Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Vilsack Stumps in Pa. for Clinton

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Vilsack Stumps in Pa. for Clinton

Article excerpt

SOMERSET, Pa. - Tom Vilsack would rather be making the rounds as Hillary Clinton's running mate, but a month after he was bypassed for Tim Kaine, he said he is happy to be stumping for her as a top surrogate.

The U.S. agriculture secretary and former Iowa governor made a swing through his home state of Pennsylvania on Thursday and Friday to make the case for Ms. Clinton. In Somerset, he spoke to local Democratic activists.

"I'm here to equip you with some ideas and thoughts about her so you can talk to some of your friends and neighbors that might be persuadable," Mr. Vilsack, a Pittsburgh native, told the audience in a steamy room in the local Veterans of Foreign Wars hall.

Shelley Glessner, the county Democratic chairwoman, is headed out to do that this weekend at the county fair.

One thing she'll take there from Mr. Vilsack's talk is his information about a Moody's Analytics report showing Ms. Clinton's economic plan would create 414,000 jobs in Pennsylvania while her opponent Donald Trump's plan would cause 135,000 job losses. The report was written by economist Mark Zandi, a former economic adviser to Republican John McCain.

Mr. Vilsack said Ms. Clinton would create jobs by improving infrastructure, helping people transition into burgeoning industries, creating ways to move manufactured products more quickly and efficiently, and by promoting conservation efforts, such as using agricultural waste to make fuel.

That's much different from Mr. Trump's economic policy, he said. "His prescription is, 'We're going to deregulate major industries and we're going to cut taxes for the wealthy,' " he said.

Mr. Vilsack said Mr. Trump's reliance on gut instinct rather than sound advice is dangerous for policy, that his isolationist policies would jeopardize intelligence gathering, that his pro-torture stance would put American troops in harm's way, and that his idea to privatize the veterans administration would open the doors to companies that would put profits ahead of services.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Vilsack criticized Mr. …

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