Vote 2016: Clinton tries to win New York with her congressional record

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, left, and, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., argue a point during a Democratic presidential primary debate at the University of Michigan-Flint, Sunday, March 6, 2016, in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton will release a $10 billion plan aimed at revitalizing manufacturing in Syracuse on Friday, part of an effort to highlight her work as a senator from New York ahead of that state’s primary later this month.

In the weeks before the April 19 contest, Clinton plans set off on a nostalgia-infused campaign tour designed to remind primary voters of her deep connection to their state.

Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders are preparing for a drag-out fight in New York, a state where they both have roots. Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, will hold a series of events upstate, said campaign aides, to highlight her record as a two-term senator and her work helping more economically-depressed parts of the region.

She’s also trying to boost support among rural and working-class voters, groups that have favored Sanders in previous primary contests.

Her manufacturing proposal centers on using federal funding to create “Make it in America Partnerships” among universities, private companies, unions and government. Businesses participating in the program would pledge not to outsource jobs or move their headquarters abroad to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

The new federal spending would be paid for with tax revenue from a “clawback” tax on companies that outsource jobs or facilities abroad, an idea Clinton proposed in March.

“We’ll really be highlighting how Hillary Clinton made a real difference in the economy lives of people she served,” said Clinton campaign senior policy aide Jake Sullivan. “She’ll have their back and the back of working people as president.”

Sanders, who grew up in Brooklyn, is targeting younger liberals in New York City and working class voters in economically-struggling areas upstate.

He kicked off his campaign in the state on Thursday night, attracting 18,500 cheering supporters to a rally in the South Bronx. On Friday, he plans a stop in Harlem before heading to Wisconsin, where he’s favored to win the April 5 primary.

Clinton, meanwhile, hopes to turn out her coalition of minority voters, senior citizens and women.

While a loss in New York would not significantly winnow her advantage among the delegates who determine the nomination, it would be a major psychological blow to her supporters and raise questions about the level of enthusiasm within her own party for her bid.

Clinton hopes that big wins in New York and the contests that follow in five northeastern states a week later will effectively end the Democratic primaries by giving her an all-but-insurmountable delegate lead.

Along with touting her local record, she’s sharpening her attacks on Sanders, questioning his support for gun control legislation and saying his free college proposal would require governors to pay a significant share of the cost, an unlikely outcome in Republican-led states.

“It’s very important for her to set the record straight when her opponent makes charges that simply don’t have a foundation,” said Sullivan.

On Thursday, Clinton’s team accused Sanders’ campaign of “misleading voters with their attacks,” after she was confronted by a Greenpeace organizer who asked whether she’d forego contributions from the fossil fuel industry at a campaign event.

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said she’d never accepted funds from oil and gas industries companies or their political action committees. Both candidates, he said, have taken contributions from individuals who work in the industry.

“Assuming they don’t believe their own candidate is bought by the fossil fuel industry, they should stop the false attacks,” said spokesman Nick Merrill in a statement.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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