2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. still has work to do when it comes to women’s rights during her visit to Columbus on Thursday.
Her first visit to Ohio’s capital this campaign season was hosted by Ohio Women for Hillary at the Columbus Athenaeum. She spoke to a small, enthusiastic crowd of about 475 people in a large, half-filled ballroom.
During her speech, Clinton spent a great deal of time stressing the importance of women in America.
“Too many women are working minimum wage jobs,” she said to the crowd. “So that’s why I am running, to raise the minimum wage.”
Clinton said she has met far too many mothers who are struggling to make a sufficient living as a single parent while balancing raising their children.
As president, Clinton said she would want to make sure that America works for women. She said she would do this by helping young mothers “find affordable child care that they can trust” and by defending a woman’s right to choose by proudly supporting Planned Parenthood.
Matt Parthun, the treasurer for the OSU College Democrats and a fourth-year in math and economics, is supporting all of the Democratic candidates at this point, but added that “Hillary’s experience as secretary of state gives her great foreign policy credentials.”
Clinton said that having lived in the White House for eight years as the first lady to former President Bill Clinton and having worked for Obama, she knows firsthand how hard those two presidents work.
“The principal mission of my campaign and presidency will be to raise income,” she said. “We are going to make the rich pay their fair share.”
Hillary Clinton’s speech began with a joke alluding to the current FBI investigation into her use of a private email server to conduct government business.
“Controversy seems to follow me around, in case you haven’t noticed,” she joked to the crowd. “That’s sort of part of the territory.”
She also invited the entire room to come to her inauguration, which resulted in a great eruption of cheers.
Levi Cramer, director of communications for the OSU College Republicans and a third-year in political science, said in an email that he found it interesting Hillary Clinton “haphazardly joked” about having controversy follow her.
“We’ve seen time and time again between Benghazi and her emails — this is no laughing matter,” he said. “Ohio deserves better than an out-of-touch career politician, and I’m glad to see that Ohio realizes that this is just what they’d get with Mrs. Clinton.”
Cramer added that he thought it was interesting Hillary Clinton drew a “small” crowd so close to OSU’s campus.
“It really speaks to Ohio’s distrust of her,” he said.
Spencer Dirrig, a first-year in political science and economics, disagreed, and he said he believes that Hillary Clinton is “by far (the Democrats’) best bet to win.”
“She is not some passing fad,” he said.
Hillary Clinton ended her speech by encouraging the young people in the crowd to consider running for office one day.
“Try to make a difference,” she said.
Hillary Clinton did not take any questions from press or the audience, and her campaign declined to give a comment to The Lantern when asked.