CHICAGO (AP) — Hillary Clinton stressed her ties to President Barack Obama during a stop in his hometown of Chicago Wednesday, praising his accomplishments in office as “impressive” and pledging to carry on many of his policies if she becomes president.
“I am unapologetic,” the former secretary of state told several hundred people at a rally a few miles from Obama’s home on the city’s South Side. “I will build on the progress that President Obama has made.”
Clinton said she doesn’t believe Obama has gotten the credit he deserves for bringing the U.S. out of the worst economic crisis in decades, passing his signature health care bill and tough new regulations on Wall Street, and saving the auto industry from collapse.
“That’s pretty impressive to me,” she said to big applause.
The Democratic presidential candidate tried to contrast her loyalty to Obama with her rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom she said has been critical of the president.
Both Clinton and Sanders have been trying to appeal to minority voters as the contest moves to states such as Nevada and South Carolina, with larger black and Latino populations.
Clinton also talked up her own Chicago connections, reminding the crowd she was born in the city and raised in its suburbs. She recalled previous visits to the city, including a meeting with Obama where he asked her to be his secretary of state and an event with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, at the same ballroom where Wednesday’s rally was held.
Clinton was joined on stage by the mothers of several young black people from Chicago who were killed by the gun violence that has ravaged many of the city’s predominantly black neighborhoods. Among them was the mother of Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed while standing with friends near Obama’s home in 2013, just weeks after returning from the president’s inauguration. First lady Michelle Obama attended Pendleton’s funeral.
Also with Clinton was Geneva Reed-Veal the mother of Sandra Bland, a black suburban Chicago woman who was found dead in a Texas jail cell after a 2014 traffic stop.