Hillary Clinton Attacks Scott Walker, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in Economic Policy Speech

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at The New School, July 13, 2015, in New York.Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at The New School, July 13, 2015, in New York.

Hillary Clinton wants you to know her economic policy will be nothing like those proposed by the GOP.

While delivering her first major economic policy speech of her campaign, Clinton today called out Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker by name to contrast her policies -- focused on strengthening the middle class and increasing wages -- against those of her front-running Republican rivals.

In her remarks, delivered at the New School in downtown Manhattan, Clinton first took aim at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for his recent comment that “people need to work longer hours.” (A remark Bush’s campaign said was about unemployment.)

“You may have heard Governor Bush say last week that Americans just need to work longer hours. Well, he must not have met very many American workers,” the democratic presidential candidate said.

Clinton then went after Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, calling his tax reform plan a “sure budget busting giveaway for the super wealthy.”

And lastly, Clinton went after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker -- who just entered the presidential race today -- for his “mean-spirited, misguided attacks” against workers.

“Republican governors like Scott Walker have made their names by stomping on workers’ rights,” she said.

Overall, Clinton attacked the trickle-down economics proposed by past Republican presidents -- saying that “twice now” a Democratic president (President Clinton and President Obama) “has had to come in and clean up the mess left behind” -- and proposed her own, new plan aimed at both “growth and fairness."

Clinton said her priority will be to boost middle-class wages, which she said is the "defining economic challenge of our time."

In her remarks, Clinton laid out a series of proposals -- including tax cuts for businesses and increasing the minimum wage -- for how she plans to do it.

Here’s a list of what she proposed:

  • Increasing the minimum wage
  • Policies such as affordable child care and paid leave, focused on getting more women get into the work force
  • Tax cuts for small businesses
  • Tax reforms so that the wealthy “have to pay their fair share.”
  • Support for union workers and ending efforts to undermine worker bargaining power
  • Incentives for businesses to expand profit-sharing with employees
  • Education reform, including ways to improve schools, make college affordable and help Americans refinance their student debt
  • Comprehensive immigration reform (which Clinton called “another engine of strong growth”)
  • Investments in infrastructure, clean-energy programs, scientific and medical research, and net businesses investments like factories, machines and research labs
  • Capital gains tax reform to reward “longer term investments that create jobs, not just quick trades”
  • Wall Street reform and protection of “Dodd-Frank” laws

Notably, Clinton did not go into many specifics -- she did not specify by how much she wants to raise the minimum wage, nor did she say what her tax reform would entail. But her campaign says this speech simply laid out the foundation of her plan –- and the overarching themes -- and that she will roll out the details of the proposals in the coming weeks.

Towards the end of Clinton's remarks, a heckler called out over the crowd, "Will you restore Glass-Steagall?" -- referring to the 1933 legislation that limited the affiliation between banks and securities firms, and provisions of which were repealed in 1999. Some critics have pointed to the repeal as one of the contributing factors to the 2008 financial crisis.

Clinton did not respond and the man -- who said he was frustrated Clinton did not take any questions -- was quickly escorted out by security.