Click here to view an audio slideshow from the event.
Chelsea Clinton, daughter of 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and former president Bill Clinton, addressed a crowd in Cal Poly’s University Union Plaza Friday.
Many people in attendance held up “Hillary for President” posters during Clinton’s question-and-answer session, while an occasional “Obama 2008” poster could be spotted.
Surrounded by students, faculty and community members, Clinton was introduced by Provost William Durgin and Associated Students Inc. President Brandon Souza.
“I hope you’re going to vote for my mom,” Clinton said early on in her address to the audience.
Clinton answered questions about her mom’s campaign for president for about 45 minutes and encouraged everyone to vote in California’s Feb. 5 primary election.
She discussed issues of college affordability, comprehensive education reform, the war in Iraq, universal healthcare, renewable energy, immigration and gay rights.
“Please go online. Check out my mom. Check out all of the candidates. Please vote. Everyone says young voters are really going to turn out in this election and we hope you have gotten that message and are planning on making that true,” Clinton said. “I hope you are going to vote for my mom. I’m here to help you make that decision.”
On the issue of college affordability, Clinton discussed how Hillary Clinton plans to make that possible if elected into the presidency. She said her mother would double the level of Pell grants, make Pell grants available yearround and re-establish direct lending to students from the federal government.
Clinton also spoke of her mother’s support of immigration reform. Hillary Clinton plans to increase border security and strengthen enforcement of labor laws, she said. Clinton said enforcing labor laws will involve holding businesses accountable and that immigration reform would “welcome people out of the shadows.”
When asked by an audience member if her mother “will ever take responsibility for her vote to authorize the Iraq war,” she responded by referring back to her mom’s answer to that question in Thursday night’s presidential candidate debate. She also said her mother did not know what President Bush was going to do in Iraq and would have acted differently if she had known.
Clinton also discussed less serious issues related to her own life and her relationship with her mother, including her mother’s cooking.
She concluded her Cal Poly visit by saying, “Please, please vote on Tuesday and I hope you will vote for my mom. Get involved and come out.”
Student reaction from the event appeared to be mixed.
“I had expectations of a bipartisan encouragement of youth voting, but Chelsea just encouraged people to vote for her mom,” mechanical engineering senior Spencer Weills said.
Business administration senior Lauren Elliott said, “I liked that Chelsea was able to be frank with the audience and admit if she did not know the correct response to a question. I’ve been wavering back and forth between different candidates and better understanding Clinton’s platform is helping me make my decision.”
When Clinton finished answering questions from the audience she stayed to take pictures and sign autographs.