Former President Bill Clinton spent nearly half-an-hour this afternoon exhorting a crowd of about 500 people in West Philly to support Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, the Democratic nominee in the Nov. 2 general election for governor. Clinton, joined by Gov. Rendell, Mayor Nutter and several local legislators, railed against Republicans and took two very clear shots at state Attorney General Tom Corbett, Onorato's Republican opponent.
First, Clinton touted Onorato's efforts to create job training programs in Allegheny County, contrasting that with claims Corbett made over the summer that some laid-off workers prefer unemployment checks to new jobs. "While [Onorato] has been interested and busy creating jobs and training people, his opponent said the reason the unemployment rate was so high was that people like drawing unemployment," Clinton said as the crowd booed Corbett.
Then Clinton noted that Onorato consolidated several government offices in Allegheny County, saving taxpayers money while Corbett was asking for state budget increases for the Attorney General's Office. "He asked for more money every year he ran his office," Clinton said. "And when the governor said: We're out of money, I want everyone to take a 2 percent cut, he said no."
Clinton told the crowd -- neighborhood residents, union members and Democratic activists -- that he knew he was "preaching to the saved" but said they were vital in fighting back a wave of Republican confidence in November. "They're depending on Philadelphia to stay home," Clinton said of the Republicans. "Every one of you knows 100 people that won't vote unless you ask them."