Marianne Cleary of Evans, Georgia, poses with California Sen. Kamala Harris following a Saturday afternoon afternoon in Columbia, South Carolina. (Maeve Reston / CNN)
Columbia, South Carolina – In polls and interviews with Democratic voters, one thing is clear. What they care most about in 2020 is a candidate who can defeat President Donald Trump
Is Kamala Harris the one to do it? That was the question that Marianne Cleary, an hour-and-a-half from Evans, Georgia, posed to Harris at a town hall meeting Saturday afternoon. But the candidate's answer didn't make the sale.
Her voice shaking with emotion, Cleary customs Harris that she has two granddaughters and while she has "lived here years," she is "terrified about the world that we may leave to our children and our grandchildren. ”
“ We can't afford another four years, ”Cleary customs Harris. "What sets you apart, Senator Harris, from (a) growing pack of declared candidates and undeclared candidates that will assure you that you can fulfill our dream in 2020?"
What so many are feeling. ”And she proceeded to reel off a number of key pieces of her platform from improving public education to climate change.
“ There is so much at stake. It is about what we are doing on a variety of issues from public education to what we are doing, as we discussed, with the criminal justice system. Climate change, "Harris replied. “List, it's an existential threat, and we have an administration that is a denial of the realities of what this means. Or they are rejecting it because they are in the pocket of lobbyists paying them to overlook that (human activity) is contributing to the decline of our environment and our planet. ”
" So what sets me apart? "Harris continued. “I think this is a moment in time for us to have people who have the courage to speak the truth, and I have the ability to fight for justice. I believe this is a moment in time when we need fighters on the stage who know how to fight. I know how to fight. I know you do. ”
Harris received strong applause from the crowd, but Cleary said in an interview with CNN after the event that she was not sold. She called the answer "generic" ̵
Cleary, 63, spent her career in Philadelphia directing transportation for in a school district
"I care deeply about children," said Cleary, who relocated to Georgia to be her own grandchildren. “It's not about me anymore, it's about them. When I see what this administration is doing at the border with the climate, I'm extremely concerned. ”
She said that Democratic voters need to stay focused on the things that will make the world a better place. She was disappointed that Harris only took a handful of questions from the audience.
Harris that she left the crowd waiting and then only fielded three questions, "Cleary of the West Columbia town hall. “That was a little disappointing. That doesn't mean she doesn't have a chance in my mind. I am of open mind. ”
“ We are desperate for all the things we once think dear in our country. It's not there anymore. It's not by and for the people. It's for the Trump family. That's scary. " But she was told CNN that Harris's response was "pretty generic answer." "They're all going to say they're fighters," she told CNN.