Just days before the presidential election, a Tampa focus group revealed the damage inflicted by the “unprecedented intervention by then FBI Director Jim Comey,” Hillary Clinton writes in her new book.
“On November 1 and 2, my campaign conducted focus groups with independent, swing voters in Philadelphia and Tampa, Florida. The undecideds weren’t ready to jump to Trump yet, but in retrospect, the warning signs were blinking red,” the book reads.
A Florida voter told Clinton’s team that, “I have concerns about this whole Weiner thing. I find it unsettling. I had been leaning toward Hillary, but now I just don’t know.”
Another said: “I was never a fan of either one, but this email thing with Clinton has me concerned the past few days. Will they elect her and then impeach her? Was she giving away secret information?”
Clinton writes, “Those concerns we heard in the focus groups help explain why Comey’s letter was so devastating.”
And Clinton writes of Florida on election night, saying the hope was it would be the state “that broke the Republicans’ back and put our goal of 270 electoral votes within reach.
“The state’s changing demographics, especially its growing Puerto Rican population around Orlando, as well as the pre-Election Day early vote numbers, seemed favorable to us. But when my campaign manager, Robby Mook, came into our suite with the latest numbers, I could tell he was nervous.”
She said Marco Rubio fell into Trump’s trap by “slinging crude insults during the primaries. Of course, it hurt Rubio much more than Trump. As Bill likes, to say, never wrestle a pig in the mud. They have cloven hooves, which give them superior traction and they love getting dirty. Sadly, Trump’s strategy works.”
Clinton reminisces about happier times, such as going to Donald and Melania Trump’s wedding in Palm Beach.
“We weren’t friends, so I assumed he wanted as much star power as he could get. Bill happened to be speaking in the area that weekend, so we decided to go. Why not? I thought it would be a fun, gaudy, over-the-top spectacle, and I was right. I attended the ceremony, then met Bill for the reception at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. We had our photo taken with the bride and groom and left.”