Candidates stress jobs and economy as mad dash to Election Day begins

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IN FLIGHT - SEPTEMBER 05:  Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters on her campaign plane enroute to Iowa on September 5, 2016. Hillary Clinton is kicking off a Labor Day campaign swing to Ohio and Iowa on a new campaign plane.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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JOHN YANG:  From Labor Day to Election Day, 64 days and six counting.  For the presidential candidates, today marked the start of two months of cross-country campaigning to win the White House.

Lisa Desjardins has our report.

LISA DESJARDINS:  Labor Day in Detroit, a parade of curb-to-curb union members, lines of trucks, and one retired worker, former President Bill Clinton.

A holiday for most Americans, today marks crunch time for candidates.  Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump hit the trail, as did their surrogates, spread out in key states.  Trump was swamped at a Youngstown, Ohio, fair, pulling out a bullhorn at one point.

DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee:  We’re going to bring jobs back to Ohio.  We’re going to bring jobs back to our country.  We’re not going to make these horrible trade deals anymore.

LISA DESJARDINS:  While for Clinton, something recently rare, a short chat with the press corps.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee:  Last moments before the mad dash for the next two months, so I hope you guys are ready.

LISA DESJARDINS:  Clinton and her new plane were on the way to Cleveland, where she stressed her message on labor and the economy.

HILLARY CLINTON:  This is the kind of difference that this election really poses, people like Tim and me who want to create more good jobs with rising wages and benefits for everybody willing to work hard, and somebody who stiffed people, took bankruptcy and laid off people.  One of his bankruptcies put 1,000 people out of work.

LISA DESJARDINS:  The fight for Ohio meant a fight for space on the Cleveland tarmac today.  Right next to Clinton’s campaign plane, sure enough, that’s Donald Trump’s.  He was also making his own pitch to Cleveland workers.

DONALD TRUMP:  Our country, in terms of manufacturing, in terms of jobs, is going to hell.  It’s going to hell.  Our jobs are being taken out of our system.  Hillary Clinton would be a disaster.

LISA DESJARDINS:  Outside of Ohio was left to candidates’ supporters, like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the former Clinton opponent now promoting her to workers.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VA):  Hillary Clinton understands that the $7.25 minimum wage is a starvation wage.  It must be raised to a living wage.


LISA DESJARDINS:  In Pennsylvania, it was Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.

SEN. TIM KAINE, Vice Presidential Nominee:  Hey, Pittsburgh.  How you guys doing?

LISA DESJARDINS:  And the man Kaine a hopes to replace, Vice President Biden, on the day’s theme.

JOSEPH BIDEN, Vice President of the United States:  Does anybody think there would be a minimum wage without union workers?

LISA DESJARDINS:  Trump and his choice for V.P. spent the major campaign day traveling on the Trump plane together, where the nominee made it clear he will be at all three presidential debates.

QUESTION:  Are you doing a lot of prep work?

DONALD TRUMP:  I’m doing some.  I’m doing some.  I have seen people do so much prep work that, when they get out there, they can’t speak.  I have seen that.

QUESTION:  Do you plan to have — I’m sorry.  Do you plan to have mock sessions where someone does play her?

DONALD TRUMP:  I hadn’t planned on it.  I never did it before.

LISA DESJARDINS:  That crucial first debate comes in three weeks.

Until then, as they did today in Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, the two campaigns plan a frenzied focus on just a few key states.

For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lisa Desjardins.

JOHN YANG:  Late this afternoon, Hillary Clinton says she’s concerned about reports in The Washington Post and elsewhere of Russian cyber-attempts to interfere with the election.

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