by Rick Pearson
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Hillary Clinton today mocked Barack Obama’s campaign style as one that portrays a divine-like picture of problem-solving to voters when the challenges America face are much more complex.
Delivering a speech to several thousand people at Rhode Island College, Clinton also contended Obama had given up on implementing a universal health insurance program that she said should go hand-in-hand with other Democratic led achievements such as Social Security and Medicare as grand social programs.
Clinton discussed a litany of challenges facing the country, ranging from home foreclosure to responsibly bring troops home from the Iraq war.
“None of the problems we face will be easily solved,” she said before delivering a fanciful description of an Obama speech.
“Now I could stand up here and say, ‘Let’s just get everybody together. Let’s get unified. The sky will open. The lights will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect.’
“Maybe I’ve just lived a little long, but I have no illusions about how hard this is going to be. You are not going to wave a magic wand and have the special interests disappear,” she said.
Clinton visited Rhode Island, which is holding its primary on March 4 along with Vermont. But the two states, with a combined 36 delegates at stake, are overshadowed on that date by Texas with 193 convention nominating delegates up for grabs and Ohio, with 141 delegates.
"This little state has a big voice on March the Fourth in chhoosing the next president," Clinton told the crowd.
Clinton again pointed out her differences with Obama on their plans to expand health care. Clinton’s plan would require everyone obtain health insurance while Obama would require it only for children. Clinton maintains Obama’s plan would leave 15 million people uninsured while Obama has charged Clinton’s mandated coverage would force people to buy insurance they may not be able to afford.
She said that of the differences between the two, “the one that is just inexplicable to me is his refusal to put forth a plan for universal health care and his continuing attacks on my plan to do so.”
“I believe Sen. Obama does one thing in speeches, but his campaign does something else. In his speech, he says he’s for universal health care, but his plan is not. His plan cannot cover everyone because there is no requirement that people be covered,” Clinton said.
She likened Obama’s health care plan to FDR saying “Social Security is a good idea, but we shouldn’t make it required. Let’s just sort of go halfway and see what happens.’ Or if President Johnson had said, ‘Medicare’s a good idea. Why don’t we cover a lot of but not all of our seniors.”
“Those two programs have been the greatest blessing for our seniors of anything that has ever been done in American history and they would not have worked if they had not required people to participate,” she said.