'I am doing great': Hillary Clinton returns to the campaign trail after recovering from pneumonia
Published 15/09/2016 | 21:03
Hillary Clinton returned to the campaign trail on Thursday after three days of rest to recover from pneumonia, telling reporters on her plane from New York that she was “excited” to be back.
“Welcome back to Stronger Together,” she quipped, making a play on words with her campaign slogan as she headed to Greenboro, North Carolina. “I am doing great, thank you so much.”
It came as Donald Trump’s campaign took a swipe at Mrs Clinton’s fitness for the presidency.
Mr Trump’s team released a doctor’s note depicting the 70-year-old as healthy and strong, and giving detailed readings of his cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and vital organs tests.
The letter was discussed in an episode of the television chat show hosted by Dr Mehmet Oz, in which Mr Trump told how he had high levels of testosterone, an excellent golf swing, and believed his speeches at campaign rallies were a form of exercise.
The 70-year-old has studiously avoided commenting on Mrs Clinton’s health, since she felt faint at a September 11 ceremony on Sunday and had to leave early.
But his team could not resist pointing out that "Mr Trump is in excellent health, and has the stamina to endure - uninterrupted - the rigors of a punishing and unprecedented presidential campaign."
But the Clinton campaign is likely to have been dismayed by polls released on Thursday, which showed her support slipping after her illness. The first poll since Sunday’s episode showed Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump in a dead heat, when asked if they would vote for the Democrat, Republican or a third-party candidate.
Mrs Clinton’s support was at 51 per cent in August, but the new CBS/NYT poll found both candidates tied on 46 per cent.
Mrs Clinton’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, said that the enforced break from the election campaign had given the 68-year-old time to “sharpen the final argument,” with just over 50 days to go until the vote.
But, in a seeming admission that the former secretary of state is struggling against her unconventional rival, Ms Palmieri admitted that Mrs Clinton’s policy proposals were failing to resonate.
“Her remarks will focus on what has been at the core of who Hillary Clinton is as a person and the mission of her campaign — how we lift up our children and families and make sure that every child has the chance to live up to their God given potential,” said Ms Palmieri, ahead of the comeback speech.
“Our campaign readily admits that running against a candidate as controversial as Donald Trump means it is harder to be heard on what you aspire for the country’s future and it is incumbent on us to work harder to make sure voters hear that vision.”