Clinton seeks supporters
Says nation ready for new leadership at the White House
By BRANDIA DEATHERAGE
Special to the Daily News
GREENVILLE — In a primary-eve push, presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton came to North Carolina to persuade voters to mark their ballots for her during today’s Democratic presidential primary.
Clinton made an early morning appearance Monday at a get-out-the-vote event at Pitt Community College in Winterville. She largely focused on what she would do, if elected president, to strengthen the economy and drive down the cost of gasoline and diesel.
Clinton’s appearance was sponsored by North Carolina for Hillary. During her remarks, Clinton kept her message positive, outlining her qualifications rather than talking about her challenger for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.
Gov. Mike Easley introduced Clinton as someone “who would not ask you to vote for her as the president of the United States until she was ready to deliver.”
Clinton told the crowd of about 400 people she could deliver leadership when it comes to issues the nation is facing. She listed several issues that will be inherited by the next president — the war in Iraq, the ailing economy, high gas prices, the home foreclosure crisis and jobs being shipped overseas.
As for the problems and serious issues the nation faces, Clinton blames them on the failings of President Bush. She said the American people are ready for new leadership.
Discussing the economy, Clinton said she’s proud that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had America on the road to getting out of debt when he was in office.
“George Bush inherited a balanced budget and a surplus and literally threw it away,” she said.
Clinton said there’s a simple rule to being fiscally responsible.
The nation’s tax system needs to be more equitable, Clinton said.
The candidate referred to the need for the redistribution of wealth, which calls for the wealthy — based on their incomes — to pay more in taxes to help the less fortunate. Clinton said she is willing to do that.
Clinton added, “The wealthy and well connected have had their president. It’s time for the rest of America to have their president.”
Clinton turned her attention to rising fuel costs.
She talked about a story told to her by an Indiana women who “gets sick to her stomach when she pulls into gas stations because it takes more and more of her disposable income to fill up her car.”
The savings for most Americans would be significant, she said.
Clinton said the United States could create five million new jobs by beginning to invest in wind, solar, clean coal, geothermal and hydro-fuels as energy sources. North Carolina’s agricultural community can play an important role in making her energy plan come to fruition, she said.
Although she focused more on issues than Obama, her challenger did get some mention by Clinton when she questioned his leadership experience.