Former President Clinton Draws Large Crowd in Support of Hillary
More than 1,000 Springfield residents packed into the Teamsters Local 245 Union building on Friday to see Bill Clinton speak on his wife’s behalf.
People stood shoulder-to-shoulder, even craning their necks and standing on chairs to hear the former president speak on issues such as pension plans.
“Essentially, the treasury department should turn down the central state pension fund proposal,” Clinton says. “We don’t need any 50 percent cuts to people’s pensions that they worked their whole lives to get. And we can fix it.”
Outside the union building, protesters held signs read “Hillary for prison,” and “Honk if you don’t want Hillary.”
“I felt right at home when I saw the Democrats and the protesters out there together,” Clinton says.
Clinton says his wife, the former secretary of state, is the best candidate to oppose Donald Trump this November should he receive the Republican nomination.
“One of the things I like about being a Democrat in this election season is at least our side is debating the issues,” Clinton says.
Clinton continues, “Both of our candidates [Hillary and Bernie Sanders] agree that income inequality is way too great and we need to do something about it. They both agree that we need to get affordable healthcare for everybody. They both agree that everybody ought to be able to go to college and get out without debt. They have differences about how to do it, and some differences about how the economy works and how best to make change. And they’re very important, but at least it’s real.”
On the economy, Clinton says part of Hillary’s plan consists of decreasing the exportation of jobs with an exit tax, encouraging job creation domestically, supporting small businesses and raising the national minimum wage to $12 per hour.
“(Hillary) was the very first person to come out with a plan that affects all high unemployment income areas in America and gives people extra incentives to invest in them,” Clinton says. “Instead of giving people tax incentives to move overseas, give them tax incentives to move places in America where the unemployment rate is high.”
Specifically, Clinton says his wife’s plan is to implement a 15 percent tax credit to corporations that will share more of its profits with its employees.
Clinton also says Hillary would spend a lot more money to remedy high youth unemployment than her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders.
“Train these young people up, get them placed in jobs,” Clinton says. “If they don’t want to go back to college, get them training in jobs where there are openings. Today there are lots of them.”
On student loan debt, Hillary Clinton also disagrees with her opponent because she is for debt-free education and more support for lower-income students.
“What we need to do is keep some incentive to keep the costs down so she would make available to everybody who needed it, 10 hours of work-study money, won’t kill anybody to work 10 hours a week,” Clinton says. “That will cut the cost of operating the universities and leave more money to pay teachers and not raise tuition. I think it’s a better plan.”
For Hillary Clinton supporter and Missouri State political science major James Moore, the candidate’s platform to resolve student loan debt and create jobs, especially in rural areas like where he is from, correlate best with his own views.
“I’m tired of having someone with great ideas but can’t get anything done,” Moore says. “I’m really ready for Hillary to finally take the reins and continue us down the right path. And get people real jobs with real wages.”
Skylar Johnston, executive director for the Greene County Democratic Party, says he can’t yet predict between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders who will win Missouri’s primary on Tuesday.
“We’re in a very interesting situation, unlike our opponents on the other side, where I think both candidates are extremely qualified and would make fantastic presidents,” Johnston says. “That’s why I think it is so close is because they are both extremely great candidates. So it’s going to be very important to make sure everybody has their voice heard.”
Senator Sanders is scheduled to speak at JQH Arena on the Missouri State campus on Saturday, with doors opening at 4 pm.
On the GOP side, Ted Cruz will speak at Evangel University in Springfield Saturday at 8:30 pm, with doors opening at 7:30.