Bill Clinton speech attracts students, discusses student debt

Cheyene Miller

[email protected]

Former president Bill Clinton dropped by campus Tuesday afternoon during his Kentucky bus tour to encourage students to vote for his wife and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the upcoming primary election.
In a speech in front of W.T. Young library that covered income inequality, manufacturing jobs and student loan debt, Clinton assured students his wife of more than 40 years is the best choice for the job.
“I think you ought to vote for her … because her ideas will work better (and) they’ve got a better chance of being enacted,” said Clinton, who called Hillary Clinton “the best single change-maker I’ve ever known in my life.”
When addressing the issue of income inequality, Bill Clinton actually offered praise to Hillary Clinton’s Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders for making the issue a major focus during the Democratic primary.
“He’s raised this issue of income inequality, and it’s very important,” Clinton said.  “I have spent a lifetime fighting it, and so has Hillary.”
Bill Clinton then criticized the signature economic policies of the Republican Party, which typically include tax cuts and trickle-down economics, an economic philosophy he said “does not work.”
According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. has one of the worst income gaps of any developed nation.
Bill Clinton also praised Kentucky for being the most successful example of health care reform in the nation, and criticized Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin for his promise to dismantle Kynect, the state’s online insurance market established under the Affordable Care Act.
He advocated a more treatment-based policy to fighting America’s prescription drug epidemic, insisting that Kentucky “treat it like a public health problem, not a crime problem.”  Kentucky ranks fourth for drug overdose deaths according to information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a state that links its identity to the coal industry, Bill Clinton called for a revitalization of America’s manufacturing jobs through investments in infrastructure repairs and green energy. 
He also urged students to side with Hillary Clinton over Sanders on student loan debt, noting that Hillary Clinton is for “debt free” college while Sanders is for “tuition free” college, something he said isn’t practical at the time.
Sanders advocates for a college system where students receive a publicly funded undergraduate education while Hillary Clinton’s plan would provide publicly funded education at community colleges while removing costs for tuition, fees and books at public universities and colleges.
The primary election is Tuesday, May 17.