Hillary Clinton urged young voters not to tune out from what she admitted has been, at times, a “depressing” presidential election.
“This is going to be close. We need everyone off the sidelines,” Clinton told students at Temple University in Philadelphia. “Not voting is not an option. That just plays into Trump’s hands.”
Clinton’s campaign has struggled to win over millenials, a critical group of voters Democrats will need to keep the White House in November. Polls show a number of them have turned to Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
The Democratic presidential nominee acknowledged that many younger voters still have reservations about her candidacy. But, she argued, young people have much more to lose if the country elects a candidate she painted as intolerant and who has a history of racial discrimination.
“We are facing a candidate with a long history of racial discrimination in his businesses, who re-tweets white supremacists, who led the birther movement to delegitimize our first black president. And he’s still lying about it today,” Clinton said.
“We need to stand up to this hate,” she added.
In front of the young crowd, Clinton focused on issues like student debt and health care while mentioning the college affordability plan she helped craft with Bernie Sanders, whose primary campaign was bolstered by young voters.
Ahead of the speech, Clinton penned an op-ed promising younger voters that they would have “a champion in the White House” if she is elected.
“Politics can be discouraging. This election in particular can be downright depressing sometimes,” Clinton said at her rally. “But it matters, it really does.”
The former secretary of state began her remarks by thanking first responders after reports that the suspect wanted in connection with explosives placed in New York and New Jersey has been captured.
"This is fast moving situation and sobering reminder we need steady leadership," she said.