Two months and one day after formally announcing her presidential candidacy, Hillary Clinton “launched” her presidential campaign from the state she previously represented in the U.S. Senate.
“I know how hard this job is. I’ve seen it up close and personal,” Clinton, a former first lady and secretary of state, told the crowd. “I might not be the youngest candidate in this race, but I will be the youngest woman president in the history of the United States and the first grandmother as well.”
The setting was Saturday morning at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in New York. She said Franklin Roosevelt’s actions inspired two future presidents: Barack Obama, who she served as secretary of state, and her husband Bill Clinton.
"If you do your part you ought to be able to get ahead—and when everybody does their part, America gets ahead too,” Clinton said, invoking Roosevelt.
Clinton dived deeper into policy than in previous speech, framing what she would do as president if elected.
"I want to wage and win four fights for you,” Clinton told the crowd.
These four were building an “economy for tomorrow,” which included green energy spending; “strong American families,” which included universal pre-school and paid leave laws; “defending America” by serving soldiers and veterans; and “revitalizing democracy,” by requiring universal voter registration and potentially supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United free speech decision on campaign spending.
Making a veiled reference to her narrow loss for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, Clinton said, “I’ve been called many things by many people, quitter is not one of them.”
She went on to attack the Republican presidential field, but not by name.
"We’re still working our way back from a crisis that happened because time-tested values were replaced by false promises," she said. “There may be new voices in the presidential Republican choir, but they are all singing the same song.”
"They want to take away health insurance away from more than 16 million Americans without any credible alternative," Clinton said of Republicans. "They shame and blame women, rather than respect our right to make our own decisions. They want to put immigrants, who work hard and pay taxes, at risk of deportation. and, they turned their backs on gay people who love each other. Fundamentally, they reject what it takes to build an inclusive economy. it takes an inclusive society. what i once called a village that has a place for everyone."
Clinton formally announced she was in the presidential race on April 12, in a video. She has since participated in numerous campaign style events and town hall meetings in New Hampshire and Iowa.
But the New York event was framed as a launch.
"Democracy can't be just for billionaires and corporations," Clinton said. "Prosperity and democracy are part of your basic bargain, too. You brought our country back. Now it's time, your time, to secure the gains and move ahead. And you know what? America can't succeed unless you succeed."