MILWAUKEE (AP) — Hillary Clinton called the wave of Democratic victories in this week’s elections proof that “hope beat hate” and that the country is “one step closer to an America that is fairer,” prompting cheers from a crowd in Wisconsin Thursday, a state that was crucial to President Donald Trump’s victory and one she didn’t visit during her campaign.
Clinton’s remarks at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater came during her a national tour to promote her new book, “What Happened.” She received a standing ovation when she took the stage and quipped: “I should’ve come back to Wisconsin sooner.”
Wisconsin had been thought to be part of a Democratic firewall that was supposed to help Clinton, but she became the first nominee from her party to lose the state since 1984. When Trump won Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, The Associated Press declared him the winner.
Clinton insisted, however, that she was proud of the campaign she ran and called the Russian’s interference in the election unprecedented. The hour-long interview was moderated by Bradley Whitford, who starred in “The West Wing.”
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Clinton’s stop in Milwaukee came amid revelations of a contemplated effort by her party to replace her as the Democratic nominee last year. The Democratic National Committee’s former chairwoman, Donna Brazile, said in a new book that she thought about replacing Clinton with Joe Biden after Clinton fainted in September. Brazile also said in her book that a fundraising agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC gave the candidate too much control over party resources. The party’s current chairman, Tom Perez, has called Brazile’s claims “ludicrous” and “without merit.”
But Clinton didn’t address Bralize’s claims. Instead, she praised the Democrats who won elections on Tuesday.
“In the elections across America, hope beat hate,” she said, and referenced Danica Roem, a former journalist who made history as the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a state legislature in the United States. She unseated Republican Del. Bob Marshall in Virginia, one of the state’s longest serving and most socially conservative lawmakers.
“This was a resounding affirmation of the values we share,” she said and added that the country is “one step closer to an America that is fairer, kinder, more equal.”
She called Trump’s inaugural speech was dark and divisive and mocked him as someone “who proudly doesn’t want to learn anything.”
Tickets for the event Thursday ranged from $25 to $125 each. But people could also pay $500 for a front-row seat, a copy of Clinton’s book, and a meet-and-greet.
The Riverside Theater seats 2,558 people and the event was nearly sold out.