Clinton turns to local radio in her campaign’s final days

(CNN)Hillary Clinton, in the waning days of the campaign, has turned to local radio to help energize her base, largely shirking the national media — and more sensitive questions — in the process.

Clinton has done eight radio interviews in less than a week, and more are scheduled for the final 12 days of the campaign, aides said.
By comparison, Clinton’s last television news interview was when she called into CNN on September 12. Clinton spoke with The New York Times and Snapchat on October 3 and sat down with Ellen DeGeneres on October 14.
    The trend is intentional.
    Clinton’s aides view local radio interviews as the best way to engage with her base, especially in states that have early voting. Clinton’s radio interviews — which have been with stations in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio — have primarily been with African-American and Hispanic radio stations, two groups key to Clinton’s success.
    But there is a secondary reasons: Speaking with these radio stations largely allows Clinton to avoid more political — and sometimes uncomfortable — questions.
    The conversations with local radio hosts are lighter than most of her interviews. Hosts regularly ask questions about topics that Clinton is comfortable with like police brutality, voter turnout and immigration reform, all issues she speaks about at events.
    “We’re less than two weeks out. Secretary Clinton, we’d be honored to hear your closing argument,” Mark Thompson asked Clinton on Wednesday morning, giving the former secretary of state a chance to give her stump speech for two minutes.
    Shilynne Cole asserted to Clinton in her interview that Donald Trump is “his own example of the wealthy not paying their fair share of taxes.”
    The comment allowed Clinton to openly slam Trump.
    “He bragged about it,” Clinton exclaimed. “He said it was smart of him. Well, I just disagree.”
    But not all the questions have been soft balls.
    Rick Party of WHQT HOT 105.1 Miami asked Clinton on Tuesday about the Clinton Foundation failing to follow through on its promises in Haiti.
    Clinton called the questions about the works philanthropic work in the Caribbean nation “false rumors,” arguing that “not a single penny was kept by the foundation for overhead, for salaries or anything. It was just a total pass-through.”
    In the same interview, Clinton pledged to “make changes to fix problems” with the Affordable Care Act, namely recent spikes in premiums, after she was asked about a government report that found rates would skyrocket in 2017.
    Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s spokeswoman, said the decision to do local radio over other media outlets is all about reaching voters in early states, not nationwide.
    “It is really important,” she said. “It is all part of our get out the vote effort. So we want to talk to local radio … (it’s) still the most powerful means of reaching people to push them to actually turn out to vote.”

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