Clinton Running for President 'To Really Deal With the Economy, Get It Working Again'

By Susan Jones | May 5, 2016 | 6:45am EDT
Democrat Hillary Clinton visits coal country in Appalachia on May 3, 2016. (AP Photo)

( - Democrat Hillary Clinton says she's running for president "to really deal with the economy, get it working again," an apparent admission that the Obama administration -- of which she was part -- has not done the job.

Fresh off her primary defeat in Indiana and her visit to (angry) coal country, Clinton told CNN's Anderson Cooper Wednesday that she intends to "take on all the barriers that stand in the way of people getting ahead."

She said that means raising the minimum wage, dealing with the "equal pay problem," and addressing climate change.

"They (Republicans) couldn't run a campaign on the issues that mattered to America, and I can, and I will," she promised.

Cooper noted that Republican Donald Trump has an "economic populist message which is appealing to people."

"Yes, well, we'll have to go back and talk about the history," Clinton responded, pointing to her husband's presidency. "Twenty-three million new jobs in the 1990s. Incomes went up for everybody. If he (Trump) wants to argue against peace and prosperity, he can absolutely do his best to make that case."

(The era of Clinton prosperity followed the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise of the Internet, and the massive expansion of personal computers, among other coincidental factors.)

Hillary Clinton told Anderson Cooper she plans to talk "about what we're going to do in the future, and I think that there are some lessons we can learn. The economy does better when we have a Democrat in the White House.

"We saw the stark difference between my husband's presidency and George W. Bush, who went back to trickle-down economics, which is also what Donald Trump is advocating. And then we saw Barack Obama have to rescue the economy from the failed economic policies of the Republicans.

"So I'm more than happy to take that issue on, and I think that there is not only a lot of evidence on our side and certainly history on our side over the last 25 years, but any specifics that he has put out -- you know, he makes these grand statements and grand accusations -- at some point when you're running for president, you actually have to put a little meat on the bones. You've got to tell people what it is you're going to do and how you're going do it."

Clinton said she'll keep telling people "what I will do as president and I'm going to keep being specific, because I think people want to know what you're going to do, and they can hold you accountable that way."

Cooper also asked Clinton about Trump's promise to put coal miners back to work. Cooper noted that back in March, Clinton said she'd put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business -- "a statement that you apologized for recently down in West Virginia, saying it was totally out of context."

Clinton said she's been "very clear" that "we've got to make a transition to clean, renewable energy. I've also been very clear for this whole campaign that we can't do it in a way that totally leaves behind people who dug out the coal to turn on the lights and to power our factories. One hundred thousand coal miners in this country lost their lives in the 20th century. So I want people to pay attention to what we as a nation need to do to support them.

"But the market is making this decision. The market has driven down the cost of coal."

(Market forces include cheap natural gas as well as the "clean energy" market, which has been heavily promoted and subsidized by the Obama administration to the detriment of the coal industry.)

"So you have companies going bankrupt," Clinton continued. "So what I'm offering is a $30-billion plan to really revitalize coal country, to provide support for coal miners and their families, and I think that is the least the country owes these brave people."

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