CRANFORD, NJ - Former President Bill Clinton's campaign stop at Union County College today underscored the important role New Jersey is playing in deciding the Democratic nominee.
"New Jersey is incredibly important," said Derek Roseman, communications director for Hilary for New Jersey. "If we do our jobs and if the voters do theirs, New Jersey will make her the nominee. We have the delegates, and we are close. A good turnout is a strong victory."
The crowd of several hundred, some of whom waited all day in line and many wearing Hillary buttons, filled the college’s common area. Assemblywoman Annette Quijano seemed to speak for the crowd when she said, “I am so excited to have President Bill Clinton in New Jersey. He knows who would be the best person for the job because he has done the job. Hillary stands for the things I stand for.”
Standing in front of a huge American flag and a New Jersey State flag of the same size, Clinton addressed the crowd of several hundred, saying, “We have to build a future that is inclusive, not divisive.”
Among the issues championed by Hillary is improving the nation’s infrastructure: “It isn’t just about roads and bridges,” Clinton said. “It is about Flint, Michigan, and Newark where there is lead in the water that children are drinking.”
Manufacturing is making a comeback, he reported. Labor, he said, is no longer the most expensive component. Material, energy, and transportation have surpassed it in cost. “We could save on the transportation and make the stuff here.”
Clinton also called for every child to have access to pre-school and better teacher training. “The most successful schools spend more money on making teachers better teachers and principals better principals. We don’t need to invest in five tests. We need to invest on what is going to work.”
A top concern at a community college was the crushing debt facing graduates. Clinton proposed students being able to join Americorps or another community service organization where they would earn a salary and also get their loans paid. Students should also be able to refinance their loans which they would repay like a mortgage. His remarks were greeted with cheers.
Clinton reported that Congress is beginning to work together on immigration reform. “It doesn’t make sense not to. These are working people who pay taxes.”
“Hillary has the best ideas,” Clinton said, adding that political gridlock and the worldwide economic crisis as the two, most difficult problems to overcome. “She is the only person who is qualified to handle both. There are always people on the other side who will support her.
“If you believe in our future greatness, than New Jersey should rise for Hillary.”
Clinton’s message resounded among the government leaders. “I find it remarkable how he can communicate with everybody in America,” commented Sen.Raymond Lesniak, noting the energy of the audience. “He makes you feel good about being an American. Trump makes you angry. Clinton makes people feel good.”
Asked her reaction, Freehold Linda Carter remarked, “I think it was awesome. This is what we need. We need to have Hillary, and everyone needs to go out and vote.”
Assemblyman Jamel Holley emphasized the importance of the upcoming election. “It is so important to recognize the impact of this election. To have a former president spend time in Union County demonstrates the need to vote and to vote for Hillary Clinton. It is monumental for our future.”