Seth Wenig / AP
Monday, July 13, 2015 | 12:16 p.m.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticized her Republican challengers and called to raise the minimum wage during a major economic speech on Monday in New York.
The address comes as Clinton — the favorite to win the Democratic nomination — begins to position herself against several of her likely Republican challengers in the general election ahead of the Nevada caucuses. Both of Nevada's Democratic and GOP Presidential caucuses are scheduled for February 2016.
It also highlights the difficult task she will have in threading the economic policy needle in must-win swing states like Nevada: Not so far to the left that she loses ground to the eventual Republican nominee, but not so far to the right that she opens herself up to a strong challenge from primary opponents like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Vowing to raise the quality of life for low-income Americans by increasing the minimum wage, expanding sick days and growing childcare programs, Clinton called out recent comments by Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
“You may have heard Governor Bush say last week that Americans just need to work longer hours,” Clinton said. “Well, he must not have met very many American workers […] They don’t need a lecture. They need a raise.”
Last week, Bush said “people need to work more hours” if the country wants to grow its economy. After facing criticism for his comments, Bush said he was referring to a Bureau of Labor Statistic report that said 6.5 million residents want full-time work but can’t find it.
The Florida Senator and GOP presidential candidate came to Las Vegas over the weekend to detail his family’s immigrant story and Nevada upbringing, as well as calling for a simplification of the tax code.
Clinton singled out Rubio in her speech, criticizing his plan that would, according to her, cut taxes for people making more than $3 million per year.
“That’s the type of economics you’re likely to hear from the candidates on the other side,” she said of Rubio.
Clinton also made an appeal to organized labor, a demographic that’s increasingly been the target of Republicans, including efforts by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. During his term, he’s eliminated policies that mandate workers join labor unions and has limited the bargaining power unions have in contract negotiations.
Clinton panned Walker’s policies as “mean spirited” and “misguided.”
She vowed to reform national policies related to organized labor, saying that worker bargaining power is a key in raising wages nationwide.
In her run for president, Clinton has criticized financial loopholes for the rich and called on Wall Street to spread its wealth, in part as a way to draw support away from Sanders, who has been a loud critic of the industry. Clinton’s calls come amid reports that Sanders has raised considerable money in his presidential bid.
In her speech on Monday, Clinton said she would close tax loopholes for the nation’s largest companies and ensure that rates for millionaires were not less than middle-class workers.