- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2016

Former President Bill Clinton told a New Jersey crowd Wednesday that non-college educated whites “need to be brought along to the future.”

Mr. Clinton campaigned for his wife in Crandford by tearing into Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s comments on illegal immigration. He then implied that Mr. Trump’s supporters cling to a vision for America that is better left in the past.

“We have been told over and over again in this election we ought to build a wall against Mexico, we ought to stop the Muslims from coming in, we want to do all this stuff,” Mr. Clinton said, Yahoo News reported. “Let me tell you, all those people who want to do that — and one in particular — forget what the real security challenges we face are.”

The former president then turned his attention to non-college-educated white Americans. Exit polling in early April showed roughly half of Republican primary voters with high school diplomas or less support the real estate mogul.

“We all need to recognize that white, non-college-educated Americans have seen great drops in their income, have seen great increases in their unemployment rate, have seen drops in their life expectancy, and they need to be brought along to the future. But they can’t live under the illusion that you can reclaim a past which is just that — past. This country is always about the future,” Mr. Clinton said.

Recent polls pitting Mr. Trump against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for the 2016 U.S. presidential election show the race as a tossup. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll suggests the billionaire would win by two percentage points, while an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll gave Mrs. Clinton a three-point victory.

“We are looking at … the most disliked candidates in a single election,” said Jennifer Dineen, a University of Connecticut polling expert and director of the school’s joint poll with the Hartford Courant newspaper, The Hill reported Thursday. “You’re not determining who’s supporting a candidate; you are trying to determine how strongly someone opposes a candidate.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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