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Hillary Clinton kicks off 2016 presidential bid: No anti-LGBT discrimination

Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waves to supporters as her husband former President Bill Clinton, second from right, Chelsea Clinton, second from left, and her husband Marc Mezvinsky, join on stage Saturday, June 13, 2015, on Roosevelt Island in New York.
Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waves to supporters as her husband former President Bill Clinton, second from right, Chelsea Clinton, second from left, and her husband Marc Mezvinsky, join on stage Saturday, June 13, 2015, on Roosevelt Island in New York. Frank Franklin II, AP

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In her roughly 45 minute speech, Clinton laid out a wish list of Democratic policies: universal pre-K education, increased regulation of the financial industry, paid sick leave and equal pay for women, a path to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally, campaign finance overhaul and a ban on discrimination against LGBT people and their families.

In doing so, Clinton tried to cast the 2016 election as a choice about the economic future of the middle class, saying the Republican field is “singing the same old song.”

The GOP’s candidates, she said, want to give Wall Street banks free reign, take away health insurance, “turn their backs” on LGBT people and ignore the science of climate change.

“Fundamentally, they reject what it takes to build an inclusive economy,” Clinton said. “It takes an inclusive society. What I once called ‘a village’ that has a place for everyone.”

Republicans jumped on Clinton’s decision to cite her ties to Obama and were trying to raise money off the speech almost as soon as it ended. In an email appeal asking for donations, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry wrote, “We want to look toward a brighter future, not backward at the failed policies of the Obama-Clinton years.”

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As part of an effort to reintroduce herself to the public, Clinton stressed her career of advocacy – a calling she said was inspired by her mother’s difficult upbringing.

After the rally, she headed to Iowa for a campaign event Saturday night, followed next week by a tour of early voting states. There, she will focus on her relationship with her mother and her father’s background as a veteran and small businessman.

Clinton is the dominant front-runner for the nomination in a race that also includes Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Clinton’s aides said she plans to give a policy address almost every week during the summer and fall.

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