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Hillary Clinton calls out Arpaio and Republicans at Phoenix campaign rally

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign stop at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday, March 21, 2016.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign stop at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday, March 21, 2016.

The wood floors of Carl Hayden High School’s basketball court were home to an energetic marching band and a few hundred Hillary Clinton supporters during her Phoenix rally Monday.

The former secretary of state addressed the crowd on issues such as gun regulation, immigration and healthcare in light of Arizona’s primary election day on Tuesday.

While discussing healthcare reform, Clinton talked about furthering the progress President Barack Obama made with Obamacare, bringing up her involvement with the 2010 legislation.

“Before it was called Obamacare, it was called Hillarycare,” she said.

Clinton also brought up Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio in her approximately 30-minute speech, saying that people like him “make my heart sink.”

The importance of education was another major talking point in Clinton’s speech. She said Arizona and the country can do better, and linked this back to the prison system issue rarely talked about through the election cycle.

“It is way past time for states to stop building prisons and start investing in higher education," she said.

Clinton also touched on the hostility found within this year's campaign. She said the incitement of violence is disheartening, subtly referring to what has been seen at numerous Donald Trump campaign rallies across the country.

Outside the line of Clinton supporters waiting to enter the rally were Donald Trump supporters with signs that said everything from “Make America Great Again” to “Hillary Would Eat Her Young To Get Back Into The White House.”

Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Commander Mark Kelly, were among the speakers who introduced Clinton before her speech. Kelly spoke the most, focusing primarily on gun control and then gave the podium to his wife, who survived a point blank gunshot to the head during a 2011 shooting in Tucson.

“Speaking is hard for me,” Giffords said. “But come January, I want to say these two words: Madame President.”

Lindy Blake, an ASU alumna, said she was lucky to see Clinton speak because security wouldn’t let people come in right after her.

“I love Hillary,” she said. “I love what she’s done as secretary of state, and I want to see her as president so I came out to support her.”

The gym was only about half full, but many supporters were sitting on the bleachers to the side of court, which may have caused the empty space.

Shauna Trinidad, another ASU alumna, said she is a passionate democrat and feminist, and that’s why she is voting for Clinton.

“I really respect that she’s for a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body,” she said. “I really respect Senator Sanders, too, but I just feel like Hillary is experienced, passionate and people don’t give her a lot of credit for all the things that she’s done.”

Reach the investigative reporter at or follow @_jacobgoldstein on Twitter.

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