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WorldView

Hillary Clinton Declares for Senate

Aired February 6, 2000 - 8:16 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: After months of stumping across New York state in what Hillary Rodham Clinton described as a "listening tour," the wife of U.S. President Bill Clinton has apparently heard enough. She officially declared on Sunday that she is running for the U.S. Senate.

CNN's Frank Buckley with our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FIRST LADY: I am honored today to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate from New York.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the formal announcement of a campaign that began last summer -- Hillary Rodham Clinton appearing before 2,000 supporters in a gymnasium at Purchase College in Westchester County, New York, the first lady declaring that as a U.S. senator she would, as she put it, "fight her heart out for New Yorkers."

CLINTON: We can strengthen our families, we can protect our children, we can improve our schools, we can provide health care to all our citizens, and we can bring good jobs to every corner of New York.

BUCKLEY: Mrs. Clinton was accompanied by her husband, President Clinton, and daughter Chelsea, introduced to the audience by the senator she hopes to succeed, Daniel Patrick Moynihan

SEN. DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN (D), NEW YORK: Hillary, Eleanor Roosevelt would love you.

BUCKLEY: The president smiled and applauded, but did not speak to the audience -- except during an 18-minute video presentation leading up to her announcement.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The people who've worked for her feel, I think, a lot of respect and affection for her. And she unleashes people's energies. And when you're in the Senate, you need to be able to bring people together and kind of lift them up. And she's very, very good at that.

BUCKLEY: Mrs. Clinton outlined an agenda, including more support for public education, increased economic development and improved health care.

CLINTON: I'll be on your side in the fight to find smart new ways to help the least fortunate among us, including the homeless.

BUCKLEY: She also appealed to the Senate, calling herself a new Democrat to counter critics who have attempted to label her a liberal.

CLINTON: I support a balanced budget and more investments in education, welfare reform and better child care for working parents.

BUCKLEY: Looking out at a bank of cameras and a crowd that rivaled any presidential campaign announcement, Mrs. Clinton looked forward to the coming campaign.

CLINTON: Now I know it's always going to be an easy campaign. But, hey, this is New York.

BUCKLEY (on camera): And Mrs. Clinton's presumed opponent in the race, New York City's Republican mayor, Rudy Giuliani, is a lifelong New Yorker, something his campaign plans to remind voters of at every turn. To which Mrs. Clinton told voters gathered here today, I may be new to your neighborhood but I'm not new to your concerns.

Frank Buckley, CNN, Purchase, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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