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Cher, stumping at colleges: ‘I fear for your safety’

Michael Gerstein
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Cher urged millennials Monday to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton because she said she wants them to have a better future than her generation.

Maria Veronica Cordova, a 55-year-old Albion resident, brought to the Hillary Clinton campaign event starring Cher government-issued forms showing her parents paid a $1.75 poll tax to vote in Brownsville, Texas, in 1950.

The 70-year-old outspoken singer and actress joined a long list of surrogates to campaign for Clinton in Michigan. It was Cher’s second campaign stop of the day after earlier stumping for Clinton in Kalamazoo and later in Flint.

“When I grew up, I grew up poor,” Cher said in a packed ballroom in the Michigan State University Student Union. “There was one time for me. … I went two weeks with rubber bands around my shoes so I had shoes. … I hope that everyone in our country still has the ability to have the American dream, to make their wishes come true so that everybody has the same opportunity in life.”

Clinton represents the shattering of a glass ceiling for women, she said, adding that she wouldn’t be urging college students to vote for the former secretary of state “if I didn’t care about your future.”

Cher alternated between stories about her time with Clinton, praise for the candidate and curse-laden insults about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who campaigned Monday in suburban Grand Rapids and Warren.

“I fear for your safety, and I want you to be free,” Cher said.

Cher has blasted Trump on Twitter, typically symbolizing the businessman in tweets with a toilet emoji.

Cher has called Trump a “crazy megalomaniac” who will allow racists to control America and has said Trump is “TRYING 2DESTROY FABRIC OF OUR DEMOCRACY,BECAUSE HES VENGEFUL,PETTY,VIOLATOR OF WOMEN,LOSER” (sic).

In January, Cher suggested Gov. Rick Snyder is a “killer” and a “criminal” because of his role in the Flint water crisis. She appeared to call for the Republican governor’s execution in one tweet that ended with “#FIRINGSQUADWORKSFORME.”

She has also criticized Michigan’s emergency manager law, which allows the governor to appoint a non-elected state official to oversee finances of struggling school districts and cities.

Cher is set to headline a Hillary Clinton fundraiser in Bloomfield Hills.

“Michigan is basically a dictatorship because … they can go into any community, any county, and they can usurp the authority of all the people that are government elected officials. They can come in and do anything,” she said.

Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel criticized Cher’s campaign stops.

“Hillary Clinton desperately wants to turn back time in Michigan and bring the policies that led to the Lost Decade to the national level,” she said in a statement. “Her agenda would further destroy our national economy and give us record unemployment, just as we saw in Michigan under Jennifer Granholm.”

It wasn’t just college students at the Michigan State event.

Maria Veronica Cordova, a 55-year-old Albion resident bro

ught government-issued forms showing her parents paid a $1.75 poll tax to vote in Brownsville, Texas, in 1950. Though the poll tax was eliminated by the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1964, Cordova says America still has a long way to go to integrate racially.

“We need to keep our world on the right path, and to help each other and quit discriminating against” people, she said. “It really ticked me off the day (Trump) said ‘Hombre.’"

Michael Hercliff, 27, said he came because he loves both Clinton and Cher. The local retail worker said he voted for Clinton in 2008 and called this “the perfect opportunity to vote for her again.”

He said, “She’s vastly superior to the alternative of Donald Trump.”

Cher is scheduled to headline a Halloween night fund-raising event for a fund that benefits Clinton and the Democratic Party at the Bloomfield Hills home of attorney Joumana Kayrouz, who said she’s planning to host 300 people.

In May, Trump shot back at Cher’s social media attacks, calling the 70-year-old singer “somewhat of a loser” whose “computer-enhanced music doesn’t do it for me.”

mgerstein@detroitnews.com

517-371-3660

Twitter: @MikeGerstein