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Clinton tells Pittsburgh rally to ‘dream and build together’

Jason Cato
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves at a cheering crowd as she is introduced by businessman Mark Cuban at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, a stop on her and running mate Tim Kaine's 'Stronger Together' bus tour on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune Review
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at an election rally held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves at a cheering crowd as billionaire and former Mt. Lebanon resident Mark Cuban shakes the hand of her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, left, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, a stop on their 'Stronger Together' bus tour on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
The crowd reaches for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as she shakes hands along the rope line after speaking at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, a stop on her and running mate Tim Kaine's 'Stronger Together' bus tour on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, a stop on her and running mate Tim Kaine's 'Stronger Together' bus tour on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Jame Threatt, 59, of Oakland laughs and applauds as billionaire and former Mt. Lebanon resident Mark Cuban speaks at a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The rally was held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh on Saturday, July 30, 2016. Threatt says he is voting for Clinton for her promise to protect 'jobs and justice.' He thinks she will 'look out for the working class people in this town.'
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune Review
Former President Bill Clinton and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton take the stage during an election rally at The David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh on July 30, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Supporters cheer as they listen to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speak at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, a stop on her and running mate Tim Kaine's 'Stronger Together' bus tour on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
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Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine addresses a rally at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, a stop on his and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's 'Stronger Together' bus tour on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Mohamed Metwalli, 65, of Pittsburgh's North Side smiles as he listens to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speak at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Saturday, July 30, 2016, in Pittsburgh. Metwalli is wearing a button of himself and Clinton from her first presidential campaign in 2008.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Sec. Hillary Clinton listens to her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, speak at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, a stop on her 'Stronger Together' bus tour on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Billionaire businessman and Pittsburgh native Mark Cuban speaks on why he is endorsing Hillary Clinton before introducing her at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, a stop on her and running mate Tim Kaine's 'Stronger Together' bus tour on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Lynn Banaszak, 49, of Mt. Washington, holds a photo of her late niece, Caileigh McDowell, 17, of Woodland, as she listens from the front row of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speak on Saturday, July 30, 2016. 'It was her dream to see Hillary Clinton become president since she was 8-years-old,' Banaszak said of her niece.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wraps her arm around her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as they are greeted by the crowd at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, a stop on her and Sen. Tim Kaine's 'Stronger Together' bus tour on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine listens to running mate Hillary Clinton speak at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, a stop on her and Kaine's 'Stronger Together' bus tour on Saturday, July 30, 2016 in Pittsburgh.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Douglas Jupiter George, 3, of Castle Shannon, peeks over the barrier to see Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speak at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, a stop on her and running mate Tim Kaine's 'Stronger Together' bus tour on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Judi Seibel, center, 65, of Gibsonia, applauds as Democratic presidental candidate Hillary Clinton takes to the stage at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, a stop on her and running mate Tim Kaine's 'Stronger Together' bus tour on Saturday, July 30, 2016. 'I've been waiting to vote for Hillary my entire life,' said Seibel, a self-described feminist. 'And not only because she's a woman, but because her heart is in the right place. She understands.'
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Water, a microphone, and a sole throat lozenge sit inside the podium where Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her running mate Sen. Tim Kaine spoke at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Saturday, July 30, 2016 in Downtown.

Hillary Clinton’s post-convention bus tour rolled through Pittsburgh on Saturday — hours late but on point to a packed crowd at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

“I want us to really believe that America’s best years are ahead,” Clinton told a crowd of several thousand people who waited for hours to get into the building and then hours more for the star of the show to arrive. “But to do that, we have to work together.”

Clinton took the stage about 7 p.m. for an event that was supposed to start at 4:15 p.m. No one seemed to mind.

Emily Martin even dragged attendees of her bachelorette party to the rally, including some who supported Clinton’s primary election rival, Bernie Sanders.

“We waited outside for 2 12 hours,” Martin, 32, of Squirrel Hill said on her way in. “But it was certainly worth it to see the future president.”

Clinton, 68, on Tuesday became the first woman to be nominated for president by a major U.S. political party. She accepted the nomination Thursday, the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

She and her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, along with their spouses, Bill Clinton and Anne Holton, visited Pittsburgh as part of a three-day bus tour. It departed Friday from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, with stops Saturday in Johnstown, Pittsburgh and then Youngstown, Ohio. The tour through the two swing states concludes Sunday with stops in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.

