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Bill: Hill more fiscally conservative than GOP

From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
DOVER, NH -- Campaigning here for his wife, Bill Clinton made an appeal to the state's thrifty sensibility, saying that she "is more conservative than the Republicans" when it comes to fiscal policy.

Speaking at a crowded ceramics manufacturer here in Dover, where people who couldn't get inside clamored for a view from a sole window, the former president outlined the four main reasons voters should support his wife on primary day. One of them was fiscal responsibility, which Clinton said was a family trait. "Unless you think I'm telling you my speech instead of hers, let me remind you of something," he said. "My dearly departed father-in-law, her daddy, who died in my first term, never bought a car until the day he died that he couldn't pay cash for. We have a depression mentality about that, maybe we shouldn't, but we're tight."

Meanwhile, the government is borrowing money not for long-term growth, but for short term needs, Clinton said. "And that's why you have no trade enforcement," he said. America's biggest creditors also are the nations with the biggest trade surpluses. "Guess what else?" he prodded the crowd. "Our tenth-biggest banker is Mexico. Mexico! We borrow money from Mexico, a country with a per-capita income of less than one tenth ours to pay for my tax cut?" He said it was no wonder than that "there are so many illegal immigrants trying to get into this country to make a living. Maybe they think they'll get a tax cut."

As the crowd laughed, he said that if Mexico spent money investing in schools and manufacturing instead of loaning it to America, "there might be a lot less illegal immigration, cause people can make a living in their own country."

Turning back to fiscal issues, he noted that the value of the dollar has decreased as creditors are "putting their money someplace where they think they can get a better deal." And the nation, he said, is digging into a deeper whole. "In this one area, I have to tell you, Hillary is more conservative than the Republicans," he concluded. "She wants to get back to fiscal responsibility, so we will be in control of our economic destiny again."

The Dover stop was Clinton's second event of the day, not including two unannounced retail stops at diners in Manchester and Derry. In Nashua this morning, Clinton rallied supporters who were preparing to canvass in the neighborhood. He pitched his wife's electability, noting the support of Ted Strickland, governor of the pivotal general election state of Ohio.

Clinton also made an appeal on experience, noting the uncertainty facing America. "You have to have a leader that is strong and commanding and convincing enough, first to win, second to work with other people, and third to deal with the unexpected," he said. "There is better than a 50% chance that sometime in the first year or 18 months of the next presidency, something will happen that is not being discussed in this campaign... And you need a president that you trust to deal with something that we will not discuss in this campaign, and to continue to do what you hire the president to do. And I said it before I will say it again, I think on this score she is the best of all."