Enthusiastic supporters filed into a high school in San Diego Saturday for a rally with former U.S. President Bill Clinton in support of his wife’s campaign for the White House.
Clinton held an “organizing event” for Hillary Clinton’s campaign at Bonita Vista High School on Otay Lakes Road in Chula Vista, hoping to get voters fired up ahead of California’s June 7 primary.
Clinton was set to speak at 11:30 a.m. at the high school's gymnasium. Supporters were lining up around the campus several hours earlier, hoping to get into the event.
This included residents from across the county, like a supporter who was celebrating his birthday by rallying for Hillary Clinton.
“Nothing ever happens on my birthday, and I knew I needed to be here to support Hillary Clinton,” the local told NBC 7 as he waited in line.
Local Brandon Flores was the first person waiting in line to get into the high school. He was there with his mother, a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton.
“She really wanted to come see Bill Clinton and I’m not going to pass up a chance to see him in person – a former president – you don’t get the chance to see that often,” Flores told NBC 7.
“I’m so excited for Hillary. I’ve been [a supporter] for her for years because she’s like the bouncing ball; where you hit it, and she bounces right back. And this is what we need in our president – somebody that has resilience and brains,” Flores’ mother said.
By 11:40 a.m., Clinton campaign staffers were sending Clinton supporters into an overflow area at the high school, as the gym where Bill Clinton was set to speak was filled to capacity.
There were loudspeakers in the overflow area so the crowd could still at least hear the rally. Despite not being able to get inside the gym to see Bill Clinton, the crowd at the rally continued to grow, including many families with children in tow.
Politicians including Shirley Weber, Ben Hueso, Marty Block and Susan Davis warmed up the crowd ahead of Bill Clinton's speech. The crowd cheered and clapped in anticipation.
At 12:30 p.m., the former president took the podium as Pharrell's "Happy" song played in the background. The crowd erupted into more cheers.
Bill Clinton discussed many topics at the rally, including student debt, clean energy, immigration reform and bolstering America's work force while eliminating discrimination. He also talked about building bridges, not walls in American society, calling out Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
"We need to rise together," he said.
When discussing the debt of college graduates, Bill Clinton called an education a "lifetime asset," and likened it to owning a home.
After about a half-hour of speaking, Bill Clinton wrapped up and thanked supporters for attending the rally.
NBC 7 has confirmed Bill Clinton will also speak at a fundraiser at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe (5951 Linea Del Cielo) Saturday. He was headed straight there after the Chula Vista rally.
This visit to San Diego is part of Clinton’s campaign tour throughout California, which also includes stops in Pomona, Bakersfield, Fresno, Delano, Stockton and Sacramento.
Bill Clinton