Clinton calls Flint water crisis 'immoral'

FLINT, Mich. -- Taking a detour from New Hampshire's campaign trail, Hillary Clinton said Sunday that a water crisis in a Michigan city was "immoral" and demanded that Congress approve $200 million in emergency aid to address the community's battle with lead-contaminated water.

See Full Article

The Democratic presidential hopeful made a quick visit to Flint, Michigan, an unusual stop for a candidate trailing in polls against rival Bernie Sanders in the first primary state. Clinton hopes to use a narrower-than-expected loss in Tuesday's primary as a springboard into contests later this month in Nevada and South Carolina.

Clinton said she was making a "personal commitment" to help Flint in a message delivered not only to the congregants at a local Baptist church but also a more heavily-minority electorate in Southern contests that could help her build a foundation for a delegate-by-delegate drive toward the nomination.

"This is not merely unacceptable or wrong, though it is both. What happened in Flint is immoral," Clinton said at House of Prayer Missionary Church. She added: "I will fight for you in Flint no matter how long it takes."

Aides said Clinton was invited by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver to address the crisis of lead-poisoned water, a case that she has cited in Iowa and New Hampshire as an example of racial and economic injustice. It's an issue that resonates among Democrats, particularly African-American voters who play a major role in later contests in South Carolina and a swath of "Super Tuesday" states on March 1.

From the pulpit, Clinton urged Congress to provide $200 million to fix Flint's water system, saying it was "no time for politics as usual."

Clinton narrowly beat Sanders in Iowa's leadoff caucuses last Monday but has trailed the Vermont senator in New Hampshire by large margins. Her aides worry that a big Sanders victory in the state could help him make headway among women and minority voters, important parts of the coalition that twice elected Barack Obama as president.

Sanders' strength with younger voters only heightens the threat he poses to what was once Clinton's decisive national lead.

Stopping at a local Dunkin' Donuts before departing New Hampshire on Sunday morning, Clinton pledged to fight for every vote in New Hampshire, but at least some of her operation is moving on. This weekend, former President Bill Clinton wooed voters in Las Vegas, campaign surrogates knocked doors in San Antonio, and Clinton's aides announced an upcoming meeting with civil rights leaders in New York City.

Clinton aides are trying to make the case that the heavily white and liberal electorates of New Hampshire and Iowa make them outliers in the nomination fight. They say Clinton will find more success in the South Carolina primary on Feb 20 and the Nevada caucuses a week later, where polls show her with a wide lead.

In recent days, she has used the state as a testing ground for new campaign messages targeted at specific groups, with pledges to break "the highest and hardest glass ceiling" and promising young voters that she would "be for them" even if they support Sanders.

Sanders has worked to boost his profile among black voters who make up more than half of the South Carolina electorate.

On Friday, his campaign scheduled a press conference to promote the endorsement of former NAACP President Ben Jealous. Though snow forced the event to be cancelled, Jealous told reporters on a conference call that Sanders "has the courage to confront the institutionalized bias that stains our nation."

Jealous was in South Carolina for campaign events on Saturday with Erica Garner, whose father died in 2014 after a white New York police officer put the black man in a choke hold.

Sanders' backers believe that as African-Americans learn more about the Vermont senator, they will warm to his liberal message. Clinton is one of the best known political figures in the world and has strong backing among Latinos and black voters.

"Before a few weeks ago, I never gave Bernie Sanders the time of day," said South Carolina state Rep. Justin Bamberg, who recently switched his backing from Clinton. "But if you look at Sanders he has been solid as concrete with regards to his passion for racial, social and economic justice."

Thomas reported from Manchester, New Hampshire. Associated Press writers Lisa Lerer in Manchester, New Hampshire and Bill Barrow in Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this report.


Latest Canada & World News

  • EU criticizes Turkey's offensive in northern Syrian town

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT - The European Union's top diplomat criticized Turkey on Monday over its military offensive in a northern Syrian town, calling on Ankara to ensure that fighting eases in the conflict-torn country. The appeal came as looting was widely reported in the town captured a day earlier by Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters, according to residents and monitors. Source
  • Syria's Assad ventures into eastern Ghouta, says area is on 'right path' after army offensive

    World News CBC News
    President Bashar al-Assad flaunted government advances in Syria's seven-year war by filming himself driving to meet frontline soldiers near Damascus, making a video of the journey from the city centre into areas recently recaptured. "The road is open . Source
  • What to expect from Russia during Putin's next 6 years in power

    World News CBC News
    Vladimir Putin now has a stronger hold on Russia — and stronger place in the world — thanks to an overwhelming mandate for yet another term as president. His domestic opponents are largely resigned to another six years in the shadows. Source
  • Ontario government to spell out priorities today in throne speech

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says today's throne speech is the only way her Liberal government can spell out its priorities ahead of the upcoming provincial election. Wynne prorogued the legislature last week to set the table for today's speech and has denied it's an attempt to wipe the slate clean before the vote on June 7. Source
  • Federal committee to examine human trafficking at cross-country hearings

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - A federal committee is in Halifax today to hear stories from survivors of human trafficking and people who provide support to victims of what some call a form of modern slavery. It is the first cross-country stop for the 12 members of the Commons committee, who also plan on holding hearings in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. Source
  • Canadian at centre of Facebook data scandal cut political teeth with Liberals

    Canada News CBC News
    The Canadian whistleblower at the centre of an international scandal that allegedly helped the Trump campaign capitalize politically from private Facebook information got his start in politics with the Liberal Party of Canada. But several senior Liberal officials from that time, about a decade ago, insist they have almost no recollection of then-teenager Christopher Wylie — if any at all. Source
  • Police divers to search Rivière-des-Prairies for missing Montreal boy

    Canada News CBC News
    Montreal police divers will plunge into Rivière-des-Prairies this morning as the search for missing 10-year-old Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou continues. At 8 a.m. ET, divers are expected to jump in the water and search the limit of des Bateliers Park in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, in Montreal's north end. Source
  • Police divers search Rivière-des-Prairies for missing Montreal boy

    Canada News CBC News
    Montreal police divers will plunge into Rivière-des-Prairies this morning as the search for missing 10-year-old Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou continues. At 8 a.m. ET, divers are expected to jump in the water and search the limit of des Bateliers Park in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, in Montreal's north end. Source
  • Trump's tweets revive speculation he's gearing up to fire Mueller

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump is not considering firing the special counsel investigating Russian election interference, a top White House lawyer said, after a cascade of Trump tweets revived chatter that the deeply frustrated president may be preparing to get rid of the veteran prosecutor. Source
  • Girl dies after being shot by brother in video game dispute: police

    World News CTV News
    ABERDEEN, Miss. -- A Mississippi girl has died after her brother allegedly shot her in the head because she wouldn't hand over the controller of a video game. WCBI-TV reported Sunday that Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell says the girl is dead. Source