Sec. Hillary Clinton Campaigns in Burlington
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is locked in a tight race with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders with the Iowa Caucus less than two weeks away. She spent Tuesday night trying to solidify support from Democrats in southeast Iowa.
Clinton used part of her roughly 40-minute speech at the Pzazz Entertainment Complex in Burlington to voice her support for President Obama and his efforts over the last seven years.
"Here is what I believe," said Clinton. "I believe it's absolutely imperative for us to build on the progress we have made and not let it be ripped away. I personally believe President Obama does not receive the credit he deserves."
The line drew cheers from the more than 300 people in attendance. Clinton said the Affordable Care Act, which was approved under President Obama's leadership, is in jeopardy if a Republican wins the White House.
"When he started, we had 44 million people without insurance... and the insurance companies called all the shots," said Clinton, adding that after the ACA was adopted, "look at the results. 19 million people are now insured, 90% of the people are insured, and we are no longer at the mercy of insurance companies.
"That is something I want to protect and defend. The Republicans keep trying to repeal it. They voted to repeal it last week. They sent that to the White House, thank goodness the President vetoed it. I guarantee you if [Republicans] win the White House back, they will repeal it the first week."
Clinton said she will build on the successes of the ACA and make it better.
She also used her time in Burlington to lay out her plan for making the wealthiest Americans pay what she called "their fair share." She said for starters, she supports what is sometimes know as the "Warren Buffett rule."
"If you are a millionaire, you should pay at least a 30% effective tax rate," said Clinton. "Because you have done really well in our country and you have taken advantage of everything that prior generations have built up and created and you should not avoid your obligation to support our country, our society."
Clinton said she would also support a 4% surtax on all forms of income for people making more than $5 million/year, equal pay for men and women, and an increase in the minimum wage that is tied to inflation so it continues to go up each year.
"It is not right if you work full-time and you are still in poverty," said Clinton. "We have to begin to increase the wages. I want people to work, that is the best answer to improving our economy."
Clinton also called for strict Wall Street reforms, said she would bring more focus on issues such as mental health, drug addiction and autism, and pledged to not send U.S. troops to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
She also encouraged the crowd to get out on Feb. 1 and caucus for her.
"I understand it is a competitive process. I wish it were not quite so mean-spirited. I don't think that reflects well on us, but we have to keep forging our way forward and try to bring people back together again. So now, you all have a choice to make."