Calling this election “incredibly painful” and saying she took no pleasure in the cascade of scandal and allegations hitting her Republican opponent, Hillary Clinton swung through Seattle on Friday, holding a high-priced private fundraiser and stopping briefly at a campaign office to rally supporters.
With Republican Donald Trump hit with a raft of allegations of sexual misconduct and ratcheting his campaign language to more hostile degrees, Clinton called for healing the divisions the election is creating.
“This election is incredibly painful, I take absolutely no satisfaction in what is happening on the other side, with my opponent,” the Democratic presidential nominee said in a brief speech to a packed, cheering room at a Madrona campaign office.
“I am not at all happy about that because it hurts our country, it hurts our democracy, it sends terrible messages to so many people here at home and around the world,” she said. “Damage is being done that we’re going to have to repair. Divisions are being deepened that were going to have to try and heal.”
Speaking next to Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray, both of whom are up for re-election, Clinton stressed the importance of voting in down-ballot races as well as her own.
“It goes without saying that you’re going to have maybe the biggest turnout of any state,” she said to huge cheers.
The brief stop followed a fundraiser at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle featuring a performance by Seattle hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
While a smattering of pro-Trump supporters stood outside the theater — including one in a Clinton mask with devil horns and one with a “Hillary for Prison 2016” sign — Clinton spoke of reconciliation inside.
She said she wanted people “to start looking after each other again,” and that people needed to support each other at the end of an acrimonious campaign season.
“I need your help not just to win this election but to govern and to heal the divides that exist in our country right now,” she told donors.
It was Clinton’s first visit to Washington since March, when she had several public events and a fundraiser before the state’s Democratic caucuses.
And it was likely her last visit before the Nov. 8 general election.
Tickets to the 2,800-seat theater ranged from $250 each to $27,000 for a table of 10 — money that will add to Clinton’s already huge fundraising haul.
Her campaign has raised nearly $7.2 million from Washington donors, compared with $1 million for Trump, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Hundreds of people waited in a driving rainstorm for more than an hour, happy to pay the monetary and meteorological price to see Clinton.
Laura Olin, a Nisqually tribal member, brought her 81-year-old mother, Marlene Mercado, and her 19-year-old daughter, Lexsandria Mercado-Olin, to see Clinton. As the three generations of women watched America’s first major-party female presidential candidate speak, Olin recalled that she became emotional.
“It was awesome,” Olin said. “It almost brought me to tears. She’s going to be the first female president, and I got to see her with my mom and my daughter.”
Republicans criticized Clinton’s visit. In an emailed statement, the state Republican Party compared Clinton’s use of the state as an “ATM for her high-priced fundraiser” with Trump’s big public rallies. He drew tens of thousands during two trips to Washington — speaking to rallies in Spokane and Lynden in May and Everett in August.
“The support for Donald Trump is based on substance: he will defeat ISIS, fix our economy, appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court, and reduce taxes,” said the statement.