Finance Politics

President Bill Clinton visits OU campus, talks voting and economic policy

Photo by Ivy O'Shaughnessy
Written by Marianne Dodson

Former President Bill Clinton campaigned on OU’s campus Tuesday, giving a speech that emphasized to young people the importance of voting and looking toward the future.

Clinton was stumping for his wife and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whose policies and plans for office were highlighted and expanded on by the former president.

Mr. Clinton painted a stark contrast between Mrs. Clinton and her opponent Donald Trump. He emphasized that Trump focuses more on “rubbing salt in wounds” of other people, rather than paying attention to his own policies.

Mr. Clinton’s speech was interrupted during the first quarter when OU graduate Ryant Taylor, who prefers to be known as Prince Shakur, shouted from the crowd about the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that Mr. Clinton signed during his presidency.

Shakur claimed he would not vote for a candidate who had “sent millions of my people to prison.”

Shakur was quickly silenced by loud chants from the crowd before being escorted out by security; nonetheless, Mr. Clinton addressed his concerns and defended the bill, saying that it reduced crime and was popular amongst a variety of “racial and income groups.”

“She (Hillary Clinton) was the first person in this campaign who said we ought to do something to change the incarceration policies,” Mr. Clinton said.

Shakur declined to comment further after the rally.

Mr. Clinton addressed more issues about criminal justice reform, saying Mrs. Clinton wants to increase education and training within the prison system and facilitate in ensuring felons can find work once they are out of prison.

Mr. Clinton discussed Mrs. Clinton’s plan for the economy, which is focused on rebuilding infrastructure, encouraging small business startups and regulating Wall Street. He catered to an audience of mostly college students, stating his wife’s plans to make public universities free for families with a combined income of less than $125,000.

Mr. Clinton rounded out his speech with an appeal to potential voters to reclaim their futures rather than focus on past events.

“Answers work better than anger,” Mr. Clinton said. “Empowerment works better than resentment. Bridges work better than walls. And we’re stronger together than we are cutting the living daylights out of each other. Go claim your future and elect Hillary president.”

About the author

Marianne Dodson

Marianne Dodson is the state editor for The New Political, and she currently covers Hillary Clinton for TNP’s presidential coverage. She is double majoring in journalism and political science with a specialization in Jewish studies. Summer of 2016, she was an intern at the NBC affiliate station in Knoxville, Tennessee (which is also her hometown! go vols!). Her other interests include video, theatre, and Zumba. Follow Marianne on Twitter @marianne_dodson.

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