Bill Clinton Honors MLK, Says Hillary’s Road to White House Never Easy

By Ed O'Keefe

Apr 4, 2008 3:46pm

ABC News’ Sarah Amos Reports: If it’s Friday, chances are you can find Bill Clinton in North Carolina.

The former President traveled to the Tarheel State for the third Friday in a row, telling the crowd in Monroe, "I just talked to Hillary on the phone and she told me to say hello and she’s sorry she’s not there. And I told her she could send me to North Carolina every day from now til the election. It’d suit me fine. I like it here."

A USA Today article on Thursday speculated the Democratic race could come down to the voters in North Carolina, who head to the polls on May 6.

Clinton focused heavily on the issue of equality in America in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Because of the life I have been fortunate enough to lead, this is a day when it is a little bit difficult to give a traditional poltiical speech becaue it is the 40th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King," Clinton told an audience in Laurinburg, NC.

"Dr. King’s first great mission, to let us all be judged not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character has come a long way. We are going to nominate for president and, I believe elect as president, either the first African-American man or the first woman in the history of this country. We have come a long way on that mission. On the other hand, on the second mission, making a more equal country — where poor people all have a chance to work their way into a middle class lifestyle and have stable families and raise their kids to live their dreams and being the world’s major force for peace, we’ve got a long way to go," continued Clinton.

Clinton spoke about his memories of the night Dr. King was killed as well as the months after, when King’s dream of the Poor People’s March on Washington, DC occured.

"There were thousands of people camped out on the Washington Mall when I graduated. I remember going there and walking up and down and seeing people in the tents and visiting with them from all over American," recalled Clinton.

Clinton gave a nod to all three candidates — Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., John McCain, R-Ariz., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., all of whom visited and spoke in Memphis, Tennessee, on Friday — explaining that no matter who the American people elect we will end up with a historic president in the White House.

Clinton also admitted that he never thought the road to the Democratic nomination would be easy for his wife.

"Early in this campaign, in deference to and as a great compliment to Senator Obama about a year ago or more I said, ‘Hillary, the conventional wisdom in the press is that you can’t lose the primary and you can’t win the general. As usual, they are wrong. You may not win the primary because you are going to have a hard time doing that. But if you dom, I predict you will be elected president handily,’" said Clinton.

Clinton, as during his past two visits, received warm welcomes from local Carolinians. He did find one young man with a hand-made Obama sign who wasn’t as welcoming in Lauringburg.

"Hey, it’s ok, you can hold up your sign. I don’t blame you for trying getting publicity on our nickle, it’s good. But wait a minute, you decide whether I’m right or he is. That is what elections are about. Ok?" Clinton told the crowd, who clearly didn’t appreciate the pro-Obama sign.

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