Clinton sells Sanchez to Santa Ana crowd

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Former president Bill Clinton spoke at a democratic rally in support of California Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Friday.

The gathering was meant to boost support and morale in the hopes that democrats up for re-election would motivate party members to campaign.

Many in attendance, more than 500 people, were there to catch a glimpse of the 42nd president and anxiously awaited his time to speak.

“Basically, we are here because we are progressives, we love Bill Clinton and we are so excited,” said Joan Hemphill, a retiree of the Cal State Chancellor’s office.

The democratic candidate for mayor of Santa Ana and current mayor, Miguel Pulido, built up the tension leading to Sanchez and Clinton’s appearance.

“(Clinton) was here 14 years ago at this very site and he helped to put (Sanchez) over the top and he is going to do that this time to increase her victory margin,” Pulido said. “This city is blessed to have her as our representative, please lets give her a warm Santa Ana welcome.”

Screams, cheers and whistles erupted with Pulido’s words still lingering and the first sights of Snachez and Clinton were seen.

Sanchez encouraged democrats to get out the vote and took some jabs at her Republican opponent, Van Tran.

Van Tran supporters held signs and shouted in opposition to Sanchez’s remarks.

“My opponent has cut monies to the community colleges, the Cal State system and the University of California system, but this congress and these democrats have increased the pell grants so people could go to college,” Sanchez said. “More importantly, we have redone the student loan program so you pay less money as you fulfill and follow your passion.”

Rather than taking stabs at the opposition, the resounding theme in Clinton’s speech was that of competing ideas, not competing parties.

“Everybody take a deep breath and look around this crowd. Before you give up on America and just think you gotta be mad, look around this crowd,” Clinton said. “You have African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans and Arab Americans and a few Welsh-Irish men like me.”

Clinton discussed education to appeal to the students in the crowd, explaining that America went from first in the world to ninth in the percentage of adults with four year college degrees.

“Even more important by far, for the first time ever in this country’s history every single student who gets a student loan will have the absolute right to pay that loan back as a low fixed percentage of their income,” Clinton said. “Even if it takes 20 years, you can never charge them more than 10 percent a year.”

Clinton ended his remarks with overwhelming support of Sanchez.

“If you are now in school or think you want to go, you don’t have a choice but to vote for Loretta,” Clinton said.

SLIDE SHOW / PHOTOS BY JANELLE CONNER

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