By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Saturday, February 26, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in the greater Birmingham area at a, “get out the vote” rally at Miles College, ahead of the Democratic Party Primary on Tuesday, March 1.
The former Secretary of State, former US Senator from New York, former First Lady of the United States, former First Lady of Arkansas, and Watergate Senate Democratic Counsel hopes that a strong showing in southern states will allow her to move ahead of her rival for the Democratic nomination, US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).
Secretary Clinton addressed a full gymnasium with hundreds of cheering supporters.
Secretary Clinton said, “It is so great to be here at Miles. I would like to thank the students and faculty and particularly President Branch for hosting us today. I have been looking forward to coming here to talk with you today. Work with me to continue the progress we have made and keep moving forward.”
Sec. Clinton said, “I want to help you elect more Democrats in this state. I want you to imagine what we can do together. Imagine what we can do in the country that we love and in this state. Imagine that we have more jobs.”
Clinton said, “I want to commend William Bell for trying to raise the minimum wage. There are a lot of people in this State and across this country, 35 million of them, two thirds of them women who are working hard and are still in poverty at the end of the year because they don’t make enough money. I think the Governor and legislators should try to live on the minimum wage….I will fight to raise the federal minimum wage and to create more good paying jobs, a job that will give the people a living wage.”
Mrs. Clinton said, “I thought my husband did a pretty good job….He will be in Montgomery later day. The average and median income went up during his presidency. The median income for African-American income went up 33 percent.”
Sec, Clinton said that she favored changing that tax code to creative incentives for people to bring manufacturing and jobs back to the country. “Republicans say they don’t believe in climate change. If you don’t understand science then go talk to a scientist. They do what the Koch brothers tell them to do. Some country is going to be the clean energy super power. It’s going to be Germany, China, or us I intend for it to be us. I would like to see another half a billion more solar panels installed before the end of my presidency. “I also want to do more to help small business. Two thirds of all the jobs in America come from small business.”
Clinton said that she is happy to be in Alabama, “I want to shake some hands, eat some fried chicken, get some coffee to get my caffeine fix.”
Sec. Clinton said, “It is time that women get equal pay for work. We need more transparency so people know if they are being treated fairly. We need to incentivize profit sharing so that it just doesn’t go to the people at the top. Hillary said that Republicans want to go back to trickle-down economics. It hasn’t worked before it goes to the people at the top.”
Sec. Clinton said, “I don’t know who they will nominate, but I am hopeful that I am the nominee to take on whoever they nominate.”
Clinton defended President Obama’s record on the economy: “They are all saying the same thing. They want us to forget what President Obama inherited: 9 million jobs lost, 5 million homes foreclosed, $13 billion in family net worth lost.”
Clinton said that before there was Obamacare there was Hillary-care. “The insurance companies and drug companies just beat us. I was thrilled when Congress passed and President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. Republicans have voted 63 times to repeal it. They never tell us what they are going to replace it with because they know we won’t like it.”
Sec. Clinton said that there are two education systems in this country: one for the rich and upper middle class, and the other for poor and working people. “It is not fair.”
The former First Lady of Arkansas said that when Bill was Governor she went to schools where she would have been happy to send Chelsea and saw others where she wouldn’t. “Now I have the Charlotte test.” Clinton promised to spend more on early childhood education and to make college affordable. The cost of college tuition has gone up 42 percent in the last ten years. Nothing has gone up that much.
Clinton said that under her plan students would work ten hours a week. “My opponent has what he calls, ‘free college.’ I am not going to ask taxpayers to pay to educate Donald Trump’s youngest child. She also said that states need to put more money into higher education. “We have enough prisons. We need to be investing in higher education.”
Sec. Clinton said, “We are going to let you refinance your student debt. I met a student with a 13 percent interest rate. We haven’t even had interest since before the Great Recession. We shouldn’t be charging young people 10, 11, 12, 13, and 15 percent.” Clinton promised, “loans that are paid off as a percentage of your income and we are going to stop after 20 years. We are going to stop the federal government from making a profit off of HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) like Miles here. We will have a fund that will go to public and private HBCUs.”
Clinton said that when you go to vote on Tuesday you are voting for both your President and the Commander in Chief. Clinton said that she advised President Obama on whether or not to go after Osama Bin Laden; but at the end of that day the decision lies with the President.
Hillary said that fighting ISIS requires international partnerships. When a leading Republican candidate for President is insulting Muslims, that is hard to do. The President is also the leader of free peoples and free market around the world so you do have to be careful what you say.
On guns, Hillary Clinton said to think about all the other mass shootings. “We need comprehensive background checks. We need to end the unlimited liability of gun manufacturers. We have got to stand up for common sense reforms. We have got to do a better job of taking guns away from people with a mental illness or who want it to take revenge against a spouse or against former employers like what happened in Kansas. 30,000 Americans a year are killed in gun violence, in suicides, and in senseless accidents. We have got to stop this.”
Before Secretary Clinton spoke several speakers addressed the crowd which filled the gym at Miles College.
State Representative Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) said, “I am honored to share this stage with the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton.” “We are going to make history again and prove to the rest of the world that a woman is up to the task.”
Todd told the crowd, “We have a task to do the next couple of days. We can make a difference by talking to our friends and family.” I know that there are still some people on the fence. Most importantly, we have got to go vote on Tuesday. “She has stood with us for decades, it is time for us to stand with her.”
The National Chairman of High School Democrat of America Jordan Cozby (from Madison, AL) said I was motivated to get involved in politics when I was 14 years old and volunteered to work for President Obama. “Today I turn 18. I can not be more ecstatic to cast my first ballot for Secretary Hillary Clinton.”
State Representative Merika Coleman-Evans (D-Midfield) said, “Hillary Rodham Clinton is the type of woman who works for a cause. She works for voting rights, equal pay for equal work. She wants you college students to leave college with no debt.”
Birmingham Mayor William Bell said, “It is time we allow her (Hillary Clinton) to raise this country to a level we have never seen before.”
Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-Selma) said, “Isn’t this a great day to be from Alabama? It is critically important that we go to the polls on Tuesday and show our support for Hillary Clinton.”