Clinton to visit Flint to highlight water crisis

Story highlights

  • Clinton hopes the trip with shine a spotlight on the tainted water crisis plaguing the city
  • The trip will take Clinton out of New Hampshire days before the state's critical primary

Durham, New Hampshire (CNN)Hillary Clinton will take a break from campaigning in New Hampshire on Sunday and visit Flint, Michigan, in an effort to highlight to city's water crisis, according to a Clinton aides.

Clinton hopes the trip with shine a spotlight on the tainted water crisis plaguing the city, where officials did not properly treat water being pumped into homes, leaving people exposed to lead and other contaminants.
Clinton, according to aides, "intends to use her trip to Flint to urge the Republican-contolled Senate to approve the Senate Democrats' $600 million amendment to help Flint." The announcement comes on the same day that Senate Democrats blocked an energy bill over funding for Flint.
The trip will take Clinton out of New Hampshire days before the state's critical primary. Clinton is losing by upwards of 30 points in most polls, and a CNN/WMUR survey released on Thursday found Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders beating Clinton 61% to 30%.
Her campaign aides not that while she is leaving New Hampshire, she "will still be campaigning in New Hampshire every day between now and the primary -- including public appearances in the Granite State on Sunday."
Clinton has made Flint a focus of her campaign since the contaminated water issue was discovered, arguing that if the crisis had happened in a rich Detroit suburb, the response would have been faster and more effective.
"I think every single American should be outraged," Clinton said last month. "We've had a city in the United States of America where the population, which is poor in many ways and majority African-American, has been drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water. And the governor of that state acted as though he didn't really care."
Clinton also dispatched some of her top aides, including Amanda Renteria, her political director, to the city.
In response to her focus on the issue, Flint's mayor endorsed the presidential candidate in January.
"I want Hillary," Karen Weaver said on a conference call with reporters. "We want a friend like Hillary in the White House. We need a fighter we need someone there fighting for the city of Flint."
Sanders has also focused on the Flint water issue, however he went about it differently than Clinton. Shortly after the issue was discovered, Sanders called on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to step down over the issue.
"Secretary Clinton was right and what I did, which I think is also right, is demanded the resignation of the governor. A man who acts that irresponsibly should not stay in power," Sanders said in January.
The focus on Flint will continue next month when Clinton and Sanders meet on March 6 to debate in the city.