By Max Sullivan
Hampton Union, February 5, 2016
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly campaign for Hillary Clinton in Hampton on Tuesday during a town hall
event at Winnacunnet High School. [Ioanna Raptis photo]
HAMPTON — Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton made no mention of her narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses to a crowd at Winnacunnet High School Tuesday.
Instead Clinton, talked about what separates herself from her only competitive opponent in next Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Clinton took 49.9 percent of the vote in Monday’s caucuses, with Sanders taking 49.6 percent. Clinton currently trails Sanders in New Hampshire polls with an average of 37.7 percent support, according to Real Clear Politics, and Sanders leading with 55.8 percent.
Clinton said her intent to build on the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare,” separates her from Sanders, who has said he wants to repeal it and rebuild a similar program from the ground up.
Clinton told the crowd that 90 percent of Americans were covered by health insurance because of Obamacare.
“(Sanders) shares my goal of universal coverage but wants us to start all over,” Clinton said. “I think that would be a terrible mistake to throw our country into a contentious debate over health care again. To start over? To have the gridlock that would become?
“It is a lot easier to get from 90 to 100 percent than from 0 to 100 percent,” Clinton added.
Clinton brought up her own attempts as first lady to get universal health care in the early 1990s with the Health Security Act, pointing out “before it was called Obamacare it was called ‘Hillarycare.’” She also touted her initiative that followed, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which passed after the Health Security Act was defeated.
Clinton also pushed the importance of keeping a Republican out of the White House in the 2016 election. She talked about how Republican President George W. Bush “dismantled everything that had been built up by the Clinton administration,” including the 17 percent increase to median family income under her husband, President Bill Clinton.
She also said Bush left Obama, a “young, dynamic Democratic president,” with “the biggest mess,” including an economy “hemorrhaging” 300,000 jobs a month.
Clinton said Democrats should not be discouraged and remember what successes the Obama administration had, including bailing out the auto industry and bringing the “toughest new rules on Wall Street since the Great Depression.” She said she intends to continue Obama’s trend, as well as bring similar change to what was seen under her husband’s administration.
“I was around in the 90s. We had 23 million new jobs,” Clinton said. “I want Democrats to know we can do this again.”
Clinton also said she intends to attack lobbyists from the gun industry and help close loopholes that allow gun sales to happen online and at gun shows without background checks.
Clinton was joined on stage Tuesday night by former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.
Giffords was shot in 2011 outside a grocery store at a political event. She told the Hampton crowd she believed Clinton would be successful in bringing about “common sense gun laws.”
“She will stand up to the gun lobby. That’s why I’m voting for Hillary,” Giffords said. “Next January, I want to hear the words ‘madam president.’”