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Bill Clinton tells upstate voters his wife is ‘best qualified’

Former President Bill Clinton speaks at a fundraiser

Former President Bill Clinton speaks at a fundraiser for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, at Radio City Music Hall on March 2, 2016. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Renneisen

COLONIE — Former President Bill Clinton on Saturday brought his star power and reminder of the peace and prosperity of his administration to upstate New York in a final push for Hillary Clinton to win Tuesday’s primary.

“She is the best qualified … in a very troubled world,” the former president said, kicking off a campaign tour for his wife, the former secretary of state.

Without mentioning her primary foe, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton hailed his wife’s resume as unmatched in the presidential race.

“I know a lot of Democrats say they don’t care about that foreign policy stuff,” he said, citing the threats of terrorism and Russian aggression. “You should this time.”

Before about 500 party activists in a suburban Albany hotel ballroom, Clinton’s stressed his wife’s intelligence, her compassion for all people and her love of New York.

He said her happiest days in public service were as a New York senator, when his only real duty was to show up at the state fair as her “redneck husband.”

Hillary Clinton’s test of success is not wins at the polls, but “are people better off than when you started? … Do young people have a future? It’s really about how did peoples’ lives change,” he said.

He said she feels the pain of those suffering from alcoholism, drug abuse and poverty.

“Hillary knows a lot of these people are dying of a broken heart because they know every tomorrow looks like yesterday,” Bill Clinton said.

At the kickoff was Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the housing secretary in the Clinton administration, and Hillary Clinton’s most active surrogate in the New York primary campaign.

Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist, is calling for a “political revolution.”

“We Democrats basically want the same thing,” Cuomo said. “The question is not what do we want to do, it’s who can get it done and who can win. And my friends, the answer to that question is Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

Bill Clinton also planned stops Saturday in Watertown, Syracuse and Binghamton.

Hillary Clinton has maintained a double-digit lead in New York, which she represented for two terms in the U.S. Senate.

Cuomo and Clinton reminded Democrats of the peace and prosperity of the Bill Clinton administration, and promised more under a Hillary Clinton administration. The former president, in a hoarse voice from campaigning, said that’s really “the meat of the coconut.”

“We are going to make the 1990s, when I served, seem like just a nice warm up,” Clinton said. “But we have to do it together.”

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