Hillary Clinton Kicks off “Breaking Down Barriers” Tour in Appalachia

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Today, Hillary Clinton began a series of events that she is calling the “Breaking Down Barriers” tour. The goal of the tour is to speak with small groups of voters and get a better understanding of their concerns. During her first event in Ashland, Kentucky, Clinton met with workers at Alma’s Italian Cafe where she outlined her plan to help coal communities. She compared her plan to the “Marshall Plan,” the plan that rebuilt Western Europe following World War II, saying that the three main parts would protect health and pension benefits of miners, research how coal can be a clean part of America’s energy future, and invest in alternative energy. She also spoke about her plans to entice more businesses to keep their manufacturing operations in the United States.

Clinton then traveled to Williamson, West Virginia where she was met by a number of protestors who took issue with recent comments Clinton made about the coal industry. During the event, Clinton apologized for the comments saying that her comments were taken out of context. She said, “What I was saying is that, the way things are going now, we will continue to lose jobs. That’s what I meant to say. I do feel a little bit sad and sorry that I gave folks the reason or the excuse to be so upset with me because that is not what I intended at all.” Clinton visited with miners who have lost their jobs and community leaders who are struggling with unemployed citizens. She vowed to support West Virginia and towns that rely heavily on coal mining for survival even if the state does not support her in the primary or November. Videos from today’s events will be added when/if available.

Meanwhile, fundraisers were being held for Hillary for America across the country. Chelsea Clinton was in Washington, DC where she attended a fundraiser. Also in Washington, DC, Campaign Chair John Podesta attended a fundraiser along with policy advisors Ann O’Leary and Jennifer Klein. In Brookline, Massachusetts, a fundraising event was held at the home of John Reinstein and retired Judge Nancy Gertner. Attending the event was former Attorney General Eric Holder. In Portland, Oregon, Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan and actress Kathleen Turner were on hand to kickoff a phone bank effort.

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News Source: ABC News, The Washington Post, Mother Jones, Lexington Herald-Leader, West Virginia Metro News

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