Former President Bill Clinton took a swipe at Gov. Matt Bevin’s health care policies Tuesday as he touted wife Hillary Clinton’s Democratic campaign for president.
Calling Hillary Clinton “the best change-maker” he has ever known, Bill Clinton told a crowd of more than 400 during a 30-minute speech at the University of Kentucky that “you ought to vote for her for your future.”
He said her ideas on issues such as income equality and higher education and her experience as as U.S. senator and secretary of state make her the most qualified to be America’s next president.
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He even encouraged the crowd to go hear Bernie Sanders, her opponent in Kentucky’s May 17 primary election, when he visits Lexington Wednesday.
The only discouraging words the 42nd U.S. president had for anyone were Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
Without mentioning Bevin by name, Clinton said Kentucky did the best job of implementing the federal Affordable Health Care Act but “you elected a Republican governor” who “wrecked” it.
Besides chiding Bevin for trying to dismantle the state health insurance exchange known as Kynect, Clinton took issue with him for trying to curb Medicaid expansion and cutting state funding to higher education.
Tres Watson, spokesman for the state Republican Party, said Bevin “is getting our fiscal house in order” and that “Obamacare has done nothing but bankrupt providers and bloat our state budget.”
“If you want to talk about wreckage, look at the devastation President Obama and Hillary Clinton have caused in our coal producing counties,” Watson said.
Concerning Trump, Clinton said America could “put up Trump’s wall,” a reference to Trump’s promise to erect a large wall on the Mexican border for national security. But Clinton said America cannot shut out social media or kill their way to victory against their enemies.
“You have to win the minds and hearts of people,” he said before criticizing those who “demonize Muslims” by suggesting they are all sympathetic to terrorists.
Clinton also touted his wife earlier Tuesday at the Space Science Center at Morehead State University and later in the day at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville.
With a large American flag hanging behind him on a cloudy and windy afternoon, Clinton told the crowd of mostly students in front of the W.T. Young Library that his wife will fight for income equality, making sure men and women get equal pay for equal work, and pursue raising the minimum wage and broadening access to affordable child care.
He said she will work with Congress to get tax credits for businesses that share their profits with their employees and offer incentives to those who reinvest in America.
Regarding higher education, he said Hillary Clinton wants to allow refinancing of student loans and provide two options to pay them back: either complete public service and get $23,500 applied to the debt or refinance at the lowest interest rate in the last 20 years and pay it back as a percentage of the person’s income.
“This means everybody can move out of their parents’ house,” he said.
On other issues, the president said, Hillary Clinton wants to invest in modernizing the nation’s infrastructure, put up more solar panels and wind mills in the country to produce energy and treat drug abuse “like a health problem, not a crime problem.”
President Clinton said one could discount his praise for Hillary Clinton “because I love her,” but he said he has been president and knows what the job involves.
Clinton was introduced at UK by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, whose family is close to the Clintons.
She led the crowd in a chant by asking them if they believe in issues such as voting rights and equal pay and let them respond in the affirmative by saying, “Hill Yes.”