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Hillary Clinton rallies unions, supporters at Javits Center

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally Tuesday, March 1, 2016 in Miami. She had just emerged victorious in the Democratic Super Tuesday primaries. Credit: EPA / Joe Skipper

Hillary Clinton rallied hundreds of union members and other supporters in Manhattan on Wednesday, taking swipes at the Republican field a day after widening her delegate lead on Super Tuesday.

“Yesterday was one for the history books,” Clinton said from the floor of the Jacob K. Javits Center. “Our campaign went nationwide.”

Clinton stopped short of declaring victory over rival Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, but criticized Republicans for their rhetoric.

“There’s a lot of finger pointing and insulting going on over there,” she said. “Maybe some people think that’s entertaining, but this is serious business. It matters when you’re running for president what you say. And boy, does it matter when you are president what you say.”

Clinton on Super Tuesday won seven states — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Sanders won four: his home state of Vermont, as well as Minnesota, Oklahoma and Colorado.

The next round of Democratic contests will be Saturday in Kansas, Louisiana and Nebraska. Clinton leads Sanders 1,000 delegates to 371. A Democratic candidate needs 2,383 delegates to secure the nomination.

Standing on a stage surrounded by supporters waving signs, she thanked unions for their support and touched on issues including gun control, raising the minimum wage and expanding health care. She also said she was the only candidate of either party to promise that she would raise wages for the middle class without raising their taxes, a criticism of Sanders’ policy proposals.

In her 20-minute speech, she said, “I honestly believe we need more love and kindness in this country right now . . . I want us to be a country where we’re reaching out to each other again, showing respect.” She added, “I understand there’s a lot of anger and frustration in the electorate. I get it.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo helped introduce Clinton, rallying Democrats with praise of Clinton and attacks on Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.

“He took hundreds of millions in inherited money and turned it into more money. That’s very impressive, don’t you think?” de Blasio said sarcastically.

The mayor expressed confidence that voters would be able to pick between “a billionaire who hasn’t done anything for us versus a person fighting for us for years.”

Cuomo said, “I don’t know who the Republican nominee will be. But they’re all saying the same thing, just at different decibel levels.”

He mocked Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the Mexican border, imitating the New York businessman’s voice. “Don’t worry, the wall is a beautiful wall,” Cuomo said to laughter.

Stuart Applebaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, attacked what he called the “venom” and “misogyny” of Republicans. “We need to stop a bully and a buffoon from having his finger on the button.”

Attendees praised Clinton, but also expressed dismay at the Republican side.

“It’s a circus, seeing people act like little kids,” said John Diehl, 51 of Westchester.

Dennis Toussaint, 44 of Brooklyn, said Trump “showed how far we need to go as a country,” criticizing Trump for his views on immigration and not immediately disavowing the KKK. “It proves America is still far off,” said Toussaint, a member of the Carpenter’s Union.

Doris Padilla, 35 of Flushing, said Clinton was the best Democratic choice for president. She believed Trump “doesn’t like Hispanics.”

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