On a day that saw the FBI director say her actions regarding the use of a private email server were “extremely careless,” Hillary Clinton hopped a ride on Air Force One with President Barack Obama for a campaign stop in North Carolina.
The once bitter rivals long ago put political fights behind them, Clinton said, as she spoke glowingly of Obama and his White House leadership. The president returned the favor by tell a cheering audience in Charlotte that there has never been anyone more qualified to be elected president than Clinton.
Neither Clinton nor Obama brought up the announcement by FBI Director James Comey that the agency would not be recommending a criminal indictment for Clinton’s use of more than one private server to send and receive government emails.
Here’s what they are saying about the president’s first campaign appearance for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Obama gives ‘full-throated stemwinder’ for Clinton
“President Obama on Tuesday delivered a full-throated stemwinder on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, making his debut on the campaign trail this year just hours after federal officials criticized Mrs. Clinton’s “careless” handling of emails but said no charges should be filed. The president and his first-term secretary of state sidestepped the email issue during their first joint campaign appearance at a convention center here. Sleeves rolled up, Mr. Obama whipped up the friendly crowd by heaping praise on Mrs. Clinton and taking some swipes at Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.”
No one more qualified
“There has never been anyone — man or woman — who has been more qualified to be elected president than Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama said Tuesday. Obama and Hillary Clinton took turns praising each other at their joint rally, their first campaign event together this year at a stop Charlotte, North Carolina, a state Obama narrowly lost in 2012 after having won it by a small margin in 2008.”
“No president has campaigned strongly for his chosen successor in at least 100 years. Tuesday's event, with President Obama campaigning for Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state and onetime rival, in North Carolina is remarkable for that reason. It kicks off what is likely to be a season of vigorous campaigning by the president. There are reasons presidents haven't campaigned strongly for a successor — sometimes they're unpopular, some nominees try to distance, some presidents were in failing health.”
North Carolina was in the spotlight
“Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama took the stage together at the Charlotte Convention Center for their first joint campaign appearance Tuesday, where they criticized Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s record and emphasized Obama’s support for his former Secretary of State and one-time rival for the presidency. The spotlight of the 2016 presidential race fell squarely on North Carolina, potentially a crucial swing state this year – Obama won its 15 electoral votes in 2008 and Republican Mitt Romney clinched the state in 2012. Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is also planning to hold a 7 p.m. rally in Raleigh on Tuesday.”
Elephant in the room
“President Obama and Hillary Clinton both declined to mention the FBI’s decision not to recommend charges against Clinton for mishandling sensitive information during their first joint campaign event of the year on Tuesday. Just hours after FBI Director James Comey announced that the Justice Department was all but closing the book on Clinton’s case, the sitting president appeared at a Charlotte, N.C., campaign rally to endorse the presumptive Democratic nominee. Throughout the more than hour-long event, neither one addressed the elephant in room.”
“The fates of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, two former bitter rivals, are now inextricably bound together. Never will that be more clear than on Tuesday, when they campaign together for the first time in eight years in Charlotte, North Carolina. Obama's approval ratings -- and his Department of Justice, which, through the FBI, is investigating Clinton's use of a private email server as Secretary of State -- will help determine if Clinton can become only the second person since World War II to earn a third White House term for the same party. Meanwhile, Obama needs Clinton to defend his legacy by defeating Donald Trump, who rose to political prominence waging a "birther" crusade against Obama and has vowed to undo many of the president's accomplishments in office.”