On the trail

Clinton rides Air Force One to 1st joint campaign stop with President Obama

President Obama and Hillary Clinton emerging from Air Force One in Charlotte, North Carolina (Instagram).

Hours after FBI Director James Comey announced Tuesday that the bureau was concluding its probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server and wouldn’t recommend criminal charges be brought against her by the Justice Department, the presumptive Democratic nominee boarded Air Force One and flew to Charlotte North Carolina along with President Obama.

When Clinton and Obama landed in Charlotte, the two emerged from Air Force One smiling and waving to news photographers. The president posted a photo of them deplaning on Clinton’s Instagram account, saying, “I’m taking over her account to share a few thoughts with you about the stakes in this race, and why I think she’d make a great president.”

 

Clinton and Obama arrived at Charlotte Convention Center for their first joint campaign stop of the 2016 cycle and were greeted by a contingent of enthusiastic supporters who cheered and chanted her name. When Clinton began addressing the audience, she did so from behind President Obama’s official podium, with the Seal of the President of the United States of America emblazoned in its front, a subtle hint about what she thinks the outcome of the November election will be.

Clinton started out by slamming the man who will likely be her opponent, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. She criticized Trump’s temperament, saying he was “unfit” to hold office, and derided his general view of life in America in 2016.

“This election is our chance to say our country is better than this. In America, we don’t tear each other down — we lift each other up,” Clinton told supporters. “We build bridges, not walls,” she said as the crowd erupted in applause. Then, she turned to President Obama, who was seated just behind her, and introduced him to the audience. Obama strode to the podium to a wild standing ovation.

“I’m fired up!” Obama said as the applause died down. “Hillary got me fired up!”

“I’m here today because I believe in Hillary Clinton. And I want you to help elect her the next president of the United States of America.” The crowd then launched into a chant of “HILL-A-RY!” Obama also took aim at Trump’s penchant for popping off late night missives on Twitter, saying, “Everybody can tweet, but nobody actually knows what it takes to do the job until you’ve sat behind the desk.”

Watch the complete speech by Clinton and Obama below.

And in the below video, The Associated Press speaks with J. Michael Bitzer, a professor at Catawba College, about the importance for Hillary Clinton of having President Obama squarely in her corner, and why Obama helps improve her image with millennial voters — a bloc she’s historically struggled to appeal to.

After wrapping up the rally, Clinton and Obama addressed the overflow crowd at the Charlotte Convention Center, where people clamored to get a photo of them on their smartphones. Dan Merica, a producer for CNN, captured a surreal image of practically everyone in the crowd reaching their arms into the air to snap a photo at the same time and posted it on Twitter.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.

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