.

“I don’t know,” she said. “There’s a lot of people that are in love with Bernie Sanders, but I don’t think he is electable and she is.”Bernie SandersCampaign 2016Donald TrumpHillary ClintonUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Deputy public defender Chris Garcia outside the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
As pandemic wanes, SF public defender hopes clients will get ‘their day in court’

Like other attorneys in San Francisco, Deputy Public Defender Chris Garcia has… Continue reading

Hyphen hosts a group show at Space Gallery in San Francisco in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Albert Law/Pork Belly Studio)
What’s in a name? Asian American magazine fights to keep its identity

An investor-backed media group laid claim to the moniker of SF’s long-running Hyphen magazine, sparking a conversation about writing over community history

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over ‘poverty tows’ heats up

‘What can we do to ensure the vehicle stays in the hands of the owner?’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Most Read