Bill Clinton spent nearly an hour Monday evening in a packed community college auditorium in Vancouver making the case for his wife’s candidacy.
The former president told about 700 cheering supporters gathered at Clark College that Hillary Clinton was the right choice to lead the country in a world growing more hostile. He also argued that she was the best-equipped candidate to bring back the strong economy he oversaw as president.
“I think she has the best ideas to grow the economy,” Clinton said. “I am convinced that we can go back to the broadly-shared prosperity that we had in the 90s.”
Clinton chided Hillary's Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, for opposing the government-backed Export-Import Bank. The bank helps such big exporters as Boeing, which is a major employer in Washington.
The former president also attacked Republican front-runner Donald Trump for proposing to deport millions of undocumented immigrants. Clinton said that would hurt, not help, the economy.
“When these guys in the other party talk about sending 11.5 million back home, they’re playing to people who feel they have been deprived,” Clinton said. “Almost 100 percent of them live in areas where you can’t identify a single job that they lost because of an immigrant. The immigrants are out there working, paying taxes and doing a good job.
"If they’re law-abiding, they should stay here,” Clinton said.
Hillary Clinton is scheduled to campaign in the Seattle area Tuesday. She and Sanders are competing for the 101 delegates at stake at Saturday’s Democratic caucuses.
Bill Clinton was late to the Vancouver event because he detoured to Portland to talk with campaign workers and praise Oregon Gov. Kate Brown for endorsing his wife.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also attended the Vancouver event to praise the Clintons – and he also took a not-very-veiled swipe at Trump.
“We need someone to beat the candidate of the other party who is trying to appeal to the basest, lowest emotions of Americans,” said Inslee. “We have a candidate who appeals to the highest emotions of America.”