‘I’m hoping I’m hired’

Clinton said she plans to treat the next 100 days leading up to November’s election like a prolonged job interview.

“I’m hoping I’m hired and the other guy is fired,” Clinton told her supporters.

Republicans two weeks ago officially nominated “the other guy” — Donald Trump — as the GOP candidate for president at their convention in Cleveland. Trump made famous the line “You’re fired” on his reality television show “The Apprentice.”

Trump, 70, isn’t ignoring the importance of the same states being targeted by Clinton and Kaine. He will campaign Monday in Columbus, Ohio, and Harrisburg.

Several dozen Trump supporters protested outside the convention center and tried to engage Clinton’s crowd — which stretched around the block — as they entered. A reported 2,000 people were not able to get in, as the third-floor ballroom filled to capacity.

“I’m supporting Trump,” said protester Jim Bare, 66, of Mt. Lebanon. “I’m not crazy about him, but I’m more anti-Hillary. She’d be a total disaster for our country.”

If elected, Clinton said within her first 100 days in office, she would implement a robust infrastructure program to create jobs and rebuild interstates, roads, bridges, ports and the electric grid across the country. Affordable, high-speed Internet access must be available to everyone, she said.

“Five million kids don’t have access to the Internet at home. That’s 5 million kids being left behind,” Clinton said. “How are we going to be a competitive country in the 21st century if we can’t get broadband to every home and business in America?”

Higher wages, equal pay, more jobs and support for trades-related training programs are part of the Clinton agenda, she said, as are free tuition for two years of community college, debt-free graduation from public universities and revamping the existing student loan system to make repayments more affordable.

Mark Cuban headlines Clinton backers

Pittsburgh native and self-made billionaire Mark Cuban introduced Clinton to the gathering inside the convention center.

“I’m ready to vote for a real leader,” said Cuban, a successful entrepreneur who owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and is an investor of “Shark Tank” on ABC. “I’m ready to tell the world that I endorse Hillary Clinton.”

Cuban lauded his upbringing in Pittsburgh and Mt. Lebanon and derided Trump only as a Pittsburgher could.

“Is there a bigger jagoff in the world than Donald Trump?” Cuban asked.

Others who spoke also took shots at Trump, his campaign and Republicans in general.

“They want to make America fearful. They want to divide us,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills. “We’re the city of bridges, not the city of walls.”

Katie McGinty, Pennsylvania’s Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, blasted Trump for encouraging Russia and leader Vladimir Putin to invade allies and hack U.S. government computers.

“What he is spewing is pure poison for pluralism,” McGinty said. “Donald Trump is like a strongman wannabe with this ‘bromance’ with the bad guys.”

McGinty linked her opponent, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, a Lehigh Valley Republican, to the Republican presidential nominee, referring to the “Trump-Toomey team.” She did the same during a speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.

With his young daughter, Gracie, in tow, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman — a former Sanders supporter — asked Democrats to support Clinton and stand against Trump.

“I think we all know a vote for Donald Trump is a vote for anarchy,” Fetterman said. “I implore you, not as a Democrat or a mayor, but as a father of three. Please, please don’t sit this one out.”

Kaine’s turn

After taking the stage to roaring applause, Kaine introduced himself to the crowd — part of the campaign strategy behind the bus tour across Pennsylvania and Ohio. The ticket also wants to bolster support in heavily Democratic areas, like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, as well as to make inroads into Republican-leaning areas and with working-class white voters who comprise much of Trump’s base.

“We’re going to make history on Nov. 8. And then we’re going to make history every day by doing great things for America,” Kaine said. “Hillary’s got plans. Donald Trump has no plans. Not a single plan. He just says, ‘Believe me.’ ”

Clinton’s campaign website lists her return to Pennsylvania on Aug. 15, when she is set to visit Scranton with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

On Saturday, Clinton called her bus trip through Pennsylvania sentimental, as her father was from Scranton and the family drove there each year from their home outside Chicago.

“Pennsylvania … is one of the most beautiful places on earth,” Clinton said.

She called Pittsburgh a “great American city” and lauded the city for reinventing itself after the collapse of the steel industry. Still more must be done for the future, she said.

“This country is really a place that people dream and build together,” Clinton said. “The American dream is not limited, my friends. The American dream is as big as you make it.”

Jason Cato is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or 412-230-7936.

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