Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said boosting the economy, creating more opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses and raising the minimum wage would be her priorities in the White House.
The former secretary of state got a rousing ovation about her plan to invest $20 billion to create jobs for teenagers and young adults in cities such as Baltimore.
“I will focus on communities, neighborhoods and regions that have been passed by. As part of my plan, I will direct new investments to places like west and east Baltimore,” she said before 1,500 supporters Sunday, April 10. “All of my plans are about growing our economy.”
Before she spoke outside the city’s downtown at City Garage, which is owned by Under Armour, she received a major endorsement: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland). The popular lawmaker, who represents Baltimore and also contemplated a run for Senate, walked with Clinton to the stage.
“I am here today to ask each of you to take the high road and join me in marching with this great lady,” he said. “I knew her as first lady when she and her husband led our nation to peace and prosperity. I knew her as secretary of state when she got … nearly every developed country together to oppose crippling international sanctions on Iran. This is why I will be voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton as president.”
Clinton praised Cummings and called him “a jewel” for working with her last year during a nearly half-day hearing before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which focused on her tenure as secretary of state when the U.S. military intervened in Libya where four Americans died.
“I’m just happy to tell you are lucky to have (Cummings) as one of your leaders in the Capitol,” she said.
Clinton’s appearance came less than two weeks before the New York primary April 19 and several weeks before the April 26 primary in Maryland to pick up the state’s 118 delegates. Four other states – Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island – also host primary elections on the same day.
Clinton criticized her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), a self-described socialist, on his plan to provide tuition-free college.
“We both want to make college affordable. Senator Sanders’ plan is for free college, which would include sending (Republican presidential candidate) Donald Trump’s kids and grandkids to college,” she said. “I would rather concentrate on people who have trouble paying for it.”
According to an updated count among delegates, who include party activists, local political leaders and members of a campaign’s steering committee, Clinton has 1,756 delegates versus Sanders’ 1,068.
Part of the delegate count is superdelegates, those who can cast their vote at the Democratic National Convention in July for whomever they wish. They currently show more support for Clinton, at 469 to 31, according to realclearpolitics.com.
The winner needs 2,383 to win the Democratic nomination Clinton hopes to receive before the party’s convention.
However, Sanders has won the last seven out eight primary contests.
Former NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous, who endorsed Sanders in February, posted a tweet Sunday: “Thank you to everyone in MD knocking doors this weekend! We are surging! Let’s keep it going! #FeelTheBern #MDPrimary #MDPolitics.”
A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll released Thursday, April 7, shows Clinton up by 15 percentage points in the state’s Democratic primary.
Several polls highlight how Sanders receives more support from young adults.
However, several of them campaigned for Clinton on Sunday.
“I have been a huge supporter for Hillary Clinton for as long as I’ve known,” said Emmanuel Bakare, 22, who helped organize the rally and was one of the event’s first speakers. “My mom is the epitome of the hardworking American that Hillary is fighting for. I know (Clinton) will help not only young people like me, but she will also help single mothers.”
LaVel Moorehead, of Laurel, arrived four hours before the rally and sported several Clinton buttons and showcased a black, two-sided sign emblazoned with gold letters that read: “Welcome to Baltimore, Madam President. #IMWITHHER. Hill Yes, she’s qualified!!!”
“She is someone that can work across the aisle to get things done and speak on the issues,” Moorehead, 23, said. “It’s just amazing to think that she would be the first female president of the United States. It’s about time.”