Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, facing criticism that she is avoiding the media, today flew for the first time this election cycle on a new campaign plane along with the press corps for addressing rallies in some of the key battleground states.
“I am so happy to have all of you with me,” 68-year-old Clinton, who has not held a full-fledged press conference in 275 days, told reporters upon boarding the new plane christened “Hillary Force One”.
While a battery of press reporters have been following her for nearly year and a half, this was for the first time that she was traveling in the same plane as that with reporters.
Some 40 reporters from both print and electronic medium were given space in this plane by the Clinton Campaign.
“I was just waiting for this moment,” Clinton told reporters as she walked down to the back of the plane – a Boeing 737 – which was painted with her campaign slogan “Stronger Together”.
The same number of journalist would be travelling with her till the election day on November 8.
“I’m thrilled,” she said, holding a rolled up sheaf of papers in her hand.
“No, really! I wanted to welcome you onto the plane. I think it’s pretty cool, don’t you?” Clinton asked the media.
“We had a good time. The last moment of — …before the mad dash of the next two months. I hope you guys are ready. I’m more than ready,” Clinton said at the start of the day.
Later in the day, she had a gaggle with the travelling press.
Trump too for the first time opened up his “Trump Force One” for a pool of journalists.
After the primaries, the 70-year-old real estate mogul had a charter press plane travelling with him, but today was the first time when he had journalists travelling with him in his personal plane.
While travelling inside the “Trump Force One” might not be regular feature for the media, Trump said this he will do once in a while.
“We’ll do this every once in a while,” he said.
When political pundits say the presidential elections traditionally enters the final phase, Clinton is leading Trump, when though her margin has dropped considerably in the last one week.
Trump said that he leading in several key states.
Responding to a question, Trump said no one is playing Hillary in preparation for the three presidential debates.