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  1. Florida Politics

Bill Clinton stumps for Hillary Clinton in Safety Harbor

Bill Clinton stumps for his wife at the Safety Harbor Community Center, where hundreds gathered Tuesday, Oct. 11,  2016.
Bill Clinton stumps for his wife at the Safety Harbor Community Center, where hundreds gathered Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016.
Published Oct. 12, 2016

SAFETY HARBOR —Former President Bill Clinton spent his first-ever visit to Safety Harbor on Tuesday asking voters whether they'd rather be entertained or empowered, whether answers are more important than anger and "whether you really believe that we can possibly deal with this complicated world by building walls."

More than a thousand supporters wrapped around the Safety Harbor Community Center hours before he arrived. Clinton told the crowd his wife would support clean energy, climate change policy, job creation, affordable college and a "massive infrastructure plan" to repair and rebuild crumbling pipes and highways.

"What we know from the past is that people who get elected president … actually try to do what they say they're going to do," he said. "So we ought to pay attention to what they say."

It was Bill Clinton's third stop of the day in the state while Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore stumped in South Florida to sign up as many Democratic voters as possible before today's registration deadline. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump also appeared in Panama City Beach, underscoring the crucial race to win Florida, worth 29 of the 270 needed electoral votes.

Supporters outside held signs reading "Love Trumps Hate" and talked about the pride of voting for someone who could become the first female leader of the free world.

"She is the most qualified for this job that has ever run," said Angie Guinta, 66. "She's the smartest person in the room all the time and represents all people, not just some."

Clinton spoke of the need for racial harmony and the elimination of Islamophobia. He spoke of the divisiveness of the election without naming his wife's opponent.

"We've got to prove that America can lead the world," he said. "She ought to be elected because she's got the best ideas … She never closes the door."

Contact Tracey McManus at tmcmanus@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4151. Follow @TroMcManus.