Hillary Met with Protests over Foreign Policy and Criminal Justice in Baltimore

TRNN reports from a Clinton rally in Baltimore, Maryland, where demonstrators were ejected after protesting Hillary’s criminal justice and foreign policy stances

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JAISAL NOOR, REPORTER: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was met with crowds of supporters as well as protests over her foreign policy and criminal justice record at a campaign event in Baltimore on Sunday, April 10.

CHANTING: She kills Palestinians!

CHANTING: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

NOOR: The event comes the day after she lost another matchup in Wyoming to streaking Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. The next major primary is in New York on April 19, and Maryland’s primary is on April 26, along with several other key states.

HILLARY CLINTON: I will do everything in my power to break down every barrier that stands in the way of any American getting ahead.

I want to pay attention to our cities like Baltimore. I have put forward a very comprehensive agenda about how we are going to make these investments grow these business and jobs.

NOOR: Clinton has been endorsed by dozens of Democratic elected officials in Maryland including Senator Ben Cardin, Senator Barbara Mikulski, and Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Another group was kicked out, they said, after they took issue with Clinton’s use of the word ‘superpredators’ to support the 1994 crime bill.

CLINTON: He is not only for Under Armour, he’s for other businesses [inaud.].

SPEAKER: Feel the Bern!

NOOR: We spoke to several attendees about why they support Hillary Clinton.

SPEAKER: She’ll be able to help the lower class, as well. You know, black people believe that, you know, she’s been in the political–. For a long time, you know, Bill Clinton.

NOOR: You know, one of Bernie Sanders’ messages is that Clinton is too close to Wall Street, and that she doesn’t have poor people’s interests at heart. She rather, she’s more for corporate profits. How do you respond to arguments like that?

SPEAKER: No, I think that’s false. I think she’s for lower-class, you know, I think as far as a lot of other presidents, you know, she supported Obama, as well. And I think that a lot of the people that’s, you know, into politics now is hurting what Obama’s been trying to do for the last eight years. Hillary’s been there to support–even though she ran in 2008 she’s still there to support him, as well.

SPEAKER: She has a lifetime of proven leadership and work on issues that are important to me, so that sets her apart. She has a record to run on.

NOOR: And so recently Bernie Sanders has kind of been on the offensive against Hillary Clinton. He said that she’s not qualified because of all the money she gets from Wall Street and because she’s, you know, supported things like the Iraq war. And she says one of her mentors is Henry Kissinger, one of her close friends, who’s got a lot of blood on his hands from Vietnam and Cambodia. How do you respond to arguments like that?

SPEAKER: I think it’s petty. Hillary Clinton has been in public office for so long. There are some issues that I may or may not agree with her, but overall, you know, we have a two-party system. She represents a lot of things that I stand for. I do not think it’s helpful for Sanders to call her underqualified. She’s the frontrunner. She’s likely going to be the Democratic nominee, and if Sanders is really concerned about making–keeping the progress that we’ve made under Obama, he wouldn’t be attacking her like that.

SPEAKER: Pay equity, number one. I represent a union that’s probably 58-60 percent women. So the pay equity issues are particularly important to us. But even more than that, the fight to increase the minimum wage, which is very important. Earned sick leave legislation, which we just saw go down in Annapolis. The Senator is in favor of that. So we’re standing with her because she has stood with us on the issues that matter.

NOOR: I was just at a conference in Chicago called Labor Notes, and there was some, I guess, rank-and-file disagreement with how some of the endorsements came down. People were saying that in unions where the process was democratic the result was an endorsement of Sanders. How do you respond to that?

SPEAKER: Well, I mean, I can only speak to our process, and I know that in our union, you know, we had a process where the rank-and-file voted, and that recommendation was passed up to the executive board, to the international executive board. I represent a constituency that voted probably 70 percent for Hillary in our process. So I can’t speak for other unions’ processes, but I can tell you that SEIU, one of the things we’ve done is we’ve built up such an energetic core that we couldn’t afford to go against who our members wanted. We’re standing with Hillary because our members first stood with Hillary, and in many respects the leadership are following the members.

NOOR: And obviously a $15 minimum wage has been a big issue for SEIU, and Hillary Clinton has only endorsed a $12 minimum wage. Bernie Sanders has endorsed a $15 minimum wage.

SPEAKER: We aren’t ever–she’s not all the way there yet, but we continue to work with her. We trust that she is going to be the best advocate on that issue. We don’t meet everyone initially where they are, but we’re moving them in the right direction.

NOOR: From Baltimore, this is Jaisal Noor.

End

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