More than 1,000 people gathered Wednesday night to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in support of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Richard Carmona at a rally on the Tempe campus.
“If you want the young people to have a brighter future, if you want America to come together and not be torn apart, you can do something about it in Arizona,” Clinton said. “You can send Rich Carmona to the (U.S.) Senate.”
Clinton urged voters to elect Carmona because of his support of the DREAM Act and student loan reforms.
“One of America’s great advantages is that we’ve got somebody here from everywhere,” Clinton said. “Because of the immigrants, we are younger than Europe, younger than Japan, and believe it or not, in 20 years, we will be younger than China.”
Carmona, who served as U.S. surgeon general in the George W. Bush administration, is running against Republican Jeff Flake to fill the Senate seat of retiring three-term U.S. Senator Jon Kyl.
Born to a family of immigrants, Carmona said he supports the DREAM Act because the government needs to invest in America’s youth.
“(DREAMers), hang in there, because we’re going to solve this problem,” Carmona said.
Student loan reform is one of the biggest issues in the Senate race, Clinton said.
“This alone should be enough to determine the course of the Senate race,” Clinton said.
Arizona has not sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in the last 18 years, but Arizona Democrats are optimistic that Carmona has a chance to win the November election.
ASU Young Democrats Vice President Quentin Gunn said Carmona is the Democratic Party’s best chance in years to upset the typically Republican state.
A report released on Oct. 3 by Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning polling agency, reported Carmona was two points ahead of Flake.
Just a week earlier on Sept. 26, a Rasmussen Reports poll said Flake led Carmona by six points.
Clinton talked about the challenges and obstacles facing the U.S. as a nation.
“All over the world, the biggest challenge countries are facing is creating enough jobs for the people of age to work,” Clinton said. “It’s not an American challenge. It’s a global challenge.”
Film freshman Rosemary Zinke said she came to the rally to see Clinton and learn more about Carmona.
“Since this is my first time voting, I want to learn as much as I can about everyone,” Zinke said.
Design management junior Diego Lozano said he will vote for Carmona because of his stance on the DREAM Act.
Lozano said he has a lot of friends who are illegal immigrants.
“(I wanted) to make sure he will help my friends,” Lozano said.
Hearing Carmona speak in support of the DREAM Act assured Lozano that Carmona will advocate for illegal immigrants in the Senate.
The Get Out to Vote Early Rally was hosted by the ASU Young Democrats at the Sun Devil Performance Lawn.
Tempe-based band Jimmy Eat World opened the night with a performance.
Gunn said the Carmona campaign chose to host the event at ASU because they want Carmona’s message to reach students and Tempe community members.
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