Former President urges an end to tribal warfare politics in Eastern Iowa visit

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MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Former President Bill Clinton urged eastern Iowa voters to rise above simplistic slogans and look at the true issues in this national election.

Former President Bill Clinton makes a campaign speech for his wife, Hillary Clinton, at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. (Dave Franzman/KCRG-TV9)

Clinton appeared Thursday afternoon in Mt. Vernon at the Cornell College campus.

Unlike a Wednesday appearance in Waterloo, there were no sign-waving protesters to shout comments during the speech.

Clinton's message to several hundred people was we can do better than a candidate who, as he put it, only wants to divide, distract and demonize the other side. Clinton lamented the "us versus them" theme of so many political messages this year.

And he says that needs to apply to the protesters who followed him on part of this Iowa swing.

"I ask people, don't boo them give them a hand. They're having a bad week. Give them a hand--reach out. We've got to stop this we've got to stop believing that everything is a tribal war," the former President said.

For some at the Clinton Cornell College rally, the next stop was the ballot box.

The Linn County Auditor's office typically starts satellite absentee voting at local colleges and Thursday afternoon was the time chosen for Cornell. It was the first satellite voting event of the year in Linn County.

And a major political appearance just a few hundred yards away from absentee voting was no coincidence.

Tim Box, deputy Linn County Auditor, remember President Obama and the first lady making similar stops at Cornell campus rallies during satellite voting in past general election years.

"As long as they're outside the 300 foot perimeter and out of sight and out of sound under Iowa law it is not a problem," Box said.

Several early voters said having a major political appearance like the former President was a motivator to go out and vote now.