MILWAUKEE -- Hillary Clinton took direct aim at Scott Walker during a campaign stop here, mocking the governor and her potential presidential rival for thinking he's "some kind of tough guy on his motorcycle."
Clinton, making her first campaign stop of the cycle in Wisconsin, said Walker has made it his personal mission to "roll back" women's rights by cutting state funding to Planned Parenthood and signing legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest.
“Gov. Walker thinks that because he busts unions, starves universities, guts public education, demeans women, scapegoats teachers, nurses and firefighters, he’s some kind of tough guy on his motorcycle, a real leader,” Clinton said. “That is not leadership. Real leadership is fighting for the people you represent.”
Walker fired back at Clinton over Twitter writing, ".@HillaryClinton your affinity for flying private jets on taxpayers dime is well known. I for one prefer this ride-SW" along with a picture of him on top of a motorcycle. He also tweeted, ".@HillaryClinton while you pander to union bosses, I give workers freedom to choose if they want to be in a union or not. - SW"
Clinton made several references to Walker during the speech.
“Even though women in Wisconsin are still paid less than men, with women of color making even less, Scott Walker repealed protections for equal pay,” Clinton said. “Maybe he just doesn’t realize that when women are shortchanged, entire families are shortchanged.”
The crowd filled the UW-Milwaukee student union and spilled into an overflow room. The crowd nearly drowned out Clinton’s speech repeatedly with cheers and chants of “Hill-a-ry,” forcing Clinton to shout.
A small group interrupted the speech at one point by shouting, “Deportation. Not one more.” Some hecklers called out “What about the emails?” and made references to Benghazi. Clinton did not react to the interruptions.
During the speech, Clinton vowed if elected president she would seek to allow students to refinance student debt, automatically register to vote everyone turning 18, increase the minimum wage and ensure equal pay for equal work.
“I believe that raising incomes and supporting families is the defining economic challenge of our times. I will make that the focus of my campaign and the mission of my presidency,” Clinton said at the event, which was billed as a "Women for Hillary" grassroots organizing meeting.
“If advocating for equal pay for equal work is playing the gender card, deal me in,” Clinton said.
Clinton also brought up the case of the fatal shooting by police of a man who was sleeping in downtown Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Park.
“As a mother and grandmother, my heart breaks for the family of Dontre Hamilton,” she said, noting that Hamilton’s mother was in the audience. “We need to restore the trust between law enforcement and the people they serve. We need to recognize that the ability of black mothers to raise their children in safety is a women’s issue – it’s an American issue,” she said.
“I know this is politically dicey,” she added. “We need real solutions for ending gun violence. ... I’m not going to sit by and stay silent while more innocent people are killed in their churches, killed in movie theaters and walking down the street. We have to address it.”
Clinton ripped the GOP presidential hopefuls, calling Donald Trump a “flamboyant frontrunner who has grabbed attention” but slamming the other candidates for mimicking Trump and failing to call him out for “saying hateful things about immigrants -- even their babies -- and saying hateful things about women.”
“They’re all Trump without the pizzazz and the hair,” said Clinton, adding that the “party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump.”
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told the crowd that he enjoyed the first GOP debate, expecting the presidential hopefuls to “wrestle each other to see who could leapfrog over each other to the right” the most.
Barrett said he wants Hillary to be the one negotiating with other countries. “She’s been there, she understands the world,” said Barrett. “She doesn’t have to look at a map to find out where the countries are.”