Hillary Clinton meets, greets Bay Area supporters

OAKLAND (KTVU & AP) -- Speaking to an energetic crowd in Oakland, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton pledged Friday to do everything she could to capture the White House in November and keep it from falling into the hands of the Republican Party and its presumptive nominee.

Clinton spoke to an overflow crowd at La Escuelita School in Oakland before heading to San Francisco to attend a fundraiser with U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.

During her speech in Oakland, she was greeted with cheers and chants of "Hillary" as she delivered her pitch to voters who will decide if she will get another four years in the White House. 

"We're going to have a terrific campaign in California," Clinton said to the crowd, adding that she had visited one of her Oakland campaign offices and met with workers there. "This election is a make-or-break election in so many ways. . . And I (would be) doing everything I could to make sure the  presumptive nominee in the Republican Party never gets near the White House!"

Clinton was introduced by outgoing Sen. Boxer, who sat on the stage as Clinton delivered her remarks. 

"It doesn't get any better being introduced by Barbara Boxer in Oakland, California," Clinton said to cheers. "I'm so happy to be here and especially to be here with your senator. We are really going to miss Barbara Boxer in the Senate."

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During her remarks, Clinton reminded voters about some of the more controversial remarks made by Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee for the GOP. She said she would defend a woman's right to choose and she would go to bat for marriage equality.

After leaving Oakland, Clinton traveled to San Francisco where she spoke to hundreds of supporters gathered inside the Masonic Auditorium on Nob Hill for a fundraiser. She was greeted by supporters and protestors who were kept in place by metal barricades.

Tickets for the event started at $45 for a donation and soared up to $5,000 for VIP seating.

"The fact that the tickets were affordable for people our age was very nice," said Lauren Kidd.

Outside the venue, the crowd was made up of pro-Hillary fans and those who still haven't made up their minds.

"I've been a longtime Obama supporter and I think she's the natural heir to the Obama agenda," said supporter Mike Berlin. 

"I would consider myself at this stage (to be) undecided," said San Jose resident Lindsey Kearney. "I've actually been a Bernie supporter for the majority of the primary election."

Some fans even came with custom baseball jerseys with the Chicago Cubs emblem and the number 45, representing Clinton's Chicago roots and their hope that she becomes the 45th President.

A vocal group of Bernie Sanders' supporters chanted their support for him while standing across the street. Many of the protestors said they support Sanders and feel the Democratic party has been unfair to him. His supporters said they wanted the public to see how many people are behind his run. 

"There's a huge 'Bernie or Bust' movement. If they want Trump  as a president they're going to do a good job voting for Hillary," said a man from Napa who only wanted to be known as Jeff.
 
Inside the 3,300-seat auditorium, the crowd included San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Sens. Feinstein and Boxer.

"She is so eminently qualified to take up the responsibilities of the leader of the free world, which is much more than comes out in this campaign," Feinstein said. "So, I'm a big supporter."

After the event, many attendees said they liked what they saw and heard from Clinton.

"I thought tonight was very invigorating and very motivating," one woman said. "She's a great speaker."

Said Jacqueline Norheim: "It's just so exciting, the prospect of having a female president and being represented as a woman."

Former President Bill Clinton was scheduled to appear Friday at a campaign event in Los Angeles to rally support for his wife.

Donald Trump campaigns in Nebraska

Meanwhile, one day after Trump tweeted a controversial picture of him eating a taco salad to show his support for Hispanics, he was looking to capture votes in Nebraska, which holds its primary election on Tuesday.

We have to go on Tuesday and vote because we're looking to break the all-time record," Trump said as he kicked off a rally in a private air hangar near the Omaha airport. "We want to create such a record like they haven't had before."

The request marked a change from Thursday night, when Trump told supporters in West Virginia to not bother casting primary ballots and to wait until the general election in November because he'd already effectively won the GOP presidential nomination.

Nebraska and West Virginia both hold their primaries May 10.

Trump is now his party's presumptive nominee and has been working behind the scenes to try to unite a fractured party behind his candidacy. But you never would have known it from the rally.

Instead of offering a look ahead, Trump spent 30 minutes talking about contests he'd already won, ticking them off one after the other. He also spent time attacking his former Republican rivals, complaining about South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's renewed criticisms and slamming former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has been out of the race for months.

It took Trump almost 20 minutes into his speech to mention Clinton. And during the 40-minute speech, he only mentioned her twice.

Trump is facing deep resistance from some wings of his party, including from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who says he's not yet ready to support Trump. When Trump mentioned Ryan, boos echoed throughout the private air hangar.

"Paul Ryan? I don't know what happened. He called me two, three weeks ago. It was a very nice conversation," Trump said. "I figured -- routinely -- he'd be behind it. And the other day he just did a big surprise."

The slight comes as Trump's team is working frantically to pivot to a general election. Trump's advisers have begun conversations with the Republican National Committee on coordinating fundraising and tapping the committee's extensive voter data file and nationwide get-out-the-vote operation.

Trump has also said he intends to begin fundraising for the party and the general election and appears to be moving forward with those plans. News emerged Friday that Trump will be holding a fundraiser later this month to help New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pay off his own presidential campaign's debt and to raise money for that state's Republican Party.

KTVU reporters Cristina Rendon and Jana Katsuyama contributed to this report.

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