Former president Bill Clinton campaigned for his wife in New Hampshire Monday, marking his first solo trail appearance of the 2016 presidential election.
President Clinton, who until now has only appeared alongside Hillary at a handful of campaign events, spoke for about 30 minutes at a rally in Nashua where he emphasized how his wife has become a successful woman despite challenges facing sexism.
"When we fell in love, I thought she was the most amazing person because, unlike now, when more than half the law students in America are women, then they were a distinct minority," he said. "And there she was, at Yale Law School. She could've written her ticket to go anywhere she wanted. All she was really interested in was providing legal services to poor people."
He also told a story about how Hillary Clinton proved her ability to a man who said he doesn't trust the work of "lady lawyers."
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has lobbed various attacks against the Clintons in recent weeks, including accusing President Clinton of “a lot of abuse of women.” Trump told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie that President Clinton’s past “certainly will be fair game” in the months to come and in a potential general election matchup with Hillary Clinton.
"Though Donald Trump has pushed around nearly all of his fellow Republicans, Hillary Clinton won't be bullied or distracted by attacks he throws at her and former President Clinton,” Clinton campaign deputy communications director Christina Reynolds said in a statement last week.
On Monday, Bill Clinton refused to address the controversy over Trump directly. When asked, he said his opinion "is only relevant once they pick a nominee."
He did, however, allude to Trump throughout his remarks. "America is a place that welcomes all people who are willing to treat other people the way they'd like to be treated, willing to follow the law, willing to create a common community," he said.
Trump says he will build a wall on the border with Mexico and ban Muslims from entering the U.S.
During a second campaign event in Exeter, NH, Clinton told the crowd that fostering an "inclusive" America will be the task of the next commander-in-chief.
"The big job of the next president is to give us those things, inclusive economics, inclusive society, inclusive politics and to defend the national security of the country in a way that preserves our values," he said.
Clinton also downplayed expectations, a common tactic in political parlance. He told reporters, "No candidate who borders New Hampshire has ever lost a primary here, except when Howard Dean lost to John Kerry because they both" are from states that border New Hampshire.
Clinton is locked in a tight race with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire.
"I get nervous, people come up to me and say if Hillary wins the election what do you want to be called. I say nobody’s voted yet," he said in Exeter. "I'm superstitious."
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton will be kicking off a two-day swing in Iowa with only four weeks to go to the Iowa caucuses.
Hillary Clinton campaigned in the Granite State on Sunday, where she held three town halls. At the first one in Derry, Republican State Rep. Katherine Prudhomme O’Brien continually interrupted her and tried to ask a question about past allegations of sexual impropriety against President Clinton.
Clinton, visibly angry, eventually told the woman: “You are very rude and I’m not ever gonna call on you.”
New Hampshire has historically been good to the Clintons. It's the spot where Bill Clinton declared himself the "Comeback Kid" back in 1992, after coming in second in the state's all-important primary, and it jolted Hillary Clinton's first presidential campaign back to life when she won the primary in 2008.