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Clinton to talk jobs, hit McCain

From NBC/NJ's Athena Jones
Here are excerpts from Hillary Clinton's speech in North Carolina today where she'll hit McCain and talk about job training.

Of course, the speech as given could include slightly different language, but this gives us at least some indication of where she's heading with her criticism:

Sometimes the phone rings at 3am in the White House and it's an economic crisis. And we need a president who is ready and willing to answer that call. But I read Senator McCain's plan which does virtually nothing to ease the credit crisis or the housing crisis. The phone is ringing and he would just let it ring and ring.

Senator McCain is a friend of mine but he said himself, "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." He'd rather ignore the credit crisis and mortgage crisis -- or blame middle class families instead of offering solutions on their behalf.

We've had enough of a president who didn't know enough about economics, and didn't do enough for the middle class. I don't think we can afford four more years. I believe we have to answer the call and act aggressively to deal with the housing and credit crises. That's the kind of president we need after eight years of George Bush.

While we are fighting to create jobs, and keep them here in America, today I'm announcing that I will commit $2.5 billion each year to help workers train for new jobs and improve their skills for their existing jobs as well.

We are competing in a new global economy, but our policies to equip American worker for the twenty-first century are stuck back in the twentieth. When it comes to retraining assistance, our government is more focused on how you lost your job than how you can find a new one. And while we have been rightly focused on trying to help people who are out of work, there's been too little thought and effort to help people gain new skills while they still have their existing jobs -- so they can move up or move on to higher-wage positions.

I will make Universal Worker Adjustment Assistance available to every single dislocated worker.  No American should feel left behind -- if you are willing to work hard and retrain, we'll reward your hard work with help getting trained, finding a new job, and making the adjustment to a new field or industry.

We'll also create new tools and options for you to get job skills or a college education while working. You shouldn't have to produce a pink slip to get help training for a new, higher-paying job. I'll create Pell Grants that people can use to retrain and attend college while working.

And the government should not wait until it's too late to act. I am proposing an innovative new program. It's called "The Pre-emptive Training Initiative." When a factory closes its doors, or a plant moves overseas, that's a shock for families -- and for whole communities. We shouldn't wait until the lock is placed on the gates to recognize the problem.