Hillary Clinton launched her Colorado campaign Tuesday from a rally at La Rumba, a Denver Latin dance club packed with more than 350 fans.
The crowd was raring to go by the time Clinton took to the stage to talk climate change, immigration and women’s health – throwing in a few jabs at her Republican competition.
She called climate change one of the greatest threats facing America and lambasted politicians who preface their denial with: “I’m not a scientist…”
“Well I’m not a scientist either,” she said, “I’m just a grandma with two eyes and a brain!”
She vowed to carry on Obama’s new EPA emissions standards and promised that by the end of her second term, there’ll be enough clean energy to power every home in America.
The crowd loved that one.
When Clinton started talking about immigration reform, a heckler interrupted her but was silenced before anybody could hear the message.
On the other hand, Clinton’s message was clear. She promised to uphold Obama’s executive actions on immigration, establish real ways for immigrants to attain full citizenship and to never deport DREAMERs – immigrants who came to the United States when they were children.
“There is no place in the United States for second-class citizenship,” she declared.
Then she moved into the territory of women’s health, where pro-abortion rights Democrats like herself have defended Planned Parenthood against anti-abortion attacks.
“And just today, we got another window into what Republican candidates really believe,” she said. “Jeb Bush said he is not sure we need half-a-billion dollars for women’s health issues.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush did indeed say that on stage during an interview at the Southern Baptist Forum, but swiftly retracted his remarks. In a statement on his website, his campaign clarified that Bush wasn’t talking about women’s health in general. He was referring to current efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.
“Now, I would like to ask him,” Clinton continued, “Gov. Bush, try telling that to the mom who caught her breast cancer early because she was able to get screening in time. Was her health not worth the money? Tell it to the teenager who avoided an unintended pregnancy because she had access to contraception. Tell it to everyone who was protected by an HIV test.
“I am really tired of the double speak. I am tired of women being shamed and blamed and dismissed. This really isn’t complicated. When you attack Planned Parenthood, you attack women’s health, and when you attack women’s health, you attack America’s health.”
As Clinton supporters cleared out of La Rumba to make way for club-goers lined up outside, Denver resident Teresa Zoltanski said, “It’s about time to elect a female president,” especially one who’s got “more experience, backbone and leadership than any of the guys.”
A longtime Democrat, Zoltanski said she preferred Clinton over Obama last go around, but the upshot of time past is that “she won’t need any time to catch up. That’s for sure.”
Not everyone sees that as a plus.
“The fact is a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for four more years of President Obama,” said state GOP chairman Steve House in a statement about the campaign stop. “That means four more years of Obamacare, four more years of his dangerous foreign policies and four more years of having a White House at war with Colorado’s energy economy.”
Next up for Clinton in Colorado are fundraisers: two in Denver and one in Aspen.
Photo by Nat Stein