Clinton sidelined by pneumonia, Obama steps up to boost her campaign

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U.S. President Barack Obama attends a campaign event in support of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RTSNKWE

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GWEN IFILL:  Hillary Clinton is still on the sick list tonight, but she’s gotten a political shot in the arm.  It came today from the man she once battled for the presidency, and now hopes to succeed in the White House.

He’s the biggest surrogate an ailing Hillary Clinton could have called on, at a moment the candidate needed it most.

In Philadelphia today, President Obama offered a rousing defense of his former secretary of state.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  She’s been accused of everything you can imagine and has been subjected to more scrutiny, and what I believe is more unfair criticism, than anybody out here.  We take for granted sometimes what is steady and true.  And Hillary Clinton’s steady, and she is true.

GWEN IFILL:  Clinton remained sidelined with pneumonia today.  But she called in to CNN last night to discuss her collapse on Sunday and the delay in publicly acknowledging her illness.

ANDERSON COOPER:  Why not just say on Friday, as you said to — apparently to Senator Schumer on Sunday, you know, I have pneumonia, folks, I’m going to power through it?  Why keep it a secret?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee:  Well, I just didn’t think it was going to be that big a deal.

GWEN IFILL:  Republican Donald Trump was on the road, stopping in Iowa, ready, he said, with a plan to ease the financial burden of child care.

DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee:  We have to start taking care of each other, which we’re not doing.  Tonight, I’m going to roll out a plan to help our mothers and our families get affordable quality child care for their children.

GWEN IFILL:  Trump’s allies stuck to a different topic: condemning Clinton for putting half of his supporters into what she called a basket of deplorables.

HILLARY CLINTON:  The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic.

GWEN IFILL:  Donald Trump Jr. posted a photo showing an overflowing Trump rally, with the line, “Looks like we are going to need a bigger basket.”

But Trump and running mate Mike Pence faced new pressure for refusing to say former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is, to use Clinton’s critique, deplorable.  Pence huddled with House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol today.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), Vice Presidential Nominee:  Donald Trump and I have denounced David Duke repeatedly.  We have said that we do not want his support, and we do not want support of people who think like him, that the simple fact is that I’m not in the name-calling business.

But I’m also not going to validate the language that Hillary Clinton used to describe the American people.

GWEN IFILL:  A campaign official says Trump will visit Flint, Michigan, tomorrow.  He’s said he would have prevented the city’s water crisis if he’d been president.

Clinton is unlikely to return to the campaign trail before Friday, as she recovers, under doctor’s orders, at home in New York.

The post Clinton sidelined by pneumonia, Obama steps up to boost her campaign appeared first on PBS NewsHour.