INDIANOLA, Iowa -- Former President Bill Clinton declined to rip on supporters of his wife's opponent in the presidential race during a rally Wednesday afternoon, and he urged several hundred people at the campaign event to rise above the nastiness that has marred the 2016 campaign.
"I urge you not to reciprocate the road rage," Clinton said during the campaign appearance, his first of the current two-day bus tour through the battleground state. "Don't do that."
"I'm not demeaning the other side," he told them, saying, he, too, knows what it is like to be a white southerner. "I remember what it was like when someone said they were going to make America great again," Clinton said. "They basically said, 'here's your tobacco. Here's your gun'. You're in charge'" (laughs from audience). "I'm not demeaning the other side."
Clinton's wife, Hillary the Democratic presidential nominee, still faces criticism from Republicans after she called supporters of the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, "a basket of deplorables" during a private fundraiser last month.
The former president instead asked supporters to refrain from criticizing the other side's backers. "Don't feed all this venom and poison and acid that's been put in our political society," Clinton said. "Reach out a hand."