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Politics / Issues

Hillary Clinton In Tampa Vows To Build Up Port, High-Speed Rail

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton packed the Ritz Theatre in Tampa's Ybor City at lunchtime Thursday, taking about issues such as climate change and solar power and finding money to rebuild ports, roads and rail.

The former Secretary of State talked about breaking down barriers, global warming and used the word "infrastructure" repeatedly. She pledged to find finding money to help out places like the Port of Tampa.

And Clinton pointed out that Florida Gov. Rick Scott not only declined an offer of federal money to build high-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando, he told state environmental officials not to use the words "climate change."

Clinton said when she's president, she'll find money for projects like that rail line.

Credit Christopher Collier / WUSF News

Click here to listen to Hillary Clinton's complete speech in Ybor City

"That would increase tourism, that would increase commerce, that would increase the opportunity for people to go quickly back and forth. It makes absolutely no sense. Especially when we know that we're going to have to do high speed rail if we're going to have a competitive economy in the 21st century," she said.

"It is not possible to remain economically competitive in a very, very competitive global economy if we don't have the infrastructure we need to move people and goods quickly from place to place. So right here in Tampa, in front of the mayor, I want to tell you if I'm your president, we're going to make investments in this port, we're going to go back and look at high-speed rail."

Clinton was introduced by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. The Democrat took a jab at Republican Marco Rubio, saying he spent two days with Clinton - "which is two more days than I've spent with Marco Rubio in four years."

After the speech, Georgene Bender of Seffner, a retired youth director, said she got to meet Clinton personally beforehand.

"She came and met us," she said. "And just up close and personal as I was to her. She seemed like an approachable character to me. And that's to me what a president should be."

Pauline Hammerstrom is from Toronto, and stopped in to see Hillary on her vacation - even though she can't vote in the United States. She said she knows a lot of Americans in Canada, and says she wants to tell them "who to vote for."

"From my perspective, I want to see a woman in the highest office in the land. Wow," she said. "But she makes a lot of sense, she has the background, she has the experience, as well."

Hammerstrom said Republicans "are scaring us.  We wouldn't allow those kind of candidates up there."

Clinton's rival for the Democratic nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, also stopped in Tampa Friday, holding a nighttime rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds.


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