After illness, Hillary Clinton returns to the hustings
Julie Pace and Lisa Lerer, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, September 15, 2016 6:22AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 15, 2016 4:34PM EDT
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Back on the campaign trail, a reflective Hillary Clinton said Thursday that her three-day, doctor-mandated break gave her new perspective on why she's running to be president.
"I am running for everyone working hard to support their families, everyone who has been knocked down but gets back up," Clinton said at a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The rally marked Clinton's first public appearance since Sunday, when she abruptly left a 9-11 memorial service after getting dizzy and dehydrated. After a video emerged showing her stumbling and being supported by aides, Clinton's campaign said she had been diagnosed with pneumonia.
"Sitting at home was pretty much the last place I wanted to be," Clinton said with a smile on Thursday, after walking onstage to James Brown's song "I feel good."
Clinton's Sunday incident prompted new questions about both candidates' openness regarding their health. Trump released a new letter from his doctor Thursday detailing his blood pressure, cholesterol and medications, one day after Clinton made public a letter from her physician with similar information. Both candidates' doctors declared them fit to serve as president.
Trump's letter said the Republican is 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds -- giving him a body mass index falling into the "overweight" range. The 70-year-old has blood pressure of 116 over 70 and his total cholesterol is 169, his doctor says.
Trump's team appeared to take a swipe at Clinton's brief absence from the campaign trail in a statement accompanying the new health information.
"We are pleased to disclose all of the test results which show that Mr. Trump is in excellent health, and has the stamina to endure -- uninterrupted -- the rigours of a punishing and unprecedented presidential campaign and, more importantly, the singularly demanding job of president of the United States," the campaign said.
Until Thursday, the only information on Trump's health had come in a widely ridiculed letter from his doctor declaring he would be the healthiest person to ever serve as president. Before releasing the new details to the public, Trump turned over a copy to Dr. Mehmet Oz while taping an episode of Oz's TV show.
Clinton mocked Trump's television rollout of his health records, saying "I'll never be the showman that my opponent is -- just look at the show he put on for Dr. Oz today."
With two months until Election Day, the race between Clinton and Trump is far tighter than many in both parties expected. Clinton continues to be dragged down by voters' mistrust in her, but she still maintains more pathways than Trump to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.
Clinton's confidence in the electoral map was underscored in her decision to make her first stop this week in North Carolina, the only battleground state President Barack Obama lost in 2012. Trump almost certainly needs to carry the state in order to win the White House, while Clinton's team is eager to block his path.
Clinton slammed North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory for signing a law to prevent transgender people from using restrooms in schools and state government buildings that do not correspond to the gender on their birth certificates. The decision has angered businesses in the state, and this week the NCAA announced it was pulling seven sports championships from North Carolina.
"This is where bigotry leads, and we can't afford it, not here or anywhere else," Clinton said.
Trump, after releasing his health information, spent Thursday laying out plans to lower taxes by $4.4 trillion over a decade and cut regulations, including some of those currently intended to protect the food Americans eat and the air they breathe The Republican said his plans would raise the nation's economic growth rate to at least 3.5 per cent, well above its current rate of about 2 per cent, and create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years.
The heart of Trump's plan is a revised tax code, which includes a pledge that no business should pay more than 15 per cent of its income in taxes, down from the current 35 per cent highest corporate tax rate. Few businesses now pay the full 35 per cent rate, taking advantage instead of many deductions in the existing tax code.
AP writers Jon Lemire in New York and Jill Colvin in Washington contributed to this report