Raleigh - Hillary Clinton struck a populist tone during a Raleigh campaign stop and criticized North Carolina Republican leaders for not paying adequate teacher salaries.
“Thanks to leaders like Jim Hunt, North Carolina was a leading state when it came to education,” Clinton said. “Now, unfortunately, thanks to your governor (Pat McCrory) and the legislature, the average teacher salary can barely support a family ... We should support our teachers, not scapegoat them.”
North Carolina Republicans held a news conference ahead of the rally, saying the Tar Heel State has been a leader in raising teacher pay since the GOP took over full control of state government in 2013 for the first time in more than a century.
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest said North Carolina has “put more money back into the pockets of the taxpayers,” in contrast to federal policies that he said Clinton would continue.
“I think what you’re going to see from Hillary Clinton based on her recent speeches, based on her desire to increase spending by the federal government by another $1.3 trillion on top of the $20 trillion of debt we already have with no plan to pay for that, I think the contrast you’re going to see (with Trump) is somebody who is a businessman who understands how to impact the bottom line the right way, how to put people to work in America.”
McCrory’s campaign pounced on the pro-union parts of Clinton’s speech — accusing her in a statement of calling for “empowering labor union bosses.”
Clinton’s ideas for improving education and debt-free college hit home with Sandi Shover, a middle school English teacher from Sanford who attended the rally with her four children and her mother.
Shover told the Raleigh News and Observer she sees the results of children with under-developed language skills passing through the grades. She also worries about getting her own children through college. Her two oldest sons are 15 and 14.
“She has it right on education,” Stover said.