Summit County politicians ready for Clinton versus Trump on Monday
September 23, 2016
Will Hillary Clinton offer a positive message on Monday night in the first presidential debate?
And will Donald Trump act up in front of the national television audience?
The leaders of the Summit County political parties late in the week were talking about topics like those as they were readying to watch Clinton and Trump share the stage, saying that the debate will be important to both of the candidates. Although the chairs of the Summit County Democrats and the county Republicans each are running their own campaigns for the County Council, they plan to take time for the presidential debate on Monday.
Summit County Republican Party chair Tal Adair, an appointed County Councilor who is seeking a partial term, and Glenn Wright, the chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and a County Council candidate, say they will watch both of the presidential hopefuls carefully on Monday night. They want to hear them outline their platforms and watch how they react in a debate setting.
Wright said he anticipates Democratic nominee Clinton will offer a stark contrast in mannerisms to Republican nominee Trump. He said she is better prepared for the White House with her political experience. She will show herself as a "future president" while Trump is "kind of a wildcard," he said.
"The Trump version of hate and fear versus a positive view of how working together we can build a better country," Wright said about his expectations for the debate.
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Wright said he wants Clinton to offer ideas on Monday about issues like immigration, climate change, tax policies, health care and the federal minimum wage.
That would contrast with the messages of the Trump campaign, he said. Trump is "pushing hate and fear buttons," Wright said, describing that he is "very disappointed in his view of the world."
He said Trump's platform would hurt Summit County. The Republican's tough immigration stand would "devastate the work force" of Park City and surrounding Summit County as well as break up hundreds of local families, Wright said. He said Trump denies the idea of a changing climate and supports the coal, oil and gas industries.
"That policy will eventually destroy Summit County," Wright said.
Adair, meanwhile, wants his party's candidate to appear as if he is fit to serve in the White House. He said that has not always been the case during Trump's campaign. Adair said the nominee has "that know-how and experience" that should be on display on Monday.
"I sure hope we see that he starts to show a little more presidential, what we like to see in a president," Adair said, adding, "Stop the antics and just get down to business telling us what you'll do."
Adair said he wants Trump to address issues like his plans for a strong national defense, leadership abroad, the economy and job creation. He also wants to hear both of the candidates discuss cutting business regulations.
"I think Trump does win on Monday . . . He'll come out, come out strong," Adair said.
Neither of the nominees performed well in Summit County during the March presidential preference poll in Utah, held as the parties gathered for caucuses in the state. Bernie Sanders trounced Clinton in the Democratic voting, more than doubling her total in Summit County. Ted Cruz beat Trump by a wide margin in the county as the eventual nominee eked out a second-place finish with John Kasich polling third.
Summit County voters since 2000 have favored the Republican candidate for the White House three times and the Democratic candidate once. The county went to Republican George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and Republican Mitt Romney in 2012.
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