Clinton pivots toward national campaign after South Carolina victory

In her victory speech, Clinton spoke to a national audience about "breaking barriers" as she turned her attention to the 11 primary contests on March 1.
By Stephen Feller  |  Feb. 27, 2016 at 9:24 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "took her campaign national" after a resounding victory over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina primary Saturday night.

Clinton maintained a roughly 50 point lead over Sanders as returns came in, completing an even bigger victory than had been expected leading up to the contest.

South Carolina was considered significant for Clinton after her win in the Nevada caucus on Feb. 20, partially because of her loss to President Barack Obama there by 28 points during the 2008 campaign. The state also was expected to affirm her strength with black voters, who are expected to be a key voting block if she is to win the nomination.

Clinton won black voters five-to-one in South Carolina, the New York Times reported, which pundits said may be an indication of how she'll do with African-American voters in southern states on Super Tuesday.

Exit polls showed many Democratic voters want the next president to continue Obama's policies, ABC News reported, which Clinton has made a large part of her campaign pitch.

"From one end of this state to another, I am so greatly appreciative because today you sent a message that in America, when we stand together, there is no barrier to big to break," Clinton said in a victory speech. "We've now gone through four early states. I want to congratulate Senator Sanders on running a great race and tomorrow this campaign goes national."

"This campaign and this victory tonight is for the parents and teachers in rural South Carolina," Clinton said. "They showed me crumbling classrooms in communities too long neglected. We're going to work together to give their children the education they need here in South Carolina and across America.

Clinton also spoke about going after banks and executives causing damage to the economy, saying one man she met told her "more dreams die in the parking lots of banks than anywhere else," but reiterated a reference to Sanders' focus on economic issues that "America isn't a single issue country."

In the speech, Clinton emphasized the concept of breaking barriers and bring people together while referring to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's campaign slogan.

"Despite what you hear, we don't need to make America great again," she said. "America has never stopped being great. But we do need to make America whole again. Instead of building walls we need to be tearing down barriers."

Among the barriers Clinton spoke about were equal pay for women, family leave, race relations, and the justice system, among others, and spoke of strengthening the bonds of community and family again.

"Imagine what we can do," Clinton said, "when we trust and respect each other despite all that divides us."

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