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Clinton Unveils Economic Plan Focusing On Middle Class

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Voters may be taking time off this summer, but candidates for the 2016 presidential election are hard at work. We'll hear how some of these campaigns are doing in Iowa and New Hampshire in a moment. But first, an economic address from Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. In New York today, she outlined the domestic policy agenda that she hopes will define her campaign. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: You can easily hear the influence of the leading progressive economist Clinton consulted as she developed her speech and policy plans. She talked about growing income inequality and stagnating middle-class wages, but she said these long-term trends shouldn't determine the nation's destiny.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

HILLARY CLINTON: Today, I'm proposing an agenda to raise incomes for hard-working Americans, an agenda for strong growth, fair growth and long-term growth.

KEITH: If there's one message her campaign wanted to send with this speech, it's that Clinton is focused on growing the wages of the middle class. She talked about Wall Street regulations, family friendly workplace policies and tax changes that would reduce advantages enjoyed by the wealthy and big corporations. She even argued for corporations to share profits with their employees - in short, a laundry list of policies Democrats already generally support.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CLINTON: The measure of our success must be how much incomes rise for hard-working families, not just for successful CEOs and money managers and not just some arbitrary growth target untethered to people's lives and livelihoods.

(APPLAUSE)

KEITH: That was a dig at Jeb Bush, who recently said if he were president, he'd get GDP to grow at 4 percent. For his part, Bush said Clinton was being defeatist and called her policy ideas antiquated. Tamara Keith, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.