GREENSBORO, N.C. — Back on the campaign trail, a reflective Hillary Clinton said Thursday her three-day, doctor-mandated break gave her new perspective on why she’s running to be president. She vowed to close her campaign against Donald Trump by giving Americans “something to vote for, not just against.”
Clinton made no apologies for keeping her pneumonia diagnosis from the public until a video emerged showing her stumbling and being supported by aides. She also repeatedly sidestepped questions about when her running mate Tim Kaine was informed.
An upbeat Clinton walked onstage at a rally in North Carolina to James Brown’s song “I Feel Good.” She said that while sitting at home this week was “pretty much the last place I wanted to be,” the time helped clarify how she wants to close her campaign against Trump.
“We’re offering ideas, not insults,” she said in a jab at her Republican rival. “A plan that will make a real difference in people’s lives, not prejudice and paranoia.”
The rally marked Clinton’s first public appearance since Sunday, when she abruptly left a 9/11 memorial service after getting dizzy and dehydrated. She had been diagnosed with pneumonia Friday, but the campaign informed the public only after the video of an ill Clinton emerged.
The incident prompted fresh questions about both candidates’ openness regarding their health. Trump released a new letter from his doctor Thursday detailing his blood pressure, cholesterol and medications, one day after Clinton made public a letter from her physician with similar information. Both candidates’ doctors declared them fit to serve as president.
Trump’s letter said the Republican is 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds — giving him a body mass index falling into the “overweight” range. The 70-year-old has blood pressure of 116 over 70, and his total cholesterol is 169, his doctor says.
Clinton, 68, has blood pressure of 100 over 70, and her total cholesterol is 189, according to her doctor. Her letter made no mention of her weight, a key part of a medical exam; nor did a similar letter released last year.
Trump’s team took a swipe at Clinton’s brief absence from the campaign trail in a statement accompanying the new health data.
“We are pleased to disclose all of the test results which show that Mr. Trump is in excellent health, and has the stamina to endure — uninterrupted — the rigors of a punishing and unprecedented presidential campaign and, more importantly, the singularly demanding job of president of the United States,” the campaign said.
Until Thursday, the only information on Trump’s health had come in a widely ridiculed letter from his doctor declaring he would be the healthiest person to ever serve as president. Before releasing the new details to the public, Trump turned over a copy to Dr. Mehmet Oz while taping an episode of Oz’s TV show.
Clinton mocked Trump’s television rollout of his health records, saying, “I’ll never be the showman that my opponent is — just look at the show he put on for Dr. Oz today.”
With two months until Election Day, the race between Clinton and Trump is far tighter than many in both parties expected. Clinton continues to be dragged down by voters’ mistrust, but she still maintains more pathways than Trump to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.