SCARBOROUGH — Hillary Clinton drew a crowd of about 1,400 to Scarborough High School Oct. 24 as she led a rally in support of gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine.
The former U.S. secretary of state, senator, presidential candidate and first lady said Michaud, running against incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Independent challenger Eliot Cutler, is “the kind of governor the people of Maine deserve to have.”
Clinton said Michaud will work hard for Maine by creating jobs.
“In a time when too many neighbors are struggling to find work, you deserve a governor who is totally focused, like a laser, on creating jobs and keeping jobs in this great state,” Clinton said.
She said Michaud understands “what it’s like to punch a time clock,” and credited him for his work as a freshman state representative to clean up the polluted Penobscot River.
“He (cleaned up the river) the way he has done everything in his public life, bringing people together around common-sense solutions,” Clinton said. “You don’t need a lot of yelling. You don’t need to be insulting people. You need to bring them together and listen to each other.”
Although not mentioning his name, Clinton did have a few things to say about LePage.
“The great recession hit this state hard and a lack of leadership in your governor’s office has slowed the economic recovery of Maine,” she said.
Clinton said Maine residents aren’t seeing the effects of their hard work because of low wages, and so can’t reach the middle class.
“We need to rebuild the middle class and we need to help as many people as possible get into it,” she said.
She also criticized LePage’s repeated opposition to expanding eligibility for MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid health insurance program, under optional provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”
“No to Medicaid. No to healthier families. No to lower costs. Five times your Legislature tried and five times (LePage) vetoed it,” Clinton said. “It doesn’t have to be this way. You can veto the governor by voting for Mike.”
Amid chants of “I like Mike,” Michaud then spoke about expanding MaineCare eligibility, protecting women’s rights, promoting renewable energy development, and raising the minimum wage.
“Gov. LePage will never ever be able to fix these problems because he is too divisive,” Michaud said. “And he’s too way into his ideology. And he’s too unwilling to listen to anyone who has the audacity to disagree with him.”
Michaud also talked about his hopes for education.
“I need you to stand with me and I need you to stay with me so we can ensure that every child, regardless of where they live, urban Maine or rural Maine, regardless of how rich they are or how poor they are, has the opportunity to access a world-class education,” he said.
The rally included remarks by other Democratic candidates in the Nov. 4 general elections. But Clinton was the star of the show, and she in turn trained the spotlight on Michaud.
“There’s really no other choice,” she said. “If you like Mike, like I like Mike, make sure everybody knows why and do everything you can to get them to vote, and tell them there isn’t any doubt in your mind about who is on their side.”
Hillary Clinton on Friday spoke in support of gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, at Scarborough High School.
Supporters of gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud at Friday night’s rally carried signs saying they “like Mike.”