Hillary Clinton Sounds Themes, Jabs Trump And Bush

by Steve Brawner ([email protected]) 156 views 

Former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took shots at Donald Trump and the Republican Party while sounding some of her campaign’s populist economic themes in Little Rock Saturday.

Speaking before 2,500 Democrats at the state party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, Clinton said, “Democrats are in the future business, but from the Republican candidates for president, we see the opposite. They may have some fresh faces, but they are the party of the past.”

Clinton, who was introduced by former Gov. Mike Beebe, criticized Republican Party policies, which she characterized as based on cutting taxes for the wealthy and letting big corporations write their own rules. She expressed support for a range of policies she said would help women, including paid leave, sick days, and equal pay for equal work, explaining that policies that help women help the entire country. She said she would fight against efforts to roll back regulations on Wall Street and called for prosecuting individuals along with corporations for committing financial fraud.

“Trickle down economics has to be one of the worst ideas from the 1980s,” she said. “It is right up there with New Coke, shoulder pads and big hair. I lived under that. There are photographs, and believe me, we’re not going back.”

Clinton took a jab at Donald Trump, who spoke Friday during the Republican Party of Arkansas’ annual Reagan-Rockefeller Dinner in Hot Springs. Trump ignited a controversy during his campaign announcement when he said Mexico is sending rapists and other criminals to the United States. On Saturday, Trump drew fire from many of his fellow Republicans after suggesting that Sen. John McCain is not a hero because he allowed himself to be shot down during the Vietnam War.

“Donald Trump: Finally a candidate whose hair gets more attention than mine,” she said. “But there’s nothing funny about the hate he is spewing at immigrants and their families and now the insults he’s directed at a genuine war hero, Sen. John McCain.”

She also criticized Jeb Bush, who said in New Hampshire that for the United States to achieve 4% economic growth, workforce participation needs to increase and workers need to work more hours to increase their income. Bush since has said he meant that people with part-time jobs need opportunities to do more work. But Clinton said he was backtracking and that his policies won’t help those people.

“Giving more tax cuts to those at the top will not do anything for part-time workers,” she said. “Rolling back rules for Wall Street won’t help families get ahead, and getting rid of the Affordable Care Act won’t help entrepreneurs – just ask the folks in the sharing economy who say it’s huge for business. Americans don’t need a lecture. They need a raise.”

Clinton recalled her years living in Arkansas, where she and husband Bill raised their daughter, Chelsea. Being a new grandmother reminds her of those days and has rooted her in both the present and in the future, she said.

She expressed support for universal preschool for all four-year-olds and said she would work to create policies to refinance student debt, saying, “Education should lift up young people, not drag you down.”