Hillary Clinton campaigns in Washington, says stakes are high for state’s Democratic caucus vote

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EVERETT, Wash. -- Hillary Clinton campaigned in the Seattle area Tuesday in advance of the state's Democratic caucus on Saturday.

In her first stop in Everett, the former secretary of state stood front and center inside the Machinists Union packed with Boeing workers and others, hoping Washington’s working-class can give her an edge in the state over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“I have fought for the right to organize and bargain, fought for the middle-class. I am not the latest flavor of the month; I’ve been doing this day in and day out,” Clinton said.

She talked about jobs and about women.

“You know what we are going to get done -- equal pay for women’s work,” Clinton said.

Clinton  said Sanders' call for tuition-free college for all in the United States is unrealistic but that she wants a debt-free college program for the middle-class and the poor.

“If you give it free to everybody, you end up paying for Donald Trump’s kids free for college and universities -- not doing that. I am not asking you to do that,” Clinton said.

Clinton also told the crowd she will be the biggest champion of the Export-Import Bank, a credit agency for businesses that is regulated by the federal government. Many Republicans call the Export-Import Bank nothing more than corporate welfare. But Clinton said Washington state businesses rely on the bank to compete overseas.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., spoke in support of Clinton and the Export-Import Bank, saying the agency is responsible for 80,000 jobs in Washington.

“I am going to be the biggest champion of the Export-Import Bank; it hasn’t cost us a penny. It allows us to sell around the world. When the Republicans" opposed it, "my opponent, Senator Sanders, joined arms against the Expert-Import Bank," Clinton claimed. "I just shook my head.”

Many non-union members of the audience showed up at Tuesday’s rally. Some said they were not afraid of Clinton’s Democratic opponent but rather the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

“My concern is that she beats Donald Trump. I am sorry, that’s one of my biggest concerns,” Susan Johnson said.

After her almost hour-long speech, Clinton took pictures with the crowd and told reporters that she’s hopeful she can win Washington state on Saturday.

“I want people to think, who can do all parts of the job? Who can be president? Who can be commander-in-chief? If people think like that, I will do well, as well as I can, on Saturday,” Clinton said.

Clinton spoke later to Native American tribal leaders in Puyallup, promising to be a "good partner."

Clinton visited Chief Leschi Schools in Puyallup, where she appeared before more than 40 people. The school has about 1,000 students from preschool to 12th grade.

After a musical performance, tribe chairman Bill Sterud introduced Clinton, recalling when tribe members marched in an inaugural parade for President Bill Clinton. He said the tribe has a number of needs, including help with cleaning up Puget Sound.

Clinton thanked the group for hosting her and said that if elected, she would expect a delegation at her inauguration.

"I came to listen," she said. "To learn more from each of you."

She also was attending a private fundraiser in Medina before going to a public rally Tuesday night at Rainier Beach High School in south Seattle.

By that time, she should know how she fared Tuesday against Sanders in Democratic primaries and caucuses in Arizona, Utah and Idaho.

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