Breastfeeding, mental health care and affordable college were on the table at a family policy town hall with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Delaware County Tuesday.
Speaking talk-show style with actress Elizabeth Banks and daughter Chelsea Clinton, Clinton spoke for about an hour to 800 people in a recreation center in Haverford.
“It should not be so hard to be a young parent, and it should not be so hard on the other end of the age spectrum to take care of a loved one,” said Clinton, kicking off the wide-ranging conversation.
The Clintons unloaded a slew of anecdotes from the campaign trail about relatable family stresses, from a mother who has seen a child die, to a heroin overdose, to an immigrant child who is bullied at school.
One young woman in the audience brought up Donald Trump’s comments about women’s appearances, asking, “How would you undo that image and help girls understand they are so much more than what they look like?”
“I am so proud of you for asking that question,” said Clinton. “Let’s support other women and girls to being proud of who they are.”
Another questioner asked Clinton to address the topic of gun violence.
“A vast majority of Americans want us to tackle the epidemic of gun violence,” said Clinton.
As for policy changes, she said, “We have to reverse the liability protection given to gunmakers and sellers,” in addition to instituting more stringent background checks and prohibiting people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns.
Another woman, piggybacking on the question, asked how the Democratic candidate would reform police practices to make her African-American sons feel safer.
“We’ve got to do more to reform the criminal justice system,” said Clinton. “Police need support and … at the same time, we need to help them get the kind of training and standards” needed to de-escalate dangerous situations without using violence.”
College debt and educational funding at the K-12 level rounded out the conversation, with the Democratic candidate calling for debt refinancing for those burdened by college loans and for states to pay a greater share of K-12 costs.
Outside the event, long lines of people waited with signs by the side of the road to catch a glimpse of the candidate.
Clinton surrogates have been crisscrossing Pennsylvania in recent weeks, speaking to young voters at colleges in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Both Clinton and Trump have recently appealed to suburban voters in Delaware County, with Trump speaking to a crowd in Aston on Sept. 13 about the need for more “law and order.”
Later Tuesday, during an appearance at a rally of about 1,500 supporters at the Zembo Shrine in Harrisburg, Clinton lashed out at Trump over outsourcing jobs and importing building materials.
She criticized Trump for calling the housing market crash a “great opportunity” for investment in 2009.
“Now who says that? Who wants that to happen?” Clinton asked. “Somebody who is so out of touch with what’s going on in America living in his big tower, he has no idea what’s happening.
She also derided Trump over the tax return showing that he lost nearly $1 billion in 1995.
“I mean, who loses money running a casino besides Donald Trump? I don’t know that that’s much of a credential,” she said.
The most recent Franklin & Marshall College poll puts Clinton ahead of Trump in the state among likely voters, 47 percent to his 38 percent.