Bill Clinton Campaigns in Flint, Calls Affordable Care Act “Craziest Thing in the World”
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Former President of the United States Bill Clinton campaigned in Flint on Monday, October 3rd, his first time in the city since stumping for down ticket Democratic candidates in 2014. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and US Representative Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) took the stage to introduce the former President.
Clinton began his speech by sharing the stories of some of the people who he met with backstage before the event began.
“I had an interesting time backstage, I’ve been back there taking pictures, and there are three things I’ll never forget,” said Clinton. “One is, I met little Mari Copeny who’s become the face of Flint, and she said that it was OK for me to love balloons. You may have noted that the media all over America made fun of me at the Democratic Convention because after Hillary spoke they dropped all these balloons and I was the last one playing with the balloons. So I asked Mari, I said ‘Do you think I’m too old to like balloons?’, she said ‘No, you can’t be too old to like balloons.’ So there you go, I have it on authority that it’s OK. Then I met that young man in the gold tie, and he promised to dress all the people on my staff under 25 as cool as he is. And then I met Bishop Maxwell, who said his grandfather, Luther Washington, this is the most important part, I can barely talk about this. In the 1950s, he was a working man in Hope, Arkansas who bought his groceries from my grandfather. My grandfather had his little grocery store, and most of his customers were African American. It was across the street from the cemetery where he, and my grandmother, and my father, and my mother are all buried. And he said ‘You know, my granddad told me your grandfather was a really good man, because he knew that my grandfather was working hard, and when he didn’t have any money and he came in the grocery store and his kids were hungry, he said take whatever you need and come back and pay me when you can,’ and that’s what he did. That’s the America we need again today, where we’re all working together, we’re all working, and we trust each other.”
Speaking to a crowd of almost 500 people, the former President made the case for why his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, is the most qualified candidate for the job.
“This election is being driven by legitimate road rage over income stagnation and the temptation to vote for somebody’s who’s entertaining,” Clinton said. “This is a change election. The question is what kind of change do we want.”
Clinton made the argument that his wife would do more to help the city of Flint through its ongoing water crisis than her opponent, who he not once mentioned by name.
“You already know why you should be against the other guy,” said Clinton. “I have this crazy and apparently old-fashioned idea that elections ought to be carried out based on who is going to do the best job for you.”
During his speech, the former President had one eyebrow raising moment, in which he criticized the Affordable Care Act, legislation which his wife staunchly supports.
“You’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world,” the former President said. “On the other hand, the current system works fine if you’re eligible for Medicaid, if you’re a lower-income working person; if you’re already on Medicare, or if you get enough subsidies on a modest income that you can afford your health care. But the people that are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies.”
One citizen from Warren, Andrew Buccilli, led a solitary protest across the street from the venue, holding a sign that read “Hillary for Prison”. While he did wish that other protesters would have joined him, he says that he was not intimidated by the Clinton supporters, describing the crowd as smaller than at Trump’s events.
Clinton also returned to Saginaw for the first time in 24 years, and made a surprise appearance at an event in Pontiac, which featured Senator Gary Peters (D-MI). Clinton’s visit continued a wave of surrogates coming to the state, which has so far included Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Anne Holton, wife of Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, Governor Martin O’Malley, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). Hillary Clinton will visit Detroit on Monday, one day before the voter registration deadline on October 11th, for a public event.