INDIANAPOLIS | President Bill Clinton delivered a double dose of enthusiasm to more than 3,000 Indiana Democrats on Friday and asked them to do all they can to persuade their friends and neighbors to vote for Democrats on Election Day, Nov. 6.
"If you apply Hoosier common sense to this election, you will elect John Gregg governor and you will elect Joe Donnelly to the Senate," Clinton said.
The two-term Democratic president didn't mince words in contrasting Donnelly's record of bipartisanship with what he described as Republican Richard Mourdock's "my way or the highway" approach to governing.
"I don't understand how you can say your biggest thrill in life is to impose your opinion, especially if you don't necessarily know what you're talking about," Clinton said.
Throughout his 38-minute speech, Clinton emphasized the need for Americans to work together to solve the country's biggest problems.
"I don't think the people of Indiana think what this country needs in Washington, D.C. is more partisanship," Clinton said. "Constructive cooperation works better than constant conflict."
He called on government to work with business to revive manufacturing in the United States and help regrow the middle class.
"An economy of shared prosperity is better than one that starts with the theory that it will all trickle down," Clinton said. "A philosophy of 'we're all in this together' works a lot better than 'you're on your own.'"
The former president was repeatedly interrupted by loud cheers and wild applause during his speech. Many of those packed into the gym at Indianapolis' North Central High School also waved pre-printed signs reading "Hoosier Common Sense" and "Indiana Loves Bill."
Clinton was introduced to the crowd by former Democratic Indiana governor and U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh. He said "Hoosiers are going to send a message to America" by electing Donnelly and Gregg.
Gregg and his running mate, state Sen. Vi Simpson, D-Ellettsville, promised to fight for votes across the state until Election Day.
"We've got three weeks, we're within single digits, we're going to take no prisoners, we're going to win in the north, the south and the central," Gregg said.
Donnelly said he believes Clinton's message of cooperation and bipartisanship will fire up Democrats and help persuade independents and "Lugar Republicans" to vote for him.
"It never hurts to have to Bill Clinton say good things about you," Donnelly said. "He is a living embodiment of common sense, of balanced budgets and surpluses."