Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for president, rallied more than 400 supporters in Manhattan on Monday, on the eve of New York’s presidential primary election, making the pitch that her campaign has “focused on the issues that matter to everybody” across racial, gender and partisan lines.
Clinton’s last major rally before the primary against Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, was billed as a “Women for Hillary” gathering at the New York Midtown Hilton, but the event also drew a number of male supporters. They all crammed into a hotel ballroom to hear the former secretary of state speak for nearly 40 minutes about her campaign pledges of ensuring equal pay for women and men, and securing paid family leave for U.S. workers.
“We have to unify our country,” Clinton told the boisterous crowd. “There is just too much demagoguery and hate filled speech going on.”
More than a dozen female campaign surrogates including State Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the state legislature’s first female conference leader, and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, the first women of color elected to citywide office in New York City, revved up the crowd by speaking about Clinton’s bid to become the first female U.S. President.
“We have one big ceiling to crack,” Stewart-Cousins said. “We have one woman who can and must and will become president.”
Clinton was joined onstage by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords of Arizona, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards.
Gillibrand, who succeeded Clinton in the U.S. Senate after Clinton was named secretary of state, called her the “strongest and best mentor,” and urged the crowd to show up at the polls on Tuesday.
“Hillary has always had our back,” Gillibrand said. “Hillary has always fought for us, we need to fight for her.”
Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011 that claimed the lives of six others, said she was supporting Clinton because “she will stand up to the gun lobby.”
Also Monday, Clinton’s campaign fought back against claims by the Sanders’ campaign that she possibly violated federal campaign finance laws.
Sanders’ campaign filed a complaint with the Democratic National Committee Monday, accusing Clinton of skirting legal limits on federal campaign donations through her campaign’s use of a joint fundraising agreement with the DNC.
Both Sanders and Clinton have joint fundraising agreements with the national party, which allow them to accept donations of up to $356,100. The agreement’s rules state the first $2,700 of that money can be transferred to the candidate’s campaign account, $33,400 can be transferred to the DNC, and any remaining amount, up to $10,000, can be distributed to participating state party committees, according to a letter to the DNC written by Sanders Campaign Attorney Brad C. Deutsch.
Sanders’ campaign contends that Clinton has received “millions in low-dollar, online fundraising and advertising that solely benefits the Clinton campaign” not the DNC and state party committees.
Clinton’s Campaign Manager Robby Mook, called Sanders’ claims “baseless.”