The Daily Gamecock

Chelsea Clinton promotes mother's campaign

<p>Chelsea Clinton addressed her mother's consistency and ability to take action in the face of a bipartisan government.</p>
Chelsea Clinton addressed her mother's consistency and ability to take action in the face of a bipartisan government.

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former president Bill Clinton and 2016 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, promoted her mother's campaign at a "Women for Hillary" forum at Converse College on Saturday afternoon as part of a swing through Upstate South Carolina.

Clinton, who has been active in campaigning for her parents in the past, expanded on why she supports her mother before taking several questions from the audience.

She began by saying that she believes this to be the most important election in her life so far, because it is her first presidential election as a mother. She has a 16-month-old girl named Charlotte and is pregnant with her second child.

"I grew up in a family where it was impossible to not know how important the political process is, where it's impossible to not believe that it's crucial that good, smart people step into the political arena," she said.

Clinton devoted much of her address to the importance of the Supreme Court, given that whoever wins the presidency next could appoint up to three new justices. President Obama took action against industries that were still using coal as fuel, and some of those decisions are being contested and could potentially reach the Supreme Court, she said.

The court could also have a great deal of influence on the states that still have laws in place that allow for differential treatment based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Some of these laws affect vital areas, such as education and healthcare, according to Clinton.

"The Supreme Court really, really matters, and I don't think it's talked about enough," she said. "And I think when it's talked about, it's done in far too narrow a way."

Clinton said she is concerned by the "hate speech" that is perpetuated by some Republican candidates. Whether it concerns gender, race or religion, Clinton said that discriminatory comments have become commonplace and even accepted. She believes that her mother would promote a society in which she wants to raise her own children.

"I want my children to grow up and be embraced and respected for whoever they are and whomever they love," she said.

A student from Converse College asked Clinton about the future of college affordability, to which Clinton first replied that any plan must consider graduate school as well as undergraduate. She then praised the bill passed by the Obama administration that only requires people to pay back student loans as a percentage of their incomes.

Given this momentum, it would be difficult to keep this program from expanding to include graduate school and to put a cap on the amount public service employees — such as teachers or police officers — would have to pay back.

Clinton also said that her mother would like to allow student loans to be renegotiated in the same way that house or car loans are.

"My mom does not believe that the federal government should be making a profit off of student loans," she said.

In terms of reducing costs in the future, Clinton said that making public universities tuition-free is too hefty a burden on state governments given the sharp increase of costs in the past 10 years. Students whose families earn under $250,000 annually would automatically not pay for tuition at public universities, and the difference would be made up for by students from wealthier families and more effective cost management from within the universities.

One question posed to Clinton referenced the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which was signed into action by Clinton's father during his presidency. A renewal of VAWA was opposed by some conservative voices in 2012, but ultimately passed by the Obama administration in 2013.

Another member of the audience asked Clinton what her mother might plan to do to help Americans who have disabilities. Clinton acknowledged that many laws requiring equal opportunity have loopholes, and the next step is to focus on diagnoses and realistic treatments that can be implemented in families and communities.

Clinton also addressed the question of whether her mother qualifies as a progressive, a frequent issue in her primary battle against Bernie Sanders.

"I think a progressive is a person who has a record of making progress," she said. "I think on any issue ... when we look at what my mom has actually achieved, I think she will come out as more progressive any day of the week."

Clinton believes that her mother appeals to Democratic voters more than her opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders because there is little left that people don't know about Hillary Clinton. The Democratic front-runner has continued to pursue her political goals despite opposition, her daughter said.

Clinton believes in her mother's campaign because of her experience and past records of consistency and effecting actual change.

"It's not only about winning the White House," Clinton said. "It's about being able to govern effectively once you're there."