Although there are six more months until the first primary, Hillary Clinton acted like she was already the Democratic nominee while speaking at the National Urban League on Friday, playing up her support for Black Lives Matter and slamming Jeb Bush.
"Race still plays a significant role in America about who gets let ahead in America and who gets left behind," Clinton said. "I'm planning to be president and anyone who seeks that office has a responsibility to say it."
As the Black Lives Matter movement has picked up steam among the American public, the Democratic candidates have played up the importance of racial equality in their campaigns, with Clinton making a concerted effort to emphasize her support of African-American communities. Through her proposals on early childhood education, voting rights and affordable healthcare, Clinton believes she has the platform that will help.
"The real test of a candidate's commitment is not whether we come to speak [at your convention]," Clinton said. "It's whether we are still around [when its over] ... too often we see a mismatch between what some candidates say in venues like this and what they actually do when they're elected."
Clinton did not attend Netroot Nations two weeks ago, a conference in which her political competition, Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders, were met with Black Lives Matter protesters. Both O'Malley and Sanders received much criticism for how the dealt with the event, especially O'Malley, who responded to the protesters by saying "black lives matter, all lives matter." Clinton, who did not attend the event, followed up just days later by giving a speech on the importance of racial equality.
When Bush, a leading Republican candidate, was asked about O'Malley's "All lives matter" gaffe, he responded that the criticisms were ridiculous and that he "shouldn't have apologized" for saying that. Bush's statement was met with equal criticism from Black Lives Matter supporters, and Clinton used that to her advantage while speaking at the conference emphasizing the empowerment of African Americans.
"You cannot seriously talk about the right to rise and support laws that deny the right to vote," Clinton said, slamming Bush, whose PAC is aptly named 'Right to Rise.' "I don't think you can credibly say that everyone has a right to rise and then say you are for phasing out Medicare or for repealing Obamacare."