Hillary Clinton tells liberals to focus on women

Hillary Clinton, shown at an event in Iowa this week, has been talking about economic equality in more political tones.

Story highlights

  • Hillary Clinton stepped up her rhetoric on economic equality on Thursday
  • Clinton: "We have to make these issues part of every political debate"
  • The message comes as Democrats prepare to campaign nationwide for midterms
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro: "My view is damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead, it is on"
Hillary Clinton said Thursday that obtaining economic equality for women should become a "political movement" that is the "lifeblood of this election and any election."
Flanked by other high-profile female lawmakers and a former aide, Clinton ramped up her usual message on gender equality by making a call to action.
"Political candidates and office-holders do pay attention when people vote on issues that are of concern to them," Clinton said during a roundtable at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. "And that sound so simplistic, but ... when we can turn an issue into a political movement that demands people be responsive, during the election season, it carries over."
Clinton added: "We have to make these issues part of every political debate."
Economic equality is a topic that Clinton talks about on a regular basis, but rarely in such political terms. As Democrats prepare for the midterm elections -- where control of the U.S. Senate is on the line -- the former secretary of state and presumed frontrunner for the presidential nomination in 2016 has put women's issues at the forefront to her message.
Clinton used a similar tone early this week in Iowa, where she said women should make their own health care decisions and that raising the minimum wage should be a women's issue because the majority of women hold those jobs.
"We need people to feel like they are part of a movement, that it is not just about an election," Clinton said at the Center for American Progress roundtable. "It is about a movement, a movement to really empower themselves, their families and take the future over in a way that is going to give us back the country that we care so much about."
Also at the roundtable were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sens. Patty Murray and Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, and Neera Tanden, a former Clinton aide who now is president of the think tank.
Clinton's calls for a movement on women's empowerment were echoed by the women on the panel.
"We need a call to action to ask 6 million more women to be voting, 6 million more women to he heard," Gillibrand said, adding that women need "to speak up, need to demand action."
DeLauro was even more forceful: "My view is damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead, it is on."