Bill Clinton campaigns for wife at Penn State Behrend

Bill+Clinton+campaigns+for+wife+at+Penn+State+Behrend

“We are Penn State” was chanted by college students and Erie residents Friday morning waiting outside the Behrend campus’ Erie Hall, but the crowd wasn’t cheering for an early basketball game.

It was cheering for Hillary Clinton.

Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband and former U.S. president, stopped at Penn State Behrend as part of Hillary’s campaigning in Pennsylvania. A crowd of roughly 300, some who waited outside the hall as early as 7:30 a.m. turned out to listen.

A handful of anti-abortion protestors stood across from the line waiting to hear about Hillary’s campaign while Behrend students asked the crowd to sign up for volunteer hours.

Holly Dill, a junior biology and freshwater marine biology major at Gannon University, said she attended the speech for the attraction of hearing an ex-president.

“I can understand having your husband campaign for you, but I’m not sure having your former president husband without a spotless record talk for you is a good idea,” Dill said.

Jeff Bloodworth, Ph.D., an associate professor of history, said the only reason he didn’t attend was that he didn’t want to call off his Friday classes.

“I love Bill Clinton,” Bloodworth said. “But I’m not going to cancel class.”

Clinton spoke about his wife’s policies on the economy, education and foreign policy. He said Hillary will bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. by creating modern manufacturing, like replacing water systems and pipes where lead poisoning is common and by promoting green energy like solar panels and windmills.

“Flint, Mich., isn’t the only city with lead poisoning,” Clinton said. “Imagine all the jobs we could create if we replaced all those rusty pipes.”

Other jobs come from small businesses, said Clinton, including two-thirds of all new jobs in the U.S. Hillary Clinton plans to invest $800 billion in new loans to reinvigorate the community investment law.

Hillary Clinton also supports income equality for women, as well as paid family leave and a 15 percent tax credit for employers that offer it. Since the crowd at Behrend was mostly college students, Bill Clinton presented Hillary’s plan for refinancing student loans by explaining that Bernie Sanders’ tuition-free college plan asks states to fund one-third of the cost, and many states realistically cannot afford it.

Community colleges would be tuition free, but other schools would provide financial aid based on need and current work study programs would be improved to further help students. Clinton said Hillary’s refinancing plan would allow students to convert their student loans into a mortgage they could pay off within 10 years.

“If you let students simply refinance their debt, 25 million Americans would save their money,” Clinton said.

Clinton used anecdotes to show why he believes his wife is the most qualified candidate for presidency, including a story about a military officer who told him Hillary Clinton was the only person in Congress who truly understood the problems military men and women face.

Clinton said Hillary would be more willing to work with patriotic Syrians and military special forces to help them help themselves.

“We need somebody managing national security who’s strong, smart and forthright,” Clinton said.

He gave examples from her time working as a New York senator where she was required to compromise with Republicans like Newt Gingrich, and said she is the best change-maker he has known since he met her 40 years ago.

“If you want to get something done and move America forward, you better vote for Hillary,” Clinton said.

KELSEY GHERING
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