By KAT LLOYD & PRISCILLA PEREZ
The hopeful First Man campaigned for his wife in Manhattan on Thursday, striking themes of pro-labor and pro-immigration in attempts to solidify Hillary Clinton’s lead in the polls here, where both she and her opponent have a claim on calling themselves New Yorkers.
Former president Bill Clinton began the day speaking to the 1199SEIU Healthcare Worker’s Union on 43rd Street.
“This is a very important election for unions in America,” said Clinton. He explained that voter turnout during the 2008 primary in New York was low and if workers want to preserve their rights they need a president and Supreme Court to count on.
The New York primary is scheduled for April 19.
The biggest round of applause came when Clinton began to speak on immigration reform.
“In 2003, my wife voted for the Dream Act. Her opponent voted against it five times,” he said of Senator Bernie Sanders. Clinton added that Sanders also voted against background checks for gun owners six times.
Meanwhile in the Bronx, Sanders supporters gathered for a rally in the evening where the Brooklyn native covered territory where his support is weak.
Clinton ended his speech emphasizing the primary vote and concluded, “Everyone in New York knows she had your back as a senator, think about what she could do as your president!”
The next stop on the campaign trail was the Building and Construction Trade on 23rd Street, where union leader Gary LaBarbera praised the former New York senator for her dedication to building and construction workers in the days following the 9/11 attacks.
“Standing with us, side by side, was Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton,” LaBarbera said. Clinton followed with “We need the right leader with experience in national security.”
“We need a president who can do all parts of the job. Protecting America’s national security can’t be an afterthought,” Secretary Clinton said of her opponent while visiting the Apollo Theater in Harlem on Wednesday. This is one of several jabs she has taken at Sanders being a “one issue candidate.”
According to a news release from his campaign, at his rally in the South Bronx, Sanders was set to discuss “a wide range of issues, including getting big money out of politics, his plan to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, combating climate change and ensuring universal health care.”