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Bill Clinton Campaigns In Colonie

Clinton GOTV event at the Desmond
Patrick Garrett/WAMC
/
New York rural Democrats gather to hear from former President Bill Clinton.

Former President Bill Clinton addresses a packed conference room at the Desmond Hotel in Albany Saturday morning for a “Get Out The Vote” event on behalf of his wife. Clinton focused what he called Hillary Clinton’s record as a change maker.

Introducing the 42nd president at the conference of rural Democrats was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, also a supporter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A couple hundred people turned out including Congressman Paul Tonko, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Cuomo quoted his father, the late Governor Mario Cuomo, saying government that doesn’t achieve results, fails.

"My father would say, we need ideas that are good and sound, not ideas that sound good," said Cuomo.

When the former president took the stage, he focused on renewable energy, jobs and the economy, SUNY and CUNY, and getting people out to vote Tuesday.

"You've already heard a lot of what's been said but she's the best change maker, not only in this race, she's the best change maker I've ever known,” Clinton said.  

He added New York can help lead the way in clean and renewable energy.

"Every time Hillary says 'I'm gonna put up 500 million solar panels in the next four years,' on the East half of the country people roll their eyes, 'Oh she meant to give that speech in New York,' New Jersey has the second largest number of solar panels installed in this country," said Clinton. 

With polls showing Hillary Clinton leading a tightening race against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in New York, the former president said the race is about experience making change.

"I want you to spend between now and Tuesday, telling people they need to show up, be counted be heard, she was there for you, you need to be there for her. We need you!" Clinton exclaimed.

"It's not about how clever you are if you take down your opponents, how quick you are in repartee, it's really about where do people's lives change," Clinton said.

Hillary Clinton, a New York Senator for eight years, has often referred to her position in President Obama’s cabinet as a major asset. Although the Democratic primary has largely focused on domestic policy to date, President Clinton says voters need to pay close attention to the foreign policy debate.

"I know a lot of Democrats, 'Well I don't care about that foregin policy stuff,' You should this time," said Clinton. "You should this time for a simple reason. First of all on pure humanitarian concerns, it should bother you that we have the largest number of migrants since World War II."

He then went on to attack Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s plans to build a wall on the Mexican border.

"This is a country, ours, as the Governor said, made by immigrants. We don't agree with the fella in the other party that wants to build a wall. And even if you build one, you can't keep the social media out."

Clinton, who spoke for just shy of a half-hour, ended by telling the conference to get out and vote…

"I want you to spend between now and Tuesday, telling people they need to show up, be counted be heard, she was there for you, you need to be there for her. We need you!" Clinton exclaimed.

Even as the former president wrapped up his speech, there were signs of an unexpectedly contentious race in the Empire State: a few hundred Sanders supporters were rallying outside the state capitol.

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