Clinton rallies for Hillary in South Side


Former President Bill Clinton visited Pittsburgh Wednesday night to campaign for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Alex Nally | Staff Photographer

By Alexa Bakalarski and Eva Fine / The Pitt News Staff

Stumping for his wife, former president Bill Clinton made a dual stop in western Pennsylvania, six days ahead of the state’s primary.

On Wednesday at 6:15 p.m., former president Bill Clinton spoke to members of the Pennsylvania State Education Association at the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers Building in the South Side. Earlier in the day, Bill Clinton also visited Pitt-Johnston’s campus at the Conference Center on Schoolhouse Road at 2:15 p.m. At both events, Bill Clinton urged Pennsylvania voters to turn out for his wife next week.

Noting Hillary Clinton’s victory in the New York primary the night before, Bill Clinton credited teachers for her success at his speech to members of the PSEA.

“You know Hillary had a big victory in New York last night, and educators were a part of that victory,” Bill Clinton said.

Bill Clinton visited two weeks after Hillary Clinton hosted a rally at Carnegie Mellon University April 6. At CMU, Hillary Clinton outlined some of her plans to invest in infrastructure, fight climate change and make education, from prekindergarten to college,  more affordable for students.

On Wednesday, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto spoke about the importance of collaboration before Bill Clinton took the podium.

“When we all work together at the state, city, county, federal level, our business community, our labor community, our non-profits, all of us working together, we can do great things,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald and Peduto also spoke about voting for Hillary Clinton in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary April 26. At her rally at CMU, Peduto formally endorsed Hillary Clinton.

“It’s going to be the turnout that’s really going to decide this race. The fact about it is that we’re ready,” Peduto said. “We’re going to be able to deliver the city of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, the 14th Congressional, the 18th Congressional, southwestern Pennsylvania, and we’re going to deliver it for Hillary.”

Fitzgerald said the New York primary set the bar for Pennsylvania on its primary day.

“We’re ready, because she is the candidate that, as the Mayor said, is ready to run government and invest in the future, invest in our children, invest in our infrastructure, invest in us as a community,” Fitzgerald said.

After PSEA President Gerald “Jerry” Oleksiak introduced him, Bill Clinton walked to the podium to “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten, shaking hands along the way.

Drawing on his own experience as president, Bill Clinton spoke about what is most vital for being president of the United States — delivering on one’s promises.

“It’s the ultimate responsibility job, and as soon as you get finished taking the oath, whoever you blamed for whatever happened, it’s yours now. And the only thing that matters is whether you stand and deliver,” Bill Clinton said.

Noting Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State and a senator from New York, Bill Clinton also said his wife should be elected president because “she has the longest record of actually doing things for other people in a way that improves their lives.”

As Fitzgerald and Peduto said before him, Bill Clinton spoke on the necessity of cooperation in and out of the Oval Office.

“Here’s what I know, I look around at this county, at this audience, wherever people are working together, good things are happening,” he said. “Wherever people act like the only thing that matters is their differences, good things are not happening.”

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