Hillary for America

For Immediate Release

April 14, 2015

Hillary Clinton in Iowa: Americans and Their Families Need a Champion

Reviews Praise Initial Campaign Swing 

Hillary Clinton hit the trail for the first time in this campaign, making stops in small venues across Iowa, including at a coffee shop in Le Claire and a community college in Monticello. The events gave her an opportunity to listen to the concerns of everyday Iowans, share ideas to tackle today’s problems and demonstrate her commitment to earning their votes. Even Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R) endorsed the campaign strategy for Iowa.
In her opening remarks at the Kirkwood Community College roundtable, Hillary Clinton identified four fights that will be at the center of her campaign -- building the economy of tomorrow, strengthening families and communities, fixing our dysfunctional political system, and protecting America from threats. As Clinton told the students, “We’ve got to figure out in our country how to get back on the right track and I’m running for president because I think that Americans and their families need a champion – and I want to be that champion. I want to stand up and fight for people so that they can not just get by, but they can get ahead, and they can stay ahead."
Below is a sampling of the overwhelmingly positive reaction to today's events and a transcript of those remarks:
"The visit to Monticello demonstrates to Jones County Democratic Party Chairwoman Arlie Willems that Clinton is serious when she says her 2016 presidential campaign will be focused on real people and their concerns.
'I think she wants to start with the grass roots, and by starting in a rural area, it accentuates her concerns about people who sometimes think they are ignored,' Willems said. [...] “Every election is different. I happen to think that the strategy of being accessible to people and going all over the state is a good strategy,' [Gov. Terry Branstad] said."
"Democrat Hillary Clinton, at the first official event of her presidential campaign, spelled out the ideas that she said will be at the heart of her campaign. 'I want to be the champion who goes to bat for Americans in four big areas,' she told four students and two educators at a roundtable staged in an automotive technology classroom at a branch campus of Kirkwood Community College."
"Hillary Rodham Clinton began laying out her Democratic presidential campaign message in Iowa on Tuesday, casting herself as a 'champion' for struggling Americans and calling for a purging of 'unaccountable money' from the campaign finance system. [...] In Iowa, she outlined four tenets of her early campaign: improving the economy, strengthening families, fixing 'dysfunctional government,' and protecting national security."
"Clinton's focus as she launches her candidacy is on reaching out to voters in intimate settings, and the Jones Street Java House certainly was one, as about a half dozen people waited to speak with her. [...] "It's a pleasant surprise," said Jeff Williams of American Fire and Safety, a local business owner and husband of the cafe's co-owner, Jen Williams.
Clinton adopted a populist air at her first public event, which was held in an auto shop at Kirkwood Community College’s Jones County Regional Center. She toured the facility and then sat at a table with teachers and students, under two vertical car lifts. [...] Clinton’s first appeal was deeply focused on Iowa — besides the interstate reference, she touted the college debt levels of the state at one point. But she also used the visit to remind voters of the biography of one of the world’s best-known women.
"'The fact that she is coming to Monticello first, a small town in Iowa, she could have went to Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo,' said Kaela Weber, a Monticello High School junior whole will be 18 on Election Day. 'I think it just means she is downhearted and just likes to care about the community and small town.'"
"Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling for changes to the nation's campaign finance system, saying here Tuesday that she would support a constitutional amendment if that's what it takes to fix what she called a 'dysfunctional' system.
Holding her first official campaign event at Kirkwood Community College in rural Monticello, Clinton identified campaign finance reform as one of several pillars of her 2016 presidential campaign."
"She said she has four main goals: Building the economy of tomorrow, strengthening families and communities, fixing the political system and getting money out of it even if it takes a Constitutional amendment and to protect our country."
Ruby Cramer @rubycramer
This is probably as close to a genuine give-&-take as you can get in the presence of a few dozen reporters, TV cams, shutter clicks etc.
John Harwood, CNBC/New York Times @JohnJHarwood
early minutes, obviously, but this is pretty good Hillary. more at ease that she often appears.
Iowa Starting Line, @IAStartingLine
Hillary Clinton was "very in-tune to what we all care about. It was really cool" - Sedlacek "Definitely an experience I will not forget"
Jennifer Jacobs, Des Moines Register @JenniferJJacobs
In Iowa, Hillary Clinton lays out her campaign message: Be a champion for economy & families, fix government, protect country from threats.
Dan Merica, CNN @danmericaCNN
Java Joe's, the coffee shop Clinton visited in Iowa, posts photos of her visit. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.775343755906725.1073741831.668843846556717&type=1 pic.twitter.com/Pm5Jx4kbcH
Ruby Cramer, BuzzFeed @rubycramer
Waiting for @HillaryClinton 1st event... Small & intimate in an auto tech lab. pic.twitter.com/TEpDUeLJpI
Katie Obradovich @KObradovich
.@HillaryClinton says “we’ve got to rebuild that connection” between business community and higher education.  #iacaucus
Peter Nicholas, Wall Street Journal @PeterNicholas3
And we're off!  Hillary Clinton arrives for her first 2016 campaign stop, at community college in rural Iowa. pic.twitter.com/95uVOyKipC
Iowa Starting Line @IAStartingLine
GOP student at Kirkwood says Clinton's visit "gives her the edge that she cares about the future generation" #IACaucus
David Chalian, CNN @DavidChalian
.@HillaryClinton cites three major influences on her desire to run and fight for families: Her mother, her father, and her church.
Luke Russert, NBC @LukeRussert
HRC's 4 points--more robust economy, strengthen families, fix political system--get money out, protect our country


