Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton told a crowd in Myrtle Beach on Thursday that she would reach across the political aisle as president to pass legislation that would strengthen the economy, raise the minimum wage, require equal pay for women and eliminate climate change.
“There’s a lot of work we have to do here at home,” Clinton said. “There’s a lot of gridlock, a lot of partisanship, but you’ve got to build relationships and find common ground wherever it exists.”
“We can disagree without being disagreeable, that’s how we build bridges,” Clinton said.
Clinton cited as an example of her bipartisan record her work with South Carolina’s U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham to ensure health care for members of the National Guard called up for duty overseas.
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The Myrtle Beach appearance Thursday was among a number of stops Clinton has made in South Carolina this week leading up to Saturday’s Democratic primary, where Clinton faces Bernie Sanders on the ballot.
Clinton, the author of “Hillarycare” before it became “Obamacare,” said that although 19 million additional Americans now have health care, more work needs to be done. “We need to get to the point where we have quality, affordable health care,” Clinton said. “The way to provide care for everyone is to build on the system we have.”
The former first lady and Secretary of State criticized the Republican candidates who are campaigning on promises to repeal Obamacare.
“You never hear them tell you what they will replace it with. Basically, they want to return it to the insurance companies,” Clinton said.
Clinton pledged to “deploy” a half-billion solar panels to American homes to combat climate change, and strengthen the economy by creating more jobs in the solar and wind energy sector.
“We wouldn’t need a recovery if we hadn’t fallen off a cliff in the Great Recession in the first place,” she said to shouts of approval and applause from the audience.
She said she differed from Sanders on the issue of education, in particular, free education for college students.
Instead of taxpayers paying colleges for costs that will continue to rise year after year, Clinton said that as president, she would pressure universities to lower tuition to more affordable rates.
We can disagree without being disagreeable, that’s how we build bridges.
“I don’t want you all paying to send Donald Trump’s kids to college, I want to help poor kids and working class kids,” Clinton said.
Thousands of people waited in line for nearly three hours to see Clinton, but only an estimated 800 were allowed into the banquet room at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
It was a stark difference from the rally held by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who drew nearly 5,000 to an event at the convention center in November.
The intimate town hall setting of Clinton’s event allowed voters to surround the small stage, close enough for them to reach out and shake her hand, which she did with hundreds of attendees for nearly 20 minutes after her speech.
Ann Dieckmann has been a fan of Clinton’s for decades, and was excited to finally see her candidate in person.
“I would love to see a woman in the White House,” Dieckmann said.
Gayle Valenti of Myrtle Beach was also at the rally to show her support for Clinton, who she said had more experience than all of the candidates and was the best qualified for the job.
We wouldn’t need a recovery if we hadn’t fallen off a cliff in the Great Recession in the first place.
“She’s not a one-trick pony, she’s held different jobs,” said Valenti, who predicted Clinton will “win big” in South Carolina and Horry County.
Mary Hauet of Myrtle Beach said she was not impressed with Clinton, especially her quip about paying for Trump’s children to go to college.
“Hillary Clinton wants to deny 99 percent of people a free education, just so she can deny Donald Trump’s kids a college education,” Hauet said.
Clinton has consistently lead in South Carolina polls by a wide margin over her opponent.
A Clemson University Palmetto Poll released Thursday indicated Clinton would win the state by a large margin — 64 percent to Sanders 14 percent. The poll focused on voters who had participated in at least two of the last three statewide primaries.
Polling by the American Research Group last week showed Clinton with 61 percent and Sanders with 32 percent, and mirrored a NBC, Wall Street Journal, Marist College poll that put Clinton ahead with 60 percent, followed by Sanders with 32 percent.
Clinton’s strong numbers persist even though her campaign has been dogged by scandal surrounding her use of a non-government email server during her term as Secretary of State to send classified documents.
Sanders has also accused the former first lady of lining her campaign coffers with contributions from Wall Street donors, and giving speeches to Goldman Sachs and other large banks for hefty fees.
Although Sanders soundly defeated Clinton in the New Hampshire primary with 60 percent to 39 percent — his New England backyard — Clinton carried the Iowa Caucuses and Nevada primary and is leading the Democrat primary contest with 505 delegate votes, which includes the support of pledged super delegates, to Sanders’ 70 delegates.
Although one Fox News Poll has Sanders pulling ahead of Clinton, she is expected to carry most Super Tuesday states next week except for Sanders home state of Vermont plus Massachusetts. The grand prize for that election primary is nearly 1,000 delegate votes.
Audrey Hudson 843-444-1765