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Bill Clinton touts Hillary Clinton in Elmont appearance

Former President Bill Clinton campaigns for Hillary Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton campaigns for Hillary Clinton at organizing events in Elmont on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Former President Bill Clinton rallied Nassau Democrats Tuesday in advance of New York’s April 19 primary, stressing the state’s importance in deciding the Democratic nomination this year while touting Hillary Clinton’s leadership and economic policies.

“This election, in so many ways, psychologically, is coming down to New York,” Bill Clinton said to several hundred people packed inside the Vault nightclub in Elmont.

In a 30 minute speech, Bill Clinton touted his wife’s platforms, including reform of the college loan system. He portrayed the former first lady, U.S. senator and Secretary of State as a problem solver.

“She always makes something good happen — that’s what leaders do,” Bill Clinton said in telling a story about how Hillary Clinton, as first lady, worked with former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to increase tax credits for families adopting hard-to-place foster children.

The resulting law, he said, increased adoptions of foster children, many with special needs, who’d previously been aging out of the system.

Bill Clinton said Hillary Clinton’s plan to address college affordability — centered on allowing federal student loan refinancing and mortgage-like, income-based payments — was “100 times better than anyone else’s.”

Chiding Hillary Clinton’s Democratic primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Bill Clinton said, “it sounds great to give everyone free tuition,” as Sanders has proposed. But Clinton said the program would burden states.

He also alluded to a proposal by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to build a wall on the Mexican border. Clinton said his wife would reject rhetoric directed at minorities, including Muslims.

“We’ve got to find terror but we have to win this in the minds of people all over the world,” Clinton said. “You can build all the walls you want around America, [but] you can’t keep social media out.”

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