Hillary Clinton Calls Time Off Campaign Trail for Pneumonia a ‘Gift’
ABC News(GREENSBORO, N.C.) — Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said she was happy to be campaigning again after spending three days at home in Chappaqua, New York, recovering from pneumonia.
“I have to say, it’s great to be back on the campaign trail,” Clinton said during a rally at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro on Wednesday.
She was all smiles as she entered to the James Brown song “I Feel Good.”
“I am not great at taking it easy, even under ordinary circumstances, but with just two months to go until Election Day, sitting at home was pretty much the last place I wanted to be,” Clinton said, adding that she initially tried to power through.
“But,” she continued, “it turns out having a few days to myself was actually a gift.”
“I did some thinking,” she explained. “The campaign trail doesn’t really encourage reflection.”
“And it’s important to sit with your thoughts every now and then,” she said, “and that did help me reconnect with what this whole campaign is about.”
Clinton went on to say she feels lucky that she can afford to take days off when she’s sick, whereas “millions of Americans can’t.”
She was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday, but her team did not disclose that information to the public until Sunday, after she abruptly left a 9/11 memorial ceremony in New York and was caught on video losing her balance.
The Democratic nominee spoke to reporters after the Greensboro event and would not directly answer whether her running mate, Tim Kaine, was informed on Friday of her diagnosis. He told ABC News he was informed of her pneumonia on Sunday, without providing precise timing.
“You know, my senior staff knew, and information was provided to a number of people,” she said, adding that she didn’t want to stop campaigning and rest.
Clinton, dismissing the notion that she does not communicate often with Kaine, then assured reporters that she’s “comfortable and confident” in her relationship with her running mate.
“I communicated with Tim. I talked to him again last night. He has been a great partner, and he’s going to be a great vice president,” she said.
While taking questions, Clinton admitted her campaign could have handled the news over the weekend better, “My campaign has said they could have been faster, and I agree with that. I certainly expect them to be as focused and quick as possible.”
Clinton argued though that she thought she was going to be fine, “I thought that there wasn’t really any reason to make a big fuss about it. So I should have taken time off earlier.”
Clinton took shots at Donald Trump, specifically about his interview on “The Dr. Oz Show” that aired today in which he shared medical documents.
“Now I confess, I’ll never been the showman — my opponent is and that’s okay with me,” Clinton said during her rally. “Just look at the show he put on with Dr. Oz today.”
During her press avail with reporters, she also defended a pastor that Trump called “a nervous wreck” following his visit to Flint, MI this week.
“His latest target is a pastor in Flint, Michigan who respectfully asked him not to use her pulpit for political attacks. He called her a nervous mess. That’s not only insulting, it’s dead wrong,” Clinton said. “Reverend Faith Green Timmons is not a nervous mess, she is a rock for her community in trying times. She deserves better than that. And Flint deserves better. In fact, so does America.”
Clinton’s return to the trail wasn’t without a handful of protesters.
Her rally was briefly interrupted by protesters, one who was holding a sign that read, “Whitewater, Benghazi, Clinton Foundation, Vincent Foster, Don’t Trust Clinton.”
Outside Clinton’s event, there were a handful of protesters including one with a new sign “I am deplorable” – a reference to Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment about Trump supporters.
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