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President Clinton Acknowledges That WAPA’s Inefficiencies Are Killing Business In The Territory

bill clinton at island center

CHRISTIANSTED – In a speech aimed at firing up Democratic voters in the territory, former president Bill Clinton told a sympathetic crowd at Island Center that his wife Hillary believes the Affordable Care Act is not fair to Virgin Islanders – and that people here should have the right to vote for president.

The speech to benefit Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was sponsored by the Virgin Islands Democratic Party, but the performing arts center was not filled to capacity because the Democratic Party tried to sell first-row seats for $2,700 and those immediately behind for $1,000 to those willing to contribute.

Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett, also a Democrat, introduced Bill Clinton and said that Hillary was well aware the “colonialism” and “racism” operates in the ways the federal government deals with its territories, such as the Virgin Islands.

“The Caribbean has staggering economic potential,” Clinton told NBC News immediately after the event. “And the American Virgin Islands … need equal treatment in health care, and they need a serious effort to liberate them from electric costs that are too high. And if you can lower the electric costs it will not only be good for the environment, but it will create a lot of jobs, it would be able to diversify the economies in ways that are unimaginable. I think it’s really important, and it wouldn’t be that expensive.”

About two-third of the voters in the Virgin Islands are registered as Democrats, so Clinton’s speech was well-received by the St. Croix audience and people afterwards had a chance to meet the former president and offer him congratulations.

The former president continued to make national headlines after the Monday night by stating that he’s open to helping out the potential administration of his wife after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about what his role could be in a number of recent comments. Breitbart News reported early on Monday that Hillary Clinton plans to put her husband in charge of the country, if she is elected president.

“I’ll do whatever I’m asked to do, but I like this economic business,” Bill Clinton said after the event at Island Center for the Performing Arts in Estate Diamond Ruby when asked by NBC News about whether he is ready to jump back into policy at the White House again.

Hillary Clinton, who’s still stuck in the fierce Democratic primary with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, told a crowd in Covington, Kentucky, Sunday night that she would put her husband “in charge of revitalizing the economy, because, you know, he knows how to do it, and especially in places like coal country and inner cities and other parts of our country that have really been left out.”

It was the latest in a string of statements about how she would look to her husband for advice on policy if she makes it back to the White House next year. After her remarks made headlines Sunday, the Clinton campaign sent out a list detailing more than 20 other times she has referred to how he could help, mostly in an economic role.

burton petersen with bill clinton

Chef Burton Petersen of St. Croix with Bill Clinton before the event.

 

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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