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Clinton Campaign Manager Outlines Closing Arguments Before Election Day


With Election Day less than a week off, we're hearing the closing arguments that the candidates are making. Yesterday we heard from a Trump campaign official, and now we're joined by Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook. Welcome to the program.

ROBBY MOOK: Thanks so much.

SHAPIRO: How would you describe in a couple of sentences the closing argument that Secretary Clinton is making to voters this week?

MOOK: Well, voters have a very important choice to make in this election between an America where we are stronger together, we embrace the diversity of our country, we make sure that the economy works for everyone and we keep our country safe - and Secretary Clinton brings both the strength to secure our country but also the experience of bringing different people together to actually get things done that are going to make a difference in people's lives. And so she's going to be out there talking about that important difference and that important choice in this final week.

SHAPIRO: It seems that we've seen a shift from a very affirmative message last week about what she was going to do to a series of speeches this week saying that Donald Trump would be dangerous with nuclear codes, that he doesn't respect women. Why have you decided to conclude this campaign with these negative attacks rather than what might be considered a more affirmative message?

MOOK: Well, Ari, we're talking about this choice because I don't think voters ever in our history have faced a more stark contrast between a positive vision where we will be stronger together, where we will get the economy working for the middle class, versus a very dark and divisive vision of our country where we create religious tests, where bigoted language and demeaning language towards women is allowed and where our world becomes more dangerous because the president has poor temperament.

So it's important that people understand that difference. We do want them to know what Hillary is going to do, and she's worked very hard to communicate that. But people also need to understand the risk that Donald Trump would present as our president.

SHAPIRO: Let's talk about what she's going to do because when I look at her list of initiatives for the first 100 days if she's elected president, many of them seem to depend on Congress, from improving infrastructure to passing immigration reform. These were things that President Obama tried and failed to do. Congress wouldn't act. Are there things she could do that don't actually require lawmakers to act?

MOOK: First and foremost, we have to protect the progress that's been made under President Obama. And Donald Trump's talked about ripping up the Affordable Care Act. Secretary Clinton wants to build on it important rules to protect our environment and counteract the effects of climate change. So she wants to protect and build on that.

But the next president is going to have to work with the Congress, and Secretary Clinton has a long record of working across the aisle to get things done.

SHAPIRO: You think she can accomplish some of these specific things that President Obama has been able to do such as immigration and infrastructure.

MOOK: I think that's up to the Republicans. You know, they can step up to the plate and move the country forward, but it takes two to tango at this. And we'll see if the Republicans are ready to go.

SHAPIRO: I want to ask you about the FBI investigation into the email server. You have called on FBI Director James Comey to release more information, which he has not done. You've accused him of a double standard in the way he treats investigations of the Clinton campaign versus the Trump campaign.

He has another seven years in his term as FBI director, and if Hillary Clinton is elected president, I wonder what you expect their working relationship to be, particularly if the investigation remains open at that point.

MOOK: Well, I don't want to speculate on that. I'm still focused on getting towards Election Day. As you said, we are still concerned. All these days later, there still isn't a good explanation. We're happy that the process is now underway to get to the bottom of what these emails are, and we have asked as much information as possible to get released so the voters can judge.

But as we've discussed, Secretary Clinton is going to focus this week on talking about her vision and talking about the choice that voters have in this election. We're not going to let this distract us.

SHAPIRO: Robby Mook is campaign manager for Hillary Clinton. Thank you for joining us in these final days.

MOOK: Thank you so much, Ari. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.