Bill Clinton stumps in South Texas for Democrats ahead of Election Day
“Bill Clinton stumps in South Texas for Democrats ahead of Election Day” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
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Former President Bill Clinton is making a last-minute push for Democratic congressional candidates locked in tight races across South Texas.
Clinton traveled to Laredo on Monday morning to stump for U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, and he was set to visit the Rio Grande Valley later in the day to boost Michelle Vallejo, who is running for an open seat.
In Laredo, Clinton touted Cuellar’s efforts on immigration reform and noted that Cuellar has supported the major legislative achievements of the Biden administration, starting with its $1.9 trillion COVID-19 recovery law. Clinton also warned that if Republicans capture the House majority Tuesday, they could try to cut Medicare and Social Security, as well as renew efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
“Your future is under threat, and so is my grandchildren’s,” Clinton said.
Cuellar is running against Republican Cassy Garcia in one of three districts in South Texas that the national GOP is targeting, hoping to gain new ground with Hispanic voters. In addition to holding the Laredo rally, Clinton recorded a robocall for Cuellar that went out over the weekend.
Clinton is not the only national political figure to campaign in South Texas in recent days. U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Ronna McDaniel, head of the national Republican Party, were in McAllen on Sunday evening for a rally with all three GOP candidates. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., campaigned for Vallejo last week.
The Republican contenders — all Hispanic women — ridiculed Clinton’s visit, invoking his history as a womanizer, including his sexual relationship with 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
“We are not the least bit surprised that Cartel Cuellar is bringing a sinvergüenza to South Texas to try to take down a young woman, but it won’t work,” Brittany McGivern, a spokesperson for Garcia’s campaign, said in a statement.
“Sinvergüenza” is Spanish word whose meaning is similar to “scoundrel” in English.
Clinton was popular in South Texas during his presidential campaigns. For example, he won 77% of the vote in Webb County, home to Laredo, in 1996, while Biden carried it with only 61% in 2020.
The Clintons have also long boasted a special connection to Texas, where they worked together on George McGovern’s presidential campaign in the 1970s.
Clinton is scheduled to rally with Vallejo at 3:30 p.m. in Edinburg. Vallejo is running against Republican Monica De La Cruz, who recently invoked Clinton in an op-ed, lamenting that Democrats have drifted away from his ‘pro-growth’ message that was popular with Latinos.”
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Correction, Nov. 7, 2022: A previous version of this story misspelled the name of the Democratic candidate running for Congress in District 15. Her name is Michelle Vallejo, not Michelle Valejo.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/11/07/bill-clinton-south-texas-election/.
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