Together again! And stronger together!
Hillary Clinton, campaigning here Wednesday with Sen. Bernie Sanders, worked to sway millennial voters by promoting a plan to make public college tuition-free for working families.With Bernie on our side, I feel especially good about New Hampshire! Watch the full event above.
In a University of New Hampshire gym packed with students, Clinton sought to connect with those facing sometimes insurmountable college debt. Clinton said that when she graduated from college herself, she repaid her loans as a percentage of her income, which allowed her to take a low-paying public service job with the Children’s Defense Fund.
“I could never have done that if I had the kind of interest rates a lot of people are facing,” she told a crowd estimated at 1,200. “We are going to fix it. This is wrong.”
Clinton said when she taught law in Arkansas she met many students who scraped together money for tuition but were sidelined by financial hardships, including broken-down cars or child-care problems.
“The American dream is big enough for everyone, and education is absolutely essential to it,” she said.
Clinton noted that New Hampshire has the highest proportion of students with debt and the second-highest average debt per student. She said she aims to make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families earning less than $125,000 per year, to make community college free, and to help students refinance their college debt.
"When you add it up, our plan will help millions of people save thousands of dollars," she said.
Sanders, introducing Clinton, called the tuition-free proposal "revolutionary" and said it would spare students from "outrageous levels" of debt. He and Clinton worked together on the proposal after the Democratic presidential primaries.
"When you have Republicans telling us that it is OK to give tens and tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the richest people in this country, do not tell me that we cannot afford to make public colleges and universities tuition free," he said.
The rally marks Clinton and Sanders' second joint appearance in New Hampshire, a battleground state where Al Gore's loss to George W., Bush in the 2000 election remains a painful memory for Democrats. Audience members were given placards with the website, Iwillvote.com, which disseminates voter registration information.
Sanders, I-Vt., aims to help transfer to Clinton more support from the young adults who helped fuel his unexpectedly strong performance in the Democratic primaries. Clinton is underperforming with young adults, a surprisingly large percentage of whom are turning to third-party candidates.
Sanders said New Hampshire could decide the outcome of the election.
"I am asking you here today not only to vote for Secretary Clinton but to work hard to get your uncles and your aunts, to get your friends to vote," Sanders said. "It is imperative that we elect Hillary Clinton as our next president."