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With the Pennsylvania primary only weeks away, Sen. Hillary Clinton held a rally at McGonigle Hall Tuesday night to gather support and votes for this critical election.
The senator was introduced by Gov. Ed Rendell and Mayor Michael Nutter. Wen the three entered, applause and cheers lasted for more than a minute. Rendell reaffirmed his support for Clinton and said she was the best prepared candidate for president. Nutter agreed and said that her experience was necessary for a presidency.
“This is an experience job. [If] you want to run for mayor, for governor or for president, you need experience,” Nutter said.
Clinton’s family is originally from Scranton, and she said that Pennsylvania should decide who the next president should be.
“You need a president who gets up every day and says, ‘What can I do to help Gov. Rendell and Mayor Nutter to be the greatest successes they can be,” Clinton said.
The crowd roared with cheers when Clinton said she would start withdrawing troops from Iraq within 60 days if she became president.
“It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush, and it’ll take a Clinton to clean up after the second one,” Clinton said.
The senator also said that she wanted to end the controversial No Child Left Behind Act, expand Pell Grants for college students and freeze tuition rates for incoming students.
“I will ask colleges and universities to enter into a contract so you know exactly how much you’re going to pay all four years so the cost doesn’t go up every year,” Clinton said.
She said that she loved being at Temple because it has such a great reputation and that the schools works so hard at giving working people opportunities
She also said that if elected, she would decrease the cost of college for students through service programs. Students could perform national service before they go to college and earn up to $10,000 a year for school. For students who graduate with debt and enter a job in public service, like teaching, nursing or law enforcement, their debts would be completely erased.
One of the Clinton’s big issues was healthcare reform.
“We cannot continue to be a country where some of us are well insured but most of us are not,” Clinton said.
She said that on the campaign trail she has met numerous voters who know people who have died because they didn’t have healthy insurance.
“This is not America. We are so much better than this, and when I am president, we are going to have quality healthcare for everyone,” Clinton said.
She said that insurance companies can no longer discriminate against the sick. If she were president, Clinton said she would offer Americans the same health insurance options that the members of congress have and for those who can’t afford insurance they would get healthcare tax credits.
Clinton only briefly discussed her opponent, Sen. Barack Obama. She said she has the greatest respect for him, but believes that she is offering exactly what the country needs.
For many, this rally helped them choose between Obama and Clinton. Maryana Gordin said she was interested to hear Clinton’s opinion on important issues.
“I want to hear what she has to say and see what her differences are from Obama, because right now, I think they are kind of similar,” the sophomore accounting major said.
Clinton said she wants to give as many people as possible a chance for a good middle-class lifestyle with a rising economy.
“I have a vision of the future where America is an innovative future. We are the creators of tomorrow,” Clinton said.
The senator and her family will be campaigning throughout the state this week.
LeAnne Matlach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.