CLEVELAND (KHNL) - News 8's Kristine Uyeno speaks via satellite with Democratic presidential candidate and New York senator Hillary Clinton.
Kristine Uyeno: Aloha Senator Clinton. Thanks for joining us from Cleveland Ohio.
Hillary Clinton: Well, aloha, I'm happy to be talking to you.
Kristine Uyeno: Well first of all you just revealed last week your "Solutions for Hawaii" plan, addressing everything from tourism to healthcare and the environment. Can you talk more about what you would do for the people of Hawaii if elected?
Hillary Clinton: Well, I know that I have an uphill battle in Hawaii, but I want the people of Hawaii to know that I've thought long and hard about how I can be a good president and partner for you. That's why I did release a very specific agenda called "Solutions for Hawaii". I will provide more support for the tourism industry, I think the federal government should do that. I will do more to reduce your dependence on foreign oil. You are so petroleum-dependent, we need a president who is not going to turn a blind eye to the exorbitant profits of the oil companies, but help the people of Hawaii afford their energy costs. I want to get to universal healthcare, that's a big difference between Senator Obama and myself. I have a plan for quality, affordable healthcare for every American. He does not, he would leave out at least 15 million Americans. So on issue after issue, on global warming and the environment, to energy and making college affordable, providing more resources for public education and getting the economy to produce green collar jobs, which will put so many people in Hawaii to work. I have been very specific, because I want you to know what I will do as your president, and I would be honored to have your support in the caucuses today.
Kristine Uyeno: Barack Obama was born here in Hawaii, went to school here, so he has some very strong local ties, but you say that you have a connection to the state as well.
Hillary Clinton: Well, I'm very proud to have so much support in the state, led by Senator Inouye, who knows us both and believes that I would be the best president. That means a great deal to me, because I have such high respect for him. But I've also been to Hawaii, I've worked on healthcare issues in Hawaii. I know that there are a lot of concerns that the people of Hawaii have. My husband and I are strong supporters of the rights of Native Hawaiians, I've supported Senator Akaka's bill. I support giving the benefits to brave Filipinos who served in the American military, who have not been taken care of. On issue after issue, I've been very willing to support the concerns of the people of Hawaii and I will continue to do so as your president.
Kristine Uyeno: 20 delegates are up for grabs in Hawaii's Democratic caucus today, you aren't campaigning here, neither is Senator Obama, but how important are those delegates to you?
Hillary Clinton: Well, of course my daughter was here in Hawaii and I am thrilled at the reception she got. She had such a wonderful time, and she talked to a lot of people and she encouraged them to come caucus for me. So I sent my very best asset to Hawaii. I'm sorry I couldn't be there myself, but I look forward to coming back soon. I love your state, and I really enjoy my time there. It's so beautiful and relaxing and the people are wonderful.
Kristine Uyeno: Obama does have a small lead over you right now, what does this mean for your campaign and what's next?
Hillary Clinton: Well, we both have been see-sawing back and forth. It's a very close contest, but I feel good about where we are. We are going to have, obviously, very vigorous elections in Ohio and Texas, where so many delegates are at risk and I'm looking forward to winning the nomination and being the very best nominee that we could field to take on Senator McCain and win in November.
Kristine Uyeno: Finally, you say you love Hawaii and I you could come back soon you would. How would you spend that day?
Hillary Clinton: I would spend it on the water. I would spend it on the beach. I would spend it walking and swimming, just relaxing and I would spend it sightseeing, which I always love to do on any of the islands, but mostly just kind of catching up on relaxation time, which I haven't had a lot of in the last year.
Kristine Uyeno: I can't imagine why, senator. Thank you so much for joining us and aloha.