HANOVER, N.H. — Hillary Rodham Clinton sharpened her partisan rhetoric to appeal to Democratic primary voters here Friday by issuing a dire warning: President Obama’s health care law would disappear if a Republican wins the White House in 2016.
Celebrating last month’s Supreme Court decision to uphold a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, Clinton told a crowd of 850 supporters at Dartmouth College, “I’m so thrilled that we’re at a point where all the calls about ‘Repeal! Repeal! Repeal!’ mean nothing — unless they elect a Republican president.”
“If the country elects a Republican president, they will repeal the Affordable Care Act. That is as certain as I can say it,” she continued, noting the unlikelihood that Democrats take over the Senate and House next year.
Clinton’s comments came during a festive, grass-roots rally in a wooded pocket of Dartmouth’s picturesque campus, where students, professors and other community members enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs and pie under a brilliant summer sun as they awaited Clinton’s arrival.
Clinton arrived with little fanfare, casually stepping onto a granite amphitheater stage and waving hello as she opened a two-day campaign swing in this first-in-the-nation primary state. She told the crowd she had fond memories of being at Dartmouth decades ago when she was a student at Wellesley College in neighboring Massachusetts.
“I came for a blind date during what was then called Winter Carnival,” she said, with a knowing smile. “So I have fond memories.”
Clinton portrayed herself as a fighter for progressive values, especially on the economy. She recalled that in 2008, after President Obama won the fall election, he invited her to ask her to be his secretary of state and told her the economy was much worse than anybody truly realized.
Her point was that the peace and prosperity seen under the presidency of her husband, Bill Clinton, was “rudely interrupted” by President George W. Bush’s eight years in the White House and that it took another Democrat, Obama, for the economy to recover.
“There’s just a pattern here where the other side keeps using the same old tired, failed policies,” she said. “They don’t work and then Democratic presidents have to come in and fix what was broken. So let’s break that and have a Democratic president to continue the policies that actually work for the vast majority of Americans.”
In her remarks here, Clinton touched on an array of liberal themes — from expanding federal science and research funding to increased investments in public infrastructure.
“I take a back seat to no one when you look at my record of standing up and fighting for progressive values,” Clinton said.