Clinton takes on Donald Trump – outside his Las Vegas hotel
Frontrunner targets Republicans before tonight’s Democratic debate (1.30am Irish time)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to Culinary Workers Union members gathered in front of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
They came in droves, pounding drum lines, carrying signs promising “No Contract, No Peace”, chanting in Spanish and English, pressing ever closer to an elevated platform just outside the Trump International Hotel here. But as a microphone clicked on and their energy reached fever pitch, their primary instructions were not to whoop a booming rally cry, but to back up about 20 feet to make room for an unannounced and unknown special guest.
So the sea of workers clad in the Culinary Workers Union crimson inched backward, murmuring a bit before returning to a frenzy over the course of several speeches until the guest, Hillary Rodham Clinton, clad in similar colours, finally arrived.
She spoke for less than five minutes, but she was forceful and energised, her voice sometimes so loud that the microphone’s feedback clipped out as she brought the crowd to its most fervent pitch with a poignant word: Trump. “You have a right to safe working conditions, you have a right to a living wage, and you have to say yes to all of that and you have to say no to efforts to prevent you from organising,” Clinton told the crowd, “and that means saying no to Donald Trump.”
Clinton declared “we’re here together in solidarity to organise”, both a promise of her commitment to labour and perhaps a plea to one of the most powerful unions in Nevada. The Culinary Workers Union has some 55,000 members, and they have yet to endorse a candidate.
Despite fighting for that eventual endorsement, Clinton refrained from making any remarks about the candidates she will be facing off against in the debate on Tuesday night (1.30am Irish time). Instead, as she has throughout most of her campaign, she directed her criticisms at Republicans, this time Trump.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Clinton’s closest challenger for the Democratic nomination, did not attend the rally, but some in the crowd chanted “Bernie! Bernie!” when a car passed by in response to its occupants shouting his name. But Clinton was unfazed as she honed her attack on Trump.
“We also want to send a message to Mr Trump that if you are going to run for president, then you should represent all the people of the United States, and that includes hard working people,” she said. “You should not stand in the way of the right to organise because that’s what built the middle class of America.”
New York Times