Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton dedicated some time at Sunday’s debate to blast Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder for what she and many feel was a systematic attempt to poison the poverty-stricken community that houses majority Black residents.
The lead poisoned water in Flint, Michigan have forced mostly Black community members to drink and bathe in contaminated water for over a year. Hillary Clinton, along with her biggest contender Bernie Sanders are calling out Gov. Snyder for his failure to do something sooner.
“He had requests for help that he basically stonewalled,” Clinton said. “I’ll tell you what, if the kids in a rich suburb of Detroit had been drinking contaminated water and being bathed in it, there would’ve been action.”
Clinton’s outrage was clear and so was the subtext. She was speaking in South Carolina, where the Democratic primary vote Feb. 27 will be decided largely by African American voters. She was speaking on the eve of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. And she was standing onstage with a surging, liberal white rival whose strength with black voters is no match for her own.
The Flint water crisis has emerged this month as a flash point of liberal anger, although the problem is more than a year old. Clinton had seized on it even before raising it Sunday night during the last debate before presidential voting begins.
Clinton said she had dispatched a top campaign aide to Flint “to see what I could do to help.” The approach is classic Clinton — hands-on and practical, with a heavy dose of policy wonk — and she suggested it is emblematic of how she would govern as president.
“I issued a statement about what we needed to do and then I went on a TV show and I said it was outrageous that the governor hadn’t acted,” Clinton said. “And within two hours he had.”
However, despite the Michigan Governor’s efforts, Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders is over it and wants Gov. Snyder to resign.