Democratic presidential contender
Hillary Rodham Clinton. (AP)
(CNSNews.com) -- When asked what she would do as president for African Americans that President Obama has not done, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would push for broader access to early education, reform the criminal justice system and, overall, seek to implement a “new New Deal for communities of color.”
The New Deal, enacted by Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s, constituted a variety of government works programs, as well as the Social Security Act, to try to address the problems caused by the Great Depression.
At the first Democratic presidential debate, in Las Vegas on Tuesday, debate moderator Anderson Cooper asked Clinton, “Secretary Clinton, what would you do for African Americans in this country that President Obama couldn't?”
Clinton said, “What we need to be doing is not only reforming criminal justice -- I have talked about that at some length, including things like body cameras. But we also need to be following the recommendations of the commissioner that President Obama empanelled on policing. There is an agenda there that we need to be following up on.”
Mass incarceration is also at the top of Clinton’s list.
“Similarly, we need to tackle mass incarceration, and this may be the only bi-partisan issue in the Congress this year,” she said. “We actually have people on both sides of the aisle who have reached the same conclusion, that we cannot keep imprisoning more people than anybody else in the world.”
Clinton also briefly addressed childhood education and housing, two of the problems she said are faced by minorities.
“But, I believe that the debate, and the discussion has to go further, Anderson,” Clinton said. “Because we've got to do more about the lives of these children. That's why I started off by saying we need to be committed to making it possible for every child to live up to his or her God-given potential.”
“That is really hard to do if you don't have early childhood education,” she said, “if you don't have schools that are able to meet the needs of the people, or good housing. There's a long list.”
“We need a new ‘New Deal’ for communities of color,” she concluded.
The first debate among the Democratic contenders for the 2016 presidential race was sponsored by CNN and Facebook and held in Las Vegas, Nev.
In addition to Hillary Clinton, the other candidates included former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Senator James Webb of Virginia, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.