By KEN THOMAS
HANOVER, N.H. (AP) _ Hillary Rodham Clinton warned New Hampshire voters Friday that if the country elects a Republican president, the next administration would repeal President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and undermine policies helping large numbers of Americans.
The Democratic presidential front-runner presented herself as a candidate of continuity from Obama and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, praising the Supreme Court’s recent ruling upholding health care subsidies under the overhaul. She said past Republican administrations had left incoming Democrats with economic headaches.
“Let’s break that and have a Democratic president to continue the policies that actually work for the vast majority of Americans,” Clinton said. She said that at the end of her husband’s two terms, the economy had generated 22 million jobs, a balanced budget and “a surplus that would have paid off our national debt if it had not been rudely interrupted by the next administration.”
Addressing about 850 people on a sun-dappled kickoff to the Fourth of July weekend, Clinton said bluntly that if the nation sends a Republican to the White House, “they will repeal the Affordable Care Act. That is as certain as I can say.”
Turning to foreign policy, Clinton pointed to an upcoming deadline for negotiations with Iran over the country’s nuclear program and said she hoped the U.S. would “get a deal that puts a lid on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.” But she said Iran would still pose problems because of its sponsorship of terrorism and the “existential threat” it poses to Israel.
Clinton spoke at an outdoor amphitheater at Dartmouth College across the Connecticut River from Vermont, the home state of her main primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders. The democratic socialist has drawn big crowds around the country and brought in 10,000 people at an event in Madison, Wisconsin, earlier this week. Sanders has risen in recent polls against Clinton, who has dominated the Democratic field.
Sanders said Friday in an email to supporters that he would release a series of policy proposals in the next few weeks “to address the major issues facing our nation.” Seeking to ramp up its volunteer base, Sanders’ campaign is planning to hold organizing meetings across the nation July 29.
“I think he’s pushing her to address some issues and I think that will be all for the good,” said Sybil Buell, a Norwich, Vt., resident who attended the Clinton event. Buell said she was “on the fence” over whether to support Clinton or Sanders in the early stages of the campaign.
“There’s a little feeling of inevitability with her,” said Chuck Manns, of Lebanon, N.H., who backed Clinton’s campaign in 2008. He said Sanders is a “curiosity right now” but predicted Clinton’s electability would shine through.