Hillary Clinton touted her economic stewardship Monday, starting with a private tour of a popular small business — 3 Daughters Brewery — and then holding a rally at The Coliseum downtown.
Clinton cast herself as the champion for small business and Donald Trump as the candidate for big corporations.
“His tax plans will give super big tax breaks to large corporations and the really wealthy,” she told about 2,000 people at The Coliseum in downtown St. Petersburg, dismissing Trump’s economic plans as repackaged trickle-down economics.
“We’re going to make the wealthy pay their fair share,” she said, drawing cheers. “I am not going to raise taxes on the middle class but with your help we are going to raise it on the wealthy.”
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Andy Bragg, a 66-year-old retiree from St. Petersburg, said outside the rally that Clinton “checks all the key boxes” in terms of experience.
“I’m an independent, and you also have to factor in who she’s running against,” Bragg said. “[Donald Trump] would be very bad economically, internationally.”
Since the Democratic National Convention concluded 10 days ago, Clinton has been visiting battleground states across the country to promote what she calls her “100-day Jobs Plan” that promises to break through Washington gridlock to fund a massive infrastructure program upgrading America’s roads, bridges and power grid.
The 3 Daughters visit was closed to the public. The rally at The Coliseum was open to the public, but the Clinton campaign said it had distributed all available tickets.
Many interviewed outside the rally said that while they lean Democrat, the Republican nominee this year is unqualified for the presidency.
“I think he’s scary,” said Cynthia Hanks, 68, of St. Petersburg. “I think he’s dishonest. I think he’s in the wrong place. I don’t think he’s presidential material.”
Not everyone was a committed Clinton supporter. Dara Gyorko, a 22-year-old graduate student at the University of South Florida, said she came to “get some more information on what the heck is going on in 2016.”
She wouldn’t rule out voting third party, but added: “I’m not voting for Trump.”
The former first lady recalled visiting The Coliseum 20 years earlier while campaigning for President Bill Clinton’s reelection.
“I’m not new to this area or its concerns,” she told the crowd.
She was scheduled to appear at a Monday evening rally in Kissimmee.
Tampa Bay Times staff writer Jack Suntrup contributed to this report.
Clinton in Miami on Tuesday
Hillary Clinton’s campaign event in Miami on Tuesday won’t be a rally or a roundtable. Instead, she will visit a clinic to focus on efforts to combat the Zika virus.
The Democratic presidential nominee will tour the Borinquen Health Care Center, 3601 Biscayne Blvd., in Miami’s Midtown neighborhood, her campaign announced Sunday. The mosquito-borne Zika virus has been identified chiefly in nearby Wynwood.
The small event is not open to the public. Clinton will also attend two private fundraisers in Miami Beach.
Clinton’s Republican rival, Donald Trump, has avoided Zika on the stump — even while campaigning in Daytona Beach and Jacksonville last week — and sounded unprepared on the subject when a local TV news reporter asked him about it. He said Florida Gov. Rick Scott probably had “the Zika” “under control.”