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Clinton Uses DNC to Reach Wary Voters  07/29 06:15

   Long a lightning rod on the right, Hillary Clinton is making a targeted 
appeal to Republicans who challenge Donald Trump's claim to the conservative 
mantle and fear his possible presidency.

   PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Long a lightning rod on the right, Hillary Clinton is 
making a targeted appeal to Republicans who challenge Donald Trump's claim to 
the conservative mantle and fear his possible presidency.

   Clinton's final day of the Democratic National Convention featured speeches 
from a former member of President Ronald Reagan's administration and a U.S. 
Chamber of Commerce official who is heading a GOP group supporting Clinton, 
part of an expanded outreach to Republican voters and donors.

   "I knew Ronald Reagan. I worked for Ronald Reagan," said Doug Elmets, a 
Republican now backing Clinton. "Donald Trump, you are no Ronald Reagan!"

   Clinton pivoted to the left during the primaries, fending off self-described 
democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. Trump's national security stumbles in 
questioning U.S. support for NATO allies and urging Russia to meddle in the 
race provides a general-election opening for Clinton and other Democrats to 
reach out to Republicans.

   In his speech Wednesday night, President Barack Obama evoked Reagan, 
reminding voters that the conservative hero famously called the United States 
"a shining city on a hill." Trump, he said, calls the United States "a divided 
crime scene" and hopes to win votes by scaring people over immigration and 
crime.

   Shortly before Obama spoke, Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent 
Michael Bloomberg urged voters to back Clinton, calling her the "sane, 
competent person."

   In her first post-convention TV interview, Clinton is slated to appear on 
"Fox News Sunday" this weekend. She is holding an event in Republican-leaning 
Nebraska on Monday, giving her the opportunity to reach Republican voters. 
Obama won an electoral vote in an Omaha area congressional district in 2008.

   Several prominent Republicans, including the two former presidents Bush and 
2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, have not endorsed Trump. Clinton has picked up 
some Republican endorsements in recent weeks, including Brent Scowcroft, a 
national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush, and Hank Paulson, a 
Treasury secretary under President George W. Bush.

   "You have to make them feel that they're not traitors. And the way to do 
that is to roll out a bunch of well-known Republicans saying, 'Hey I'm for 
Hillary,'" said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

   The former first lady, New York senator and secretary of state has been the 
frequent Republican target during her more than three decades in national 
politics, most recently for her use of a private email server for government 
business while at the State Department.

   Republicans said that history and her high negative numbers among 
rank-and-file Republican voters make it unlikely she'll find many cross-over 
voters. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday in Philadelphia that 
Trump's fight against "Washington insiders" was prone to turn off some 
Republicans.

   "Donald Trump is the outsider. Hillary Clinton is the corrupt insider. And 
if that's going to mean that we're going to lose some Republican votes, so be 
it," Giuliani said.

   Republicans also argue she should pay more attention to her own base.

   Sean Spicer, chief strategist for the RNC, noted eruptions of boos inside 
the Democratic convention hall and omnipresence of Sanders fans, and said, 
"Clinton should really focus on getting her own party in order before she 
worries about our party."

   But Democrats view Trump's provocative statements and the failed "Never 
Trump" movement as leading indicators in their ability to win over 
college-educated Republicans who have been wary of the businessman's foreign 
policy views or incendiary statements about Mexican-Americans, Muslims and 
women.

   John Stubbs and Ricardo Reyes, two former officials in President George W. 
Bush's administration, attended the convention to generate interest in their 
pro-Clinton grassroots organization called R4C16.org. For likeminded 
Republicans, they said sitting out the election is not enough.

   Reyes called Trump "an existential threat, not just to the party but to the 
entire United States."

   Clinton hopes to win over not only the hearts of Republican voters but also 
the wallets of some of the party's donors. Her campaign has assembled a team to 
field calls from Republicans interested in giving money and helping with 
fundraising.

   In Chicago, former U.S. Attorney Daniel Webb told Clinton fundraisers in 
recent weeks that he supports her and wants to help gather contributions for 
her campaign. In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Webb said Trump's 
"bias" against Hispanics and Muslims, among other groups, spurred him to action.


(KA)

 
 
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