Sen. Hillary Clinton told several hundred people gathered at a York city intersection today what she'd do as president, while weaving in criticisms of President Bush and her opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama.

"I'd like you to think about it as sort of an extended job interview," she told the crowd near the end of her speech.

If she's hired, Clinton said, she'd end the war in Iraq. She'd end No Child Left Behind. She'd end tax breaks for businesses that move jobs out of the country. She'd deliver universal health care. And she'd make college more affordable.

Clinton urged her supporters to head to the polls for Pennsylvania's primary Tuesday as she tries to hold off Obama in a contest worth 187 delegates, including 29 super delegates.

Northeastern High School senior Mark Sollars, 18, dances with Raquel Balbi of York city before the start of the visit by Hillary Clinton in downtown York
Northeastern High School senior Mark Sollars, 18, dances with Raquel Balbi of York city before the start of the visit by Hillary Clinton in downtown York on Saturday, April 19, 2008. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Jason Plotkin)

Obama leads the Democratic race, with 1,645 pledged delegates to 1,507 for Clinton. A candidate needs 2,025 to win the nomination. Recent polls have shown that Obama has narrowed Clinton's once double-digit lead in Pennsylvania to about five percentage points. He has scheduled a campaign stop in Harrisburg tonight.

York was the third of five scheduled campaign stops today for Clinton. She ran late, and shortly after 3 p.m., members of her campaign fed the gathering T-shirts to keep their spirits up.

"Madam!" a campaign staffer yelled.

"President!" the crowd shouted back.

But not everyone was there as a Clinton supporter.

"I'm leaning toward Barack Obama," said Greg Sullivan of Spring Garden Township. He said he really likes Clinton but thinks Obama would win against likely GOP candidate John McCain.

Clinton arrived about 3:30 and, in a slightly hoarse voice, started by talking about the economy.

"It's important that every child grows up to their God-given potential," she said.

She extolled positives of the 1990s. With she and her husband in the White House for much of the decade, the country was moving toward a balanced budget, jobs were being created, incomes were rising and people were being lifted out of poverty, she said.

There was peace and prosperity, she said, and she would bring back both as president.

"It took a Clinton to clean up after a Bush" again this time, she said.

But, she said, "I'm not here just to talk in generalities and get you to clap and feel good on a beautiful spring afternoon - what a view that is down that street with all those trees in blossom. ... I think you're hiring me to be a problem-solver, to come up with solutions."

Jobs and rising oil prices

Clinton said she would end tax breaks for companies that move jobs out of the country. She said that, if she's president, the U.S. won't enter into any trade agreements "unless we know we are going to benefit from them" and U.S. workers won't be hurt.

A crowd gathered in downtown York to show support for Hillary Clinton on Saturday, April 19, 2008.
A crowd gathered in downtown York to show support for Hillary Clinton on Saturday, April 19, 2008. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Jason Plotkin)

A couple of times during the speech, she referred to Harley-Davidson's plans to cut about 300 union jobs from its Springettsbury Township plant.

She said a second Clinton administration could create at least 5 million new jobs. She would set up a strategic energy fund to invest in technology to help train people to do what she called "green-collar jobs." She would find the money for that, she said, by taking away subsidies to oil companies.

Clinton also said she would investigate the cause of rising oil prices, which, she said, is "not in response to supply and demand." She said she would release some of the oil reserves and would approve taking a "holiday" from the gas tax and instead tax oil companies.

Science, health and education

Clinton said she would end the Bush administration's "war on science" and sign a stem-cell research bill. It will create jobs and is the right thing to do, she said.

She will also fight for universal health care, she said.

"We can end the discrimination that insurance companies get away with as they decide who lives and dies," she said.

She noted that Obama recently criticized her health plan, but said his leaves 15 million people "out in the cold. Instead of attacking the problem, he chooses to attack my solution."

She promised to make college more affordable, and "put an end to No Child Left Behind because it isn't working."

War in Iraq

Clinton said she would begin bringing U.

Hillary car
Hillary car (York Daily Record/Sunday News - Tom Joyce)
S. troops home from Iraq within 60 days of becoming president and would tell Iraqis they would have to "take responsibility for themselves."

"They have been given the great and precious gift of freedom. It is now up to them to decide how to use it. We have done all we can do."

After speaking for about 30 minutes, Clinton wrapped up her speech about 4:05 p.m. and began shaking hands with the crowd packed into the intersection of Market and Beaver streets.

About 20 minutes later, she left town, and left at least one supporter with a keepsake. Doris White of Spring Grove said Clinton signed her poster.

"She's got it all," White said.

York Daily Record/Sunday News correspondent Greg Gross contributed to this report.