Forget the Bern: Hillary Clinton sets sights on Trump at Boston rally

Less than 25 hours before the Massachusetts primary, polls show a tight race between Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. But she’s already looking ahead to the general election.

Hillary Clinton addresses supporters Monday at Old South Meeting House in Boston. —Ryan Breslin / Boston.com

Hillary Clinton set her sights on Republican frontrunner Donald Trump Monday as she rallied supporters in Boston, attacking the GOP at every possible turn as Super Tuesday looms.

With just a day left until the Massachusetts primary, polls have shown a tight race between Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Outside of Massachusetts, though, the former Secretary of State has a significant lead in many of the 11 states that will vote on Tuesday and a clear path to securing the Democratic nomination.

“As people have heard what the leading candidates on the Republican side are saying, more and more people are really focused on making sure that we reject the mean-spiritedness, the demagoguery, the bigotry being peddled by Republican candidates,’’ she said. “America never stopped being great.’’

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Clinton repeatedly focused on the general election and assailed the rhetoric and policies of Republicans. Even when she mentioned her differences with Sanders, she used those to criticize Republicans.

On student debt, for example, Sanders has said he wants to make public colleges and universities free for everyone. Clinton said students shouldn’t have to get a costly loan to afford college, but stopped short of using taxpayer funds to pay for a totally free education for all.

“I am not going to ask you to pay taxes to send Donald Trump’s youngest kid to college,’’ she said.

Clinton referred almost a dozen times to breaking down the economic and social “barriers’’ of Americans. The reference doubled as a rhetorical punch at Trump’s proposed plan to build a wall along the Mexico-U.S. border.

Pointing toward the historic nature of the Old South Meeting House, where American leaders debated in earlier times, Clinton said the founders meant to create a country that could work together and compromise. Republicans, she said, failed in that department.

“Democracy requires that we play well with others,’’ she said.

The emphasis on Trump applied to the opening speakers, too. Sen. Ed Markey introduced Clinton by citing the historic nature of the election.

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“Donald Trump keeps saying he’s going to make America great again,’’ Markey said. “Hillary Clinton says America is great and we are going to make it even better.’’

Clinton also referenced her time as a student at Wellesley College in the late 1960s.

“When I came to college here, Wellesley College, I fell in love with Wellesley and I fell in love with Boston,’’ she said.

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