PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — They lined up a couple hours before Hillary Clinton’s arrival for many reasons.
“I am excited about a woman in the presidency, but I hope she’s the right one, and I want to see what she has to say,” said Lisa Allen, of Ross Township, before the event.
Politically-attired 16-year-old Noah Luther of Brentwood accompanied his older sister, Sydney.
“Supporting my sister. She’s a huge Hillary fan,” said Luther.
And then there’s 8-year-old Ava Cerny who told KDKA political editor Jon Delano that she was invited to meet Secretary Clinton.
Ava: “I’m going to say, thank you for being my hero and other little kids like me.”
Delano: “How is she your hero?”
Ava: “By inspiring me to be amazing in who I am.”
Inside the IBEW union hall, Clinton was warmly greeted by a mid-day crowd of at least 700; although, in keeping with the mood after Orlando, there was no music and no campaign signs except a modest poster declaring “Stronger Together.”
“When I planned this trip, I intended to give a different talk today,” she said.
Instead of a speech on jobs, trade, and the economy, Clinton spoke about the Orlando terror, lambasting Donald Trump’s attack on the president.
“He went on TV and suggested that President Obama is on the side of the terrorists,” said Clinton. “Now just think about that for a second. Even in a time of divided politics this is way beyond anything that should be said by someone running for president.”
Clinton said Trump was not only disrespectful to the office he seeks but also to the families who lost loved ones in Orlando.
“Yet more evidence that he is temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be commander in chief,” Clinton said.
The likely Democratic nominee had planned to talk about jobs, trade, and the economy, but she ditched that speech, to the disappointment of some.
“I was hoping she’d emphasize a little bit more on the steel industry,” said Scott Sauritch, president of USW Local 2227 after the speech.
Instead, in the wake of the Orlando massacre, Clinton took on Trump on the issues of guns, ISIS, and Muslims.
“I believe we Americans are capable of both protecting our Second Amendment rights while making sure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands,” she said.
Clinton wants to strengthen background checks and ban military assault weapons.
“The terrorist in Orlando was the definition of the wrong hands, and weapons of war have no place in our streets,” she said.
And she accused Trump of having no real plan to take on ISIS except to call it ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’
“I must say I find this strange. Is Donald Trump suggesting that there are magic words that once uttered will stop terrorists from coming after us?” Clinton said. “In the end, it didn’t matter what we called bin Laden. It mattered that we got bin Laden.”
She called Trump’s ban on all Muslims entering the country temporarily un-American, adding, “Trump’s words will be, in fact, they already are, a recruiting tool for ISIS.”
Clinton supporters loved her speech.
“Secretary Clinton showed that she has the expertise and the strength necessary to stand up to someone who has such inflammatory rhetoric as Donald Trump,” said Stan Marciniak of Ross. “I think she’s prepared to take him on in the general election.”
“I thought she was amazing. I thought hearing her in person was better than hearing her in any other way,” said Denise Siwik of Baldwin Township.
And Jaime Martinez of Robinson, who got Clinton to sign a number of photographs, said he could never vote for Trump.
“My dad’s from Mexico, so the things he says are offensive,” Martinez said.