Back in Arkansas, Clinton Slams Republicans As "Party Of The Past"

Jul 19, 2015

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at Verizon Arena Sat. night.
Credit QVS Photography/Roger Robinson

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton struck a familiar campaign theme in a speech to partisans in North Little Rock Saturday night.

"Democrats are in the future business," the Democratic front-runner in the 2016 presidential race said. "(Republicans) may have fresh faces, but they are a party of the past."

Clinton spoke before a crowd of close to 2,000 at the state Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at Verizon Arena. The $200-a-plate dinner was expected to raise about $450,000 for the state party.

"Trickle-down economics has to be one of the worst ideas of the 1980's,"  Clinton said. "It is right up there with New Coke, shoulder pads and big hair. I lived through that."

Clinton spent the '80's in Arkansas, mostly as first lady of the state before moving to the White House in 1993 after her husband, Bill, was elected president.

She reflected on her daughter Chelsea's early childhood in Arkansas and said she and Bill are going through much the same thing with their first grand-daughter, Charlotte.

"There is something about becoming a grandmother that is quite transformational, I've discovered. It anchors you in the present... But, it also forces you to think about the future in a new way... You know, Democrats are in the future business."

Clinton contrasted Democrats and Republicans on a number of issues that have become campaign themes--raising the minimum wage, protecting financial industry regulations, income inequality, more easily accessed childcare and paid leave for women and climate change.

She also took some shots at Republican presidential contender Donald Trump, who was in Arkansas the previous night speaking at the Reagan-Rockefeller Dinner in Hot Springs.

"Donald Trump--finally a candidate whose hair gets more attention than mine," Mrs. Clinton quipped. "But, there's nothing funny about the hate he is spewing at immigrants and their families, and now the insults he's directed at a genuine war hero, Sen. John McCain. It's shameful."

Earlier in the day, Trump was quoted dismissing the notion that McCain was a Vietnam War hero simply because he was a captured POW.