Monday, August 15, 2016

Agriculture secretary says Trump's missteps have opened door for Clinton to win over rural voters

Tom Vilsack
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has opened the door for Democrat Hillary Clinton to win over rural voters who typically support the GOP, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told former Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod on "The Axe Files," a podcast produced by CNN and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.

Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa, a battleground state, said Trump's disassociation from rural America has given Clinton "an opening to make a push for rural voters," Zane Maxwell reports for CNN.

Vilsack said Trump's "notion of this country is not what I hear in rural areas. His notion of division is not what I hear from a lot of good people in these towns. With [Trump], people are saying, 'I'm really uncomfortable with him, so what's my option?' Well, if we don't speak to them, there is no option."

Vilsack said Democrats, who are mainly an urban party and sometimes oblivious to the value of rural communities, have a golden opportunity to seize rural voters' support. He told Axelrod, "The food we eat, the water we drink, the energy we use, and a significant percentage military we rely on comes from rural America. And those folks in those rural communities do not believe that there is a recognition or appreciation on the part of Democrats for that contribution to our country. We're in a position to say she listens. He doesn't listen; he listens to himself."

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