University News

Bill Clinton campaigns for Hillary Clinton at CCRI

Former president talks Hillary Clinton’s education, healthcare, crime platforms

By
Staff Writer
Monday, April 18, 2016

In preparation for Rhode Island’s primary April 26, former President Bill Clinton spoke to a crowd of students and community members at a rally for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Knight Campus in Warwick Thursday.

Bill Clinton spoke on his wife’s platform on a variety of policy issues, including wealth inequality, education, healthcare and crime. He emphasized the achievements that he made during his time in office as well as those made by President Barack Obama, and then addressed how Hillary Clinton would tackle those same issues.

“We need to finish healthcare reform,” Bill Clinton said, referring to some of the issues not addressed by the Affordable Care Act. As president, Hillary Clinton would allow the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices, he said. In addition, he reiterated Hillary Clinton’s support for a “public option” for health insurance.

Before Bill Clinton took the stage, Meghan Hughes, president of CCRI; David Sears, president of the Knight Campus Student Government and Gov. Gina Raimondo addressed the crowd.

Sears emphasized the importance of young people, especially college students, getting involved in the political process. Speaking specifically to the students in the audience, Sears said the “biggest misconception is that your voice and your vote doesn’t count. Believe me, your voice and vote does count.”

Bill Clinton also emphasized the importance of education, saying that it is “more of a lifetime asset than a house is.” As president, Hillary Clinton will work toward decreasing student debt by expanding the AmeriCorps program, which allows students to work in public service in order to pay off their debts, Bill Clinton said. This is especially appealing for Rhode Island residents, as the state has the fourth-highest average student debt in the country, Raimondo said.

“Hillary Clinton has spent her entire life breaking down barriers and building ladders of opportunity,” Raimondo said. “And as president, she’s going to make it her mission to tackle barriers that are holding Americans back from reaching their potential.” Raimondo also talked about how Hillary Clinton’s campaign is “uniting” the American people rather than dividing them.

When speaking on Hillary Clinton’s stance on crime, Bill Clinton stressed the importance of providing transitional support and job training for the incarcerated. There are “too many people in prison,” he said, “a significant portion of which are young, non-violent offenders.”

In closing, Bill Clinton told the crowd, “You have a choice to make,” and summarized his three reasons why voters should pull the lever for Hillary Clinton. First, Hillary Clinton’s policies would not break the bank and her “numbers add up,” he said, referring to how single-payer healthcare would require lofty spending. Second, she is dedicated to a tough brand of diplomacy and understands that it is a “dangerous world.” Lastly, she is a “change-maker,” which is why various labor unions and labor organizations have endorsed her, Bill Clinton said.

“If you want something done, you better elect Hillary (as) president,” he said.