Steelers legends, city and union leaders and working man rock icon Donnie Iris flanked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as she addressed scores of supporters in the Great Hall at Heinz Field on Friday.
"I have a lot of ideas; I could keep you here until the game starts on Sunday," Clinton said.
She beckoned attendees to encourage friends and family to vote Tuesday, emphasizing in a half-hour speech a well-worn platform that includes paid family leave, raising the minimum wage and providing free tuition to public colleges and universities for families making under $150,000.
“We’re going to invest in our people, especially our young people,” Clinton said. “We don’t have anybody to waste or leave behind. We can’t leave any talent on the sidelines.”
The former Secretary of State talked about driving through Pittsburgh as a child with her father, who hails from Scranton. She said she's inspired by the city’s comeback.
“I, with my own eyes, have seen the ups and downs of this great city. And now, when I drive in, I see a positive, optimistic, confident city making progress, moving forward.”
Among the many pre-Clinton speakers were Mayor Bill Peduto, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Senator Bob Casey and Pittsburgh native and entrepreneur Mark Cuban. Clinton also name-dropped down time with Steelers’ owners and 1970s Steel Curtain greats Mel Blount and Franco Harris.
Democratic state Senate nominee Katie McGinty also took the stage. If elected, McGinty would become the first female senator from the commonwealth.
“She will be the kind of independent voice that Pennsylvania families deserve,” Clinton said of McGinty. “Unlike her opponent, she’s never been afraid to stand up to Donald Trump.”
McGinty is facing incumbent Republican Senator Pat Toomey, who never formally endorsed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Clinton admonished Trump’s divisive rhetoric, saying he has a “long history of insulting people.”
“Are we going to build a stronger, fairer, better America?” Clinton asked. “Or are we going to fear each other and the future? Hunker down against each other? I don’t think that will lead to anything positive.”
A recent Quinnipiac University poll shows Clinton beating Trump by about 5 points, with other national points putting her lead within the margin of error. Early voting is not permitted in Pennsylvania, but other states are indicating record numbers of ballots cast.
“Sometimes the fate of the greatest nations comes down to single moments in time,” Clinton said. “This is one of those make-or-break moments for the United States.”