Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new campaign for the presidency is being built on policies she says will boost the middle class, but also are aimed at appealing to the coalition of voters forged by Franklin D. Roosevelt and modernized by Barack Obama.
On Roosevelt Island Saturday, Clinton evoked Roosevelt’s New Deal when speaking of new ways the federal government could lift the American families left behind during the most recent economic crisis.
“If you do your part you ought to be able to get ahead,” Clinton said in her first rally of the 2016 campaign. “And when everybody does their part, America gets ahead too.”
Clinton told more than 5,000 people at the rally that she would increase economic fairness, boost family leave, ease college debt and combat climate change if elected to the White House.
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She included them under a broad theme that the United States should be measured by the success of its families, not its wealthy, and will urge Americans to trust her to fight for the middle class.
“Democracy can’t be just for billionaires and corporations,” Clinton said. “Prosperity and democracy are part of your basic bargain too.”
She contrasted herself with the Republicans presidential candidates who, she said, would turn to the unsuccessful tactic of lowering taxes for the wealthy and imposing fewer rules on the largest corporations.
“There may be some new voices in the presidential Republican choir,” Clinton said. “But they’re all singing the same old song.”
Clinton’s speech provides most detailed vision for the country as she seeks to harness the coalition of female, minority, youth and gay voters that twice propelled Obama to victory.
Betsy Steinman, 65, of New York, said she is glad Clinton is talking about raising the minimum wage, securing voting rights and immigration. “She’s standing up for the middle class,” she said.
‘No more dynasties’
Clinton was joined at the rally by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea. It was the family campaigned together since she announced her candidacy.
“No more dynasties,” said Bob Kunst of Miami Beach, one of the few opponents outside the event, who held a sign. “Had enough of Bill (and) Hill.” He also plans to protest former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s campaign kickoff in Miami Monday..
Clinton she spoke four broad goals: strengthening the economy, helping families and communities, getting unaccountable money out of politics and protecting the country from foreign threats.
The 45-minute speech was full of policy proposals, but short on details. She is expected to outline specifics weekly through the summer and fall.
Clinton already has been accused of moving to the left as she tries to win over more liberal voters.
She has pledged to do more than Obama to halt the deportation of immigrants who are in the United States illegally. She has called for an overhaul of the criminal justice system, including body cameras for police and fewer Americans sent to prison. She supports a nationwide in-person early voting period of at least 20 days, and automatic voter registration at age 18. She backs same-sex marriage and says it is a right afforded by the Constitution.