Clinton vows to help small businesses during return to Iowa

Democratic presidential nominee speaks at T-shirt shop, school

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DES MOINES — In her first appearance in Iowa since winning the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses six months ago, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stressed her economic proposals during campaign stops Wednesday at a popular T-shirt shop and a high school in Des Moines.

During a visit to Raygun, Clinton said she wants to make it easier for young entrepreneurs to start businesses and she wants to encourage businesses to invest in American-made products.

Clinton contrasted her plan by accusing Donald Trump, the New York businessman and Republican candidate for president, of outsourcing much of his businesses’ work to other countries.

“This is one of the big differences I have with Donald Trump,” Clinton said. “He could make his ties in Denver. He could make suits in Ohio. He could make furniture in North Carolina.

“You can build it in America, and I am determined that we’re going to build more, and we’re going to be able to create more businesses and more jobs by doing so.”

The Trump campaign responded to Clinton’s assertions by pointing to Trump’s previous responses to questions on the subject.

During a recent interview with an Ohio radio station, Trump said he has been forced to make his products overseas because of trade deals that he said are bad for U.S. businesses.

“All I’m doing is I’m doing the market,” Trump told WSPD-AM in Toledo. “But I want products to be made in our country. And I’m going to bring companies back so that we can actually buy products from our countries so that we do make televisions in the United States again. … So that we do make different products in the United States again. …

“A lot of products aren’t even made here anymore because they’re outsmarting us at the negotiating table, other countries.”

In a conference call hosted earlier Wednesday by the Republican Party of Iowa, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge tied Clinton to President Barack Obama, whose policies she said create “overregulation of small businesses and businesses across this great country.”

Clinton, during her address to a crowd of 1,600 at Des Moines Lincoln High School, cited an analysis by Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s and a former economic adviser to Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Zandi’s analysis said Clinton’s proposals would result in 7.1 million new jobs, which would outpace current law by 2.2 million jobs.

Clinton also pointed out Zandi’s analysis called Trump’s economic proposals “fiscally unsound” and would “result in very large deficits and much higher debt load.”

Clinton said during her first 100 days as president she would call for heavy investment in both physical and electronic infrastructure, in clean and renewable energy sources and programs that promote small business growth.

She also proposed a three-year moratorium on student loan payments, which she said would not only help young people start businesses but also help recent college graduates manage their student debt.

“If we do infrastructure and we do clean, renewable energy jobs, then we’re going to be on our way to a 21st-century economy that will work for everybody, not just those at the top,” Clinton said. “If we want to get the economy working for everybody, then we need a campaign that lays out the agenda so people can vote for it, so when I’m elected I can tell Congress this is what the people of America voted for.”

During her visit to Raygun, Clinton talked shop with store owner Mike Draper, telling him her father, Hugh Rodham, printed drapery fabrics.

For the event, Draper wore a Raygun-printed T-shirt that displayed one of Clinton’s campaign slogans, “America: Hill yes,” and he gave one to Clinton.

Clinton’s return to Iowa was brief. She appeared at Raygun for roughly a half-hour, popped in at a local coffee shop, then spoke for roughly 17 minutes at the rally.

At one point during the rally, U.S. Secret Service stormed the stage to protect Clinton; they were responding to protesters that unfurled two large signs directly behind Clinton. The protesters appeared to be from an animal rights group.

After the rally, Clinton briefly greeted supporters before leaving.

She is scheduled to give a speech Thursday in suburban Detroit.

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