Clinton Campaigns With Vice President Biden In Scranton, Penn. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton campaigned Monday with Vice President Joe Biden in his hometown of Scranton, Penn.
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Clinton Campaigns With Vice President Biden In Scranton, Penn.

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Clinton Campaigns With Vice President Biden In Scranton, Penn.

Clinton Campaigns With Vice President Biden In Scranton, Penn.

Clinton Campaigns With Vice President Biden In Scranton, Penn.

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/490112600/490112601" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton campaigned Monday with Vice President Joe Biden in his hometown of Scranton, Penn.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden had a homecoming of sorts today. For their first joint campaign appearance of the year, they went to Scranton, Pa. Both Clinton and Biden have family ties to the town, which sits in an important battleground state. NPR's Sarah McCammon reports from Scranton.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: At most presidential campaign events, the candidate is the keynote speaker. But today in Scranton, Hillary Clinton was the opener.

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HILLARY CLINTON: I'm here with the one, the only Vice President Joe Biden.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

MCCAMMON: Biden was born in Scranton, as was Clinton's father, Hugh Rodham. Clinton said the visit was a nostalgic trip for her, and she reminisced about the neighborhoods where both her family and the Bidens have roots.

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CLINTON: I was christened at the Methodist Church on Court Street. My grandfather went to work at the Scranton Lace mill starting as a teenager.

MCCAMMON: A place, Clinton said, where employees were treated well and rewarded for hard work with good wages and benefits. Clinton seemed to implicitly contrast her family's middle-class background with that of her Republican rival Donald Trump, whose own father was a wealthy real estate developer.

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CLINTON: I always remember I am the granddaughter of a factory worker and the daughter of a small business owner, and I am so proud of it.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAMMON: Clinton talked up Biden as a fighter for working families and someone who's never forgotten where he's from, saying...

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CLINTON: So, Joe, I hope you know how much not just Scranton, but America loves you and your family.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAMMON: That was clear as the vice president took the stage nearly stealing the show with his own memories of his youth in Scranton.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Hello, folks. It's good to be home.

MCCAMMON: Biden was in typical form cracking jokes and effortlessly charming the admittedly friendly audience.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BIDEN: Matter of fact, one of the people on the reception line said, my aunt owns your house (laughter).

(LAUGHTER)

BIDEN: Tell her I'm coming.

(LAUGHTER)

BIDEN: I'm coming home. I was there when I was running, and up in the bedroom written on the wall still is Joe Biden slept here.

(LAUGHTER)

BIDEN: And then it said lived here. I'm glad they added the lived here part.

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAMMON: Biden praised Hillary Clinton as someone who understands people in Scranton and is made of the same stuff, as he put it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BIDEN: And I want to make it clear that as Scranton has always had my back, we, in fact, all of us are going to have your back, Hillary.

(CHEERING)

MCCAMMON: Biden spent much of his speech going after Donald Trump, repeating his message that Trump is a person whose cynicism is unbounded, and who can't be trusted with the nuclear codes.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BIDEN: I was proud my son, Beau, served for a year in Iraq, came back a highly decorated soldier. I must tell you...

(APPLAUSE)

BIDEN: ...I must tell you had Donald Trump been president, I would have thrown my body in front of him.

(LAUGHTER)

BIDEN: No, I really mean it - to keep him from going if the judgment was based on Trump's decision.

MCCAMMON: Aside from attacking Trump, part of Biden's mission today was to connect with voters here in a way Clinton has struggled to. He did that for Matt Gregorowicz, a 19-year-old college student and grocery store clerk from Catawissa, Pa.

MATT GREGOROWICZ: He was incredible. Like, he just got down to our level, like - didn't make us feel like we were just a bunch of random people. He's from this area. You can't fake the fact that you're from this area, that you can relate to people. You can't fake that.

MCCAMMON: Gregorowicz said he was on the fence about voting for Hillary Clinton until recently, but he walked out of the rally feeling confident about that choice. Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Scranton, Pa.

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