SARASOTA -- Chelsea Clinton spoke to some of her mother's supporters in Sarasota on Friday about how she thinks this is the most important presidential election of her life.
"This is the first presidential election that I am going to be voting in as a mom," Clinton said.
A few hundred people sat in The Francis in Sarasota and listened as Chelsea Clinton shared why she thinks her mother, former Secretary of State and Sen. Hillary Clinton, should be the Democratic nominee and the next president of the United States. She talked about health care, the U.S. Supreme Court and standing up for American values.
"She spent three years building a bipartisan coalition to create the children's health insurance," Clinton said. "And the children's health insurance program serves more than 8 million low-income American children, including more than 100,000 right here in Florida."
Chelsea Clinton said Democrats are not expected to regain control of Congress in the foreseeable future.
"So we have to have a president that knows how to find
a common ground ... even if it takes years to deliver real change," Clinton said. "But we also need a president that knows how to stand her ground."
She referred to President Barrack Obama, and how he is standing his ground in the process to nominate a Supreme Court justice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
"We have to care about the Supreme Court," Clinton said. "If you care about voting, you have to care about the Supreme Court. If you care about a woman's right to choose, if you care about women's health ... if you are about equity ... you have to care about the Supreme Court."
Gun control and climate change are other issues the court will rule on in the near future.
"Clearly we don't live in a single-issue country and we need a president who understands that as President Obama certainly does," Clinton said.
Looking at the average age at which Supreme Court justices usually retire, Clinton said the next president could nominate as many as three justices, shaping the court for an entire generation.
Clinton spoke to the crowd about the importance of having a president who can defend the country's values.
"If we need any reminder about why this is so important, we can just listen to the Republicans on any given day, the almost normalization of hate speech: the racism, the sexism, the Islamophobia, the anti-immigrant rhetoric, the homophobia, the anti-workers' rights rhetoric, the rhetoric around Americans with disabilities, the list just goes on and on."
Clinton said some campaign rhetoric, such as promises to build "a wall" and restrict the entry of Muslims into the United States, is "un-American."
Afterward, Clinton took a few moments to speak with the media.
"Listening to what people are talking about why they are supporting my mom, whether that's her more than 40-year fight for early childhood education, criminal justice reform, health care reform, just means a lot to me on a personal level to hear that," she said. "There is just so much excitement and enthusiasm, and that's fun to be around."
While she is the first person to experience both her parents running for president of the United States, Chelsea Clinton said her mother running now feels very different to her.
"I was a little girl when my dad ran for president. Now, I have a little girl while my mom is running," she said. "It feels different to me today then it did 20 years ago."
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.