One of Hillary Clinton’s messages was clear even before the candidate took the stage Tuesday in Coconut Creek.
‘Vote Early’ -- with a Florida orange for the ‘o’ -- hung above the risers behind the podium where the Democratic presidential candidate would speak.
“I feel good, but boy, I’m not taking anything for granted,” Clinton said, addressing an enthusiastic audience of about 1,750 people at Broward College North Campus. “[This election] it’s so important for Florida -- there are so many issues we need to draw attention to.”
.@HillaryClinton: "The bigger the turnout, the bigger the statement we will make"
— WLRN Public Media (@WLRN) October 25, 2016
By and large, Clinton hit the same talking points as at recent rallies in Miami and Coral Springs. She repeated her endorsement of Patrick Murphy, the Democrat who’s running to against Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate. She bashed opponent Donald Trump’s ego, saying this election is bigger than both of them. And she detailed plans for job creation in clean-energy industries, saying she wants “to make America ‘the clean-energy superpower for the 21st century.”
Clinton says Trump probably would have called George Washington "a loser" for not making himself king. @WLRN
— Kate Stein (@stein_katherine) October 25, 2016
“We can create millions of jobs and protect our planet at the same time,” Clinton said. “No state should care about this more than Florida.”
Students and others in the audience also wildly applauded Clinton’s plan to make college tuition at in-state universities free to families that make less than $125,000 a year.
“I view this as an investment,” Clinton said, adding that she also wants to increase technical education opportunities and offer universal pre-kindergarten programs.
Broward College student Marzaleen Fazekas will be casting her first vote ever this election season.
“A lot of the issues she talks about are really important to me and my friends," Fazekas said.
Students weren’t the only ones enthusiastic about Clinton. A busload of seniors from five residences in Miami-Dade make the trek to Broward. Snacking on peanut butter crackers in the parking lot before the rally, Lillie Holmes said she thinks Clinton will be “an excellent president.”
For Alexandra Simon, the rally was an opportunity to introduce her 13-year-old daughter to a strong female role model.
“I’m trying to raise a strong, independent feminist. So that’s part of the reason we came out here today.”
“I get the feeling that she’s really honest about the things that are important to her,” Holmes said. “She loves people. You know, she loves this country.”
Holmes said she thinks Clinton’s chances of victory are pretty good. But she didn’t dismiss her competition.
“Donald Trump could be a great man,” Holmes said. “Where there’s life, there’s hope. As long as he’s living, there’s always a chance that he’ll grow better.”