I chatted with voters at Hillary Clinton’s event in Commerce City today before and after the parade of speakers. Here are four vignettes, including two opposing veteran perspectives.
Michael Lobato graduated from Adams City High School with the class of 1963 and is a veteran of Vietnam, he said.
He described himself as a “lifelong Democrat,” but he considers Clinton the “lesser of two evils.”
“She gave a lot of rhetoric,” said Lobato, 71. “I don’t know where the money’s going to come from.”
As for Trump: “Trump scares the living hell out of me,” he said, calling the candidate a “bigoted sociopath and a bully.” He added that Trump was “a coward” who shouldn’t be trusted with nuclear weapons, while Clinton is “much more stable.”
He added that he was deeply disturbed by Trump’s comments about the family of slain U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, in part because he and Khan both served in the 1st Infantry Division.
Daniel King told people exiting the event that a vote for Hillary was a vote for ISIS. King runs ak47world.com and said he likes Trump because Trump has talked more about health care for veterans, and Trump ran a multi-million dollar fundraiser related to veterans.
“I’m dying of cancer. That’s why I want Donald Trump,” said King, 60. He is a military veteran of Vietnam, he said. He believes Donald Trump will provide better medical care for veterans, in part because Trump had run a multi-million dollar fundraiser.
King noted that he had been interviewed by the Secret Service one or more times since 2003, when he went to Tattered Cover Book Store wearing a Soviet special-forces uniform in order to protest Hillary Clinton’s book signing.
“I gave her the Soviet salute,” he said, because he suspects she has Communist connections.
Here we are talking.
Part of the reason Clinton’s here in Adams County is likely its large Latino community. Commerce City in particular is about 53 percent Latino. Along with Jefferson County, it represents one of the fastest-growing Latino populations in the state.
Clinton had a “really strong” presence here during the 2008 primaries, according to attendee TommyRae Sena, who described himself as a behind-the-scenes local politico. (He helped with an election campaign for former Denver mayor Federico Peña.)
“It’s not only just the Latino vote, but the diversity,” he says. He says that Clinton’s team has been ramping out its Get Out The Vote effort here now.
“They’re moving hard,” he says.
Berenice Arroyo said she identified with Clinton’s story about her father’s work as a small-business operator.
Of the speech in general: “It was the opportunity to just see history being made. This is what we’re going to talk about in 40 years,” the 21-year-old said.
The Littleton resident said there is “still some skepticism” about Clinton among the Latino community. “Maybe they still don’t know who she really is,” she said.
She knows quite a few people supporting Trump, she said. Most are white, but a few are Latino, she said.