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9 Days Shy Of Super Tuesday, Bill Clinton Campaigns In Oklahoma City For Hillary

Former President Bill Clinton campaign on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, at Northeast Academy in Oklahoma City on February 21, 2016.
Jacob McCleland
Former President Bill Clinton campaign on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, at Northeast Academy in Oklahoma City on February 21, 2016.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton used a theme of togetherness on Sunday night as he campaigned in Oklahoma City for his wife, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.

Speaking to an estimated 750 people at Northeast Academy, the 42nd President said the country needs somebody in office who will open doors of prosperity and opportunity for all Americans.

“She believes that the world ought to work and America sure ought to work the way Oklahoma City worked after the Murrah Building came down,” Clinton said. “And you inspired the whole world because all of a sudden it didn’t matter what your race was, what you gender was, what your age was, whatever your what was, we were doing this together. It works better, doesn’t it?

“And then we all get careless, we let things get out of whack and we forget that this country never works if you leave people behind. It never works unless everybody’s got a chance to get a good job and make a good living and have a good future.”

Clinton made few references to his wife’s primary challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, but he referred to Republican primary frontrunner Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” without using the real estate mogul’s name.

“America never stopped being great again. Never. What we need to do is make America whole again so we can all go together,” Clinton said.

“We got to tear down all the barriers, not just the economic ones, and we got to build ladders that everybody can climb,” Clinton said. “That’s Hillary’s whole program in a sentence. You’ve got to have inclusive economics and inclusive societies and  you’ve got to have inclusive politics.”

Clinton said the country needs to create more jobs, a modern infrastructure, and become a clean energy superpower. He told supporters that the country should remove the debt load off of young college graduates. He said Hillary Clinton believes tuition should be free for middle-class students and low-income students should get more help. He said that, currently, student loans are the only types of loans that cannot be refinanced. That would change under a Hillary Clinton administration.


“If we did that today, what she advocates, 25 million young people overnight could save $2,000 in costs on their loans,” Clinton said. He added that she believes that students should be able to get 20 year student loans at a low, fixed percentage of after-taxed income.

Clinton told the crowd that Flint, Michigan is not the only place in the country where children have elevated levels of lead. In addition to infrastructure projects like road and bridges, the country needs to fix underground pipes to avoid lead poisoning.

Clinton said the biggest social epidemic that cuts across racial lines is prescription drug and heroin abuse.

“In state after state after state, more people are dying of this than they are of car accident,” Clinton said. “It’s closely related to economic distress.”

Clinton said he isn’t sure if he should laugh or cry when he hears Republican candidates debate immigration. He said deporting 11.5 million undocumented immigrants would collapse the economy, and he sympathized with young immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States by their parents.

“We need immigration reform. We need not to be prejudiced against anybody that waited in line. They ought to go first because they followed the law,” Clinton said. “But we ought to stop tearing the living daylights out of our country and recognize that our youth and our diversity are our mealtickets to the future. We should embrace it.”

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Jacob McCleland spent nine years as a reporter and host at public radio station KRCU in Cape Girardeau, Mo. His stories have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Here & Now, Harvest Public Media and PRI’s The World. Jacob has reported on floods, disappearing languages, crop duster pilots, anvil shooters, Manuel Noriega, mule jumps and more.
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