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Wednesday, 1 December, 1999, 02:31 GMT
Hillary takes swipe at Giuliani
Mrs Clinton is setting out on the campaign trail Mrs Clinton is setting out on the campaign trail

Hillary Clinton has condemned New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's crackdown on the homeless in her first policy speech since declaring her ambitions to run for the US Senate.

The First Lady last week told supporters that she intended to stand as the Democratic candidate for New York's Senate seat. She has said she will make a formal announcement about her candidacy next year.

Without mentioning her expected Senate opponent by name, Mrs Clinton delivered a fiery speech in front of a gathering of black church ministers, lambasting Mr Giuliani's recent campaign to clear the streets of homeless people.

Giuliani Rudolph Giuliani: "No right" to sleep on streets
The crackdown began last week, after a man presumed to be homeless attacked a woman in Manhattan and fled. Police say the new policy could include arresting anyone who refuses shelter.

But Mrs Clinton described this as "policies that punish poverty".

"Criminalising the homeless with mass arrests for those whose only offence is that they have no home is wrong," Mrs Clinton said.

She argued that locking homeless people up would not eradicate them from the streets in the long term.

"It will not make a mentally ill person who should be in an institution any better."

'Politics of addition'

Mrs Clinton pledged to secure more money for federally subsidised housing and treatment for the mentally ill if she is elected senator.

She also twice repeated a campaign line that was first introduced at a fund raiser the previous night.

"We believe in the politics of addition, not division. I reject the politics of division."

Mr Giuliani, who is expected to be the Republicans' New York candidate for Senate next year, recently outlined his new policy during one of his weekly radio broadcasts.


We have a candidate now. It's a terrific day for me, and what makes it better is that it's only the beginning
Charles Rangle, Democratic Representative
"You do not have the right to sleep on the streets of New York City," he said, adding that bedrooms, not streets were for sleeping in.

Correspondents say Mrs Clinton is starting to sound like the candidate she declared herself to be last week.

After listening to the speech at the New York Theological Seminary in Manhattan, Democratic Representative Charles Rangle was exultant.

Mr Rangle, an early supporter of Mrs Clinton had encouraged her to announced her political intentions sooner rather than later.

"We have a candidate now. It's a terrific day for me, and what makes it better is that it's only the beginning," he said.

"Rudy won't know what's hit him."

Mr Giuliani has not yet committed himself to serving another term as mayor.

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See also:
23 Nov 99 |  Americas
First Lady confirms Senate ambition
08 Jul 99 |  Americas
Hillary's Senate challenge
08 Jul 99 |  Americas
Profile: Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
24 Nov 99 |  Americas
Hillary Clinton: A political fighter

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