Transcript Of Hillary Clinton Remarks

At Kirkwood Community College

On April 14, 2015

HILLARY CLINTON: I just want to tell you a little bit about why I’m here today. I think we all know that Americans have come back from some pretty tough economic times. And, our economy and our country are much better off because American families have basically done whatever it took to make it work. But, I think it’s fair to say that as you look across the country, the deck is still stacked in favor of those already at the top. And, there’s something wrong with that.

There’s something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker. There’s something wrong when American workers keep getting more productive, as they have, and as I just saw a few minutes ago is very possible because of education and skills training, but that productivity is not matched in their paychecks.

And there’s something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers that I saw on I-80 as I was driving here over the last two days. And there’s something wrong when students and their families have to go deeply into debt to be able to get the education and skills they need in order to make the best of their own lives. And I looked at the figures. The average Iowa graduate, from a four-year college, comes out with nearly $30,000 in debt and that’s I think the ninth highest debt load in the country and people are struggling. I met earlier today with a young student who is piecing together work and loans, knowing full well he’s going to come out owing a lot of money.

So, we’ve got to figure out in our country how to get back on the right track and I’m running for president because I think that Americans and their families need a champion – and I want to be that champion. I want to stand up and fight for people so that they can not just get by, but they can get ahead, and they can stay ahead. And a lot of people in the last few days have asked me, “Well, you know, why do you want do this? What motivates you?” And I’ve thought a lot about it and I guess the short answer is: I’ve been fighting for children and families my entire adult life, probably because of my mother’s example.

She had a really difficult childhood – was mistreated, neglected, but she never gave up. She had to basically be on her own at the time she was fourteen and she just kept going. And my father who was a small businessman and just believed that you had to work hard to make your way and do whatever you had to do to be successful and provided a good living for our family. And then I was thinking too about, you know, the lessons I learned from my church. You know, you’re supposed to give back. You’re supposed to do what you can to help others and that’s what I’ve tried to do and we’ll have more time to talk about that as we go forward.

When I got out of law school I worked for the Children’s Defense Fund and one of the projects there was literally going door-to-door. This was back in the ‘70’s when kids with disabilities were basically shut out of our schools, and thanks to your great former Senator, Tom Harkin, that’s no longer the case. But I was knocking on doors saying, “is there anybody school-aged not in school?” And finding blind kids and deaf kids and kids in wheelchairs who were just left out and I was able in Arkansas to work to try and improve education there and give more kids chances who really deserved them. And then as First Lady to fight for healthcare reform and keep fighting until we got health care insurance for kids. And then as Senator, dealing with the problems that faced New York after 9/11 and trying to help people get whatever they needed - the victims’ families, the first responders. It was an incredible honor to do that. And then, as Secretary of State, standing up for our country.

So when I look at where we are as a country, I am just so absolutely convinced that there isn’t anybody, anywhere, who can outcompete us – who has better values, who can do more to provide more people the chance to live up to their own God given potential. But we can’t take that for granted, and so I want to be the champion who goes to bat for Americans in four big areas – four big fights – that I think we have to take on because there are those don’t agree with what I think we should be doing, and they’re pretty powerful forces.

We need to build the economy of tomorrow, not yesterday. We need to strengthen families and communities, because that’s where it all starts. We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment. And we need to protect our country from the threats that we see, and the ones that are on the horizon.

So, I’m here in Iowa to begin a conversation about how we do that and to hear from people about what’s on your minds – what the challenges that you see are. And I’m going to work hard to meet as many people. I’ll be rolling out ideas and policies about what I think will work. But, I want it to be informed by what’s actually working, and to build on what works going forward. And to stand up against those who have a different vision of our country. A different one than I grew up with, and a different one than what I think is best for everybody.

So, with that, what I’d love to do is just, you know, ask a few questions and hear from folks about what their experiences have been and, you know, try to learn what you think would be ways of helping more young people get the kind of education they need without having the personal bank be broken and put you and your family at financial risk.