Clinton resumes campaigning after pneumonia as race tightens

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a news conference on the airport tarmac in front of her campaign plane in White Plains, New York, United States. PHOTO: REUTERS

Hillary Clinton planned to resume campaigning on Thursday after pneumonia forced her to take time off, and a top aide said the Democratic candidate’s presidential campaign would have to work harder because a candidate as controversial as Republican Donald Trump makes it “harder to be heard.”

In the final stretch before the November 8 election, Clinton was slated to attend a rally in North Carolina and speak at a dinner in Washington, Reuters said.

The 68-year-old had rested at her home in Chappaqua, New York, for three days after being diagnosed with pneumonia and falling ill at a September 11 memorial ceremony on Sunday.

With the candidates’ health in the spotlight, Trump, 70, on Thursday released details of a recent physical examination, a day after Clinton released details on her medical condition.

Top aide Jennifer Palmieri said “one upside” of Clinton’s unplanned break was the chance to “sharpen the final argument Clinton will present to voters in these closing weeks.”

“Our campaign readily admits that running against a candidate as controversial as Donald Trump means it is harder to be heard on what you aspire for the country’s future, and it is incumbent on us to work harder,” Palmieri said in a statement.

Trump’s campaign said the results of his physical showed the 70-year-old fast-food fan has normal cholesterol with the help of a statin drug, weighs 236 pounds (107 kg) and has normal blood pressure.

In a not-so-subtle slap at Clinton, the Trump campaign said the medical report showed Trump “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.”

Clinton’s health scare forced her to cancel a two-day swing through California earlier this week and send her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to a Las Vegas campaign rally in her stead. It also interrupted a series of speeches in which she had planned to refocus her campaign on what she would do for the country after a period when she attacked Trump as a dangerous, unprepared candidate.

Clinton’s speech in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Thursday will focus on how she plans to make sure “every child has the chance to live up to their God-given potential,” Palmieri said.

The former secretary of state, U.S. senator from New York and first lady will deliver speeches in the coming days on the economy and national service, her campaign said. Last week, she discussed her religious faith in Kansas City, Missouri.

In a move to jump-start momentum, Clinton’s campaign announced on Thursday that U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont will campaign for her on Saturday in the battleground state of Ohio.

Warren is a progressive leader within the Democratic Party, and Sanders waged a hard-fought primary race against Clinton. At events aimed at younger voters, both will discuss Clinton’s plan to reduce college tuition costs.

Clinton’s pneumonia diagnosis came at inopportune time for the candidate, who spent the bulk of August fundraising in wealthy U.S. enclaves such as the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard, with only intermittent campaign events.