RICHMOND, Va -- What was supposed to be a campaign stump speech for his wife began with a moment sympathy from former President Bill Clinton. Speaking to a crowd of Hillary Clinton supporters at the Hippodrome Theater Wednesday, Clinton took a moment to reflect on the lives lost in Central Virginia earlier in the afternoon.
"My heart goes to the people of Virginia and the people who already lost their lives in these tornadoes," Clinton said. "When I was Governor of Arkansas, it was the tornado capital of America. I know what they can do, but if you're not used to them, they can be more dangerous."
A portion of the roof above the stage leaked prior to the 42nd President taking the stage, but a man with a mop cleaned up the puddles and got a cheer from the crowd.
The former President got the largest appaulse, though. Clinton spent more than an hour running through a laundry list of ways he says his wife would be good for Virginia.
Clinton called his wife the "greatest change-maker" he has ever met. Clinton said a Hillary Clinton presidency would allow students to refinance their college loans to help relieve their financial burden, decrease the number of inmates in prison, modernizing the country's above and below ground infrastructure, and reducing health care costs.
"Hillary is running for President to put every American in the picture of the future," he said.
In a recent poll by Christopher Newport University of Virginia voters likely to vote democrat, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 12 percentage points. During his speech, the former president took several subtle jabs at G.O.P. front runner Donald Trump, who spoke in Norfolk earlier in the day.
"[Trump] says he wants to make America great again. Hillary thinks America never stopped being great, but she wants to run to make America whole again where we can all rise together," Clinton said.
During his remarks at Regent University in Virginia Beach Wednesday, Trump called out Clinton for using a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. Trump said Clinton's actions were "so wrong and so unfair," adding that the scandal "will be discussed often," according to our sister station WTKR.
Prior to Clinton's visit, the Virginia Communications Director for the Republican National Committee called Bill Clinton's campaign stop a "red flag" for his wife's campaign.
“In a recent Christopher Newport University poll, ‘liar’ was the number one word used to describe Clinton, followed closely by ‘untrustworthy.’ Meanwhile, crowds for Bernie Sanders continue to grow. The fact that the Clinton campaign has been forced to bring in President Clinton to shore up her poll numbers shows just how weak her campaign is in Virginia," said Garren Shipley.
Virginia voters head to the polls on Super Tuesday to decide who will be the Commonwealth's nominee for President in both parties.