Chelsea Clinton campaigns for mom at Ohio State
Democrat Senator Hillary Clinton at one time had more delegates than her opponent Senator Barack Obama. But that's changed. As Ohio's March fourth presidential primary draws near the candidates are campaigning more aggressively. Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, visited several Ohio colleges Wednesday in hopes of drawing young voters to her mother's campaign. Clinton made her first at Ohio State University.
Ohio State students, some still wearing workout clothes, gathered in the atrium of the college's Recreational and Physical Activities Center for an informal question and answer session with Chelsea Clinton. Her support and admiration for her mother was evident as she answered questions geared toward her mother's bid for the presidency.
One audience member asked about where Senator Clinton stands on health care. Clinton said her mother is committed to universal health care for Americans. She said Senator Clinton learned a lot from trying and not succeeding with the issue in the 1990s. But Clinton said republicans will have a hard time criticizing the health care plan her mother has laid out.
"It's based on the congressional plan so I think it will be difficult for a senator to say no Americans shouldn't have the health care that I have. Or to claim that it is socialized medicine because it's not exactly what the republican members of congress have. I mean, they carry around a card that has ETNA or Blue Cross Blue Shield on it. It's just a lot cheaper because the pools of people are a lot larger. So, you know, he would be paying 70 percent of what I pay through my employer, for instance. And because we're standing up for everyone," Clinton said.
Another issue on many voters' minds is immigration. An OSU senior Juliana Ramirez posed this concern:
"As a Hispanic-American, I'm just very saddened about the whole immigration situation. So where does your mom stand on immigration? And what will she do to better the lives of hard-working Hispanics who have entered the country legally and in a way strengthened the economy?" Ramirez asked.
Clinton told Ramirez her mother supports comprehensive immigration reform. She also told her that Senator Clinton voted twice for the Dream Act - legislation that would allow Hispanic students to attend college and receive financial aid regardless of their parents' immigration status. She said her mom is committed to inviting illegal immigrants to "come out of the shadows".
"For people who have been paying taxes, they would pay a fine, be registered, and then stand in line behind people who came here legally on a path to earn citizenship. And for people who came here illegally and haven't been paying taxes will also pay a fine and then they'll pay back taxes as a percentage of their income going forward, and then stand in line behind people who came here legally on a path to earn citizenship," Clinton said.
When asked what she though about Clinton's response to her question, Ramirez, an undecided voter, said she learned a lot about where Senator Clinton stands on immigration.
"I was very relieved to know that she supports the fact that there are students and people here that should go to college and are just unable to because of their parents' decision to want a better future for their kids. So that's just a sigh of relief, that thank you, someone out there understands," Ramirez said.
Finally someone asked:
"I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about why your mother would be the stronger candidate. And why in turn we should elect her as the democratic representative."
Clinton listed universal health care, ending the war in Iraq and immigration reform as reasons for why her mother should be president. She also mentioned her mother's record of working well with GOP leaders.
"I think that that record will really matter to voters of any party affiliation, but also it should really matter to us as we not only pick a candidate that we think can win in November, but can immediately start making progress in the areas that we care about January 20th," Clinton said.
Clinton also visited Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware and Sinclair Community College in Dayton. Senator Clinton is expected to address Ohio State students Thursday night.