Clinton: "My opponent gives speeches, I offer solutions"

At a town hall event in Michigan, Hillary Clinton takes the fight directly to Barack Obama.

By Alex Koppelman
Published February 14, 2008 5:14PM (EST)

Hillary Clinton and her campaign are having a tough week, and indications are that the going for them will be hard until at least March 4. Perhaps in an attempt to stem the tide, Clinton herself criticized opponent Barack Obama in harsh terms during a town hall event in Ohio on Thursday.

"Now, over the years, you've heard plenty of promises from plenty of people in plenty of speeches. And some of those speeches were probably pretty good. But speeches don't put food on the table. Speeches don't fill up your tank, or fill your prescription, or do anything about that stack of bills that keeps you up at night," Clinton said. She continued:

That's the difference between me and my Democratic opponent. My opponent gives speeches, I offer solutions. It's one thing to get people excited; I want to empower you to live your dreams so we can all go forward together.

There's a lot of talk in this campaign about what kind of change we'll bring. Well, change is going to happen whether we want it or not. The question is who will make progress.

My opponent says that he'll take on the special interests. Well, he told people he stood up to the nuclear industry and passed a bill against them. But he actually let the nuclear industry water down his bill -- the bill never actually passed. On top of that, the same company that watered down that bill lobbied for Dick Cheney's energy bill. And my opponent voted for the energy bill, with its billions of dollars of breaks for the oil industry. I voted against it.

My opponent says he'll stand up for workers. He often talks about the plight of Maytag workers in his home state. But the union at that plant supports me because when 1,600 jobs were being lost, they say he didn't do a thing to help.

My opponent says he will cut healthcare costs more aggressively than I do. But as an independent analysis from the Commonwealth Fund shows, the most effective way to lower costs is to truly cover everyone. His healthcare plan doesn't. Mine does.

I was, however, glad to see that yesterday, my opponent adopted the goal of 5 million green-collar jobs -- months after I announced I would create 5 million green-collar jobs. I was also glad to see that he modeled his $60 billion infrastructure bank on a bill I cosponsored last summer to create a $60 billion infrastructure bank. Now, if only he would just copy my healthcare plan and provide coverage for every single American!

So there's the difference between us -- speeches versus solutions. Talk versus action.

In all seriousness, while some may think that words are change -- I know that it takes work. You can't just talk about the special interests -- you have to take them on. I always have, and I always will ... That's how I measure my life -- not by applause or headlines -- but by whether I'm helping people.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2008 Elections Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton War Room