Former President Bill Clinton was in Cheyenne Monday morning, telling a crowd of 500 to support his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in the state’s democratic caucus Saturday.
Clinton defended his wife’s perceived anti-coal stance and said a transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy will ultimately benefit Wyoming’s economy. He also criticized Wyoming’s Republican-led Legislature for failing to approve Medicaid expansion.
“There are few states in America that would be more benefited by expanding Medicaid than Wyoming,” said Clinton. “It would really make a difference.”
The former president argued that Hillary Clinton is dedicated to realistic solutions, while some of Senator Bernie Sanders’ proposals are too good to be true.
“There are a lot of young college students who have been very enthusiastic about her opponent because he promises free tuition to everybody, but if you read the fine print, the free tuition comes two-thirds from the federal government and one-third from the state,” said Clinton “Now what do you think the odds are that your governor and legislature will come up with a third of the match for that when they wouldn’t take 9-to-1 benefits in Medicaid expansion?”
He said his wife is the only candidate with the ability to bring opposing groups together to get things done.
“We are less racist, sexist and homophobic than we used to be,” said Clinton. “Our only remaining bigotry in America today is that we just don’t want to be around anybody that disagrees with us. Now this state is just too small. You can’t avoid that.”
Clinton joked that the federal Clean Power Plan is about as popular in Wyoming as “stage four cancer.”
While Clinton spoke for about an hour at the Kiwanis Community House in Cheyenne, a small group of coal workers stood outside protesting Clinton’s visit. Chris Land is a contractor in Gillette who says he hasn’t had a job since last year.
“Clinton’s views on global warming, on coal—she says she’s going to put coal miners out of a job,” said Land. “She’s doing it, successfully. Obama’s policies on coal are putting people out of jobs.”
The Bernie Sanders campaign is also in Wyoming this week. Jane Sanders will stop in Casper and Cheyenne, and Senator Sanders will hold an event at the University of Wyoming Tuesday evening.
Wyoming’s democratic county caucuses begin Saturday at 11 a.m.