DENVER – Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Colorado is downplaying the impact increased attention to her health might have on the November election.
The Clinton campaign said Monday it would release more information about her health this week, after pressure grew since she was helped into a van Sunday.
Hours after Secret Service agents assisted her when she left early from a Sept. 11 ceremony in Manhattan, Clinton’s camp revealed she was diagnosed Friday morning with pneumonia.
A video of the incident has added to the optics, with Clinton’s feet dragging on the ground as she is helped into the van. Her campaign initially said that she was “overheated,” on what was a 79-degree day in New York City.
Clinton’s physician, Lisa R. Bardack, said Clinton had become “overheated and dehydrated” at the Sept. 11 event.
The incident came less than a week after Clinton had a lengthy coughing fit during a speech at a Labor Day rally in Cleveland.
In battleground Colorado, the issue could impact voter decisions, especially if she has another public display of health problems. It also fuels conspiracy theories.
Clinton canceled her scheduled trip Monday to San Francisco for a fundraiser, and she postponed a planned speech in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
“It’s a major issue,” said Bob Loevy, a longtime Colorado political analyst and professor. “If she’s healthy and looks well for the rest of the campaign, she may be OK, but one more incident like this, one more additional piece of bad health, and I would say her candidacy is in trouble.”
The health issue came as Clinton was fighting off criticism for calling half of Republican Donald Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables” on Friday. Trump issued a new attack ad on the subject and called for an apology.
“You know what’s deplorable? Hillary Clinton viciously demonizing hardworking people like you,” the ad states.
The Clinton campaign registered surprise that Trump would attack Clinton for insulting people, pointing out that during his campaign, Trump has repeatedly offended certain voting blocs, especially minority and immigrant communities.
Trump has been criticized for not offering a significant apology for his comments, though last month he said, “Sometimes, in the heat of debate, and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that, and believe it or not I regret it.”
Clinton stopped short of apologizing to Trump supporters, though Saturday she signaled “regret” for the remark, which alleged Trump’s backers are bigots.
“Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ – that was wrong,” Clinton said in a statement.
Trump’s campaign has been reserved on Clinton’s health.
“As Mr. Trump said this morning, he hopes she gets well and back on the trail, and he will see her at the debates,” said Trump Colorado Director Patrick Davis.
Clinton’s national press secretary, Brian Fallon, said on MSNBC Monday that the Democratic candidate has “no other undisclosed condition.” He emphasized that shortly after the incident.
Loevy said it is smart for the Trump campaign to take a measured approach.
“This is one case where they’re following the conventional advice,” Loevy said. “This is a Hillary Clinton problem. They (the Trump campaign) would actually draw attention away from it and make themselves the issue. If they continue to be quiet about it, and let the news play, it will work very strongly to their benefit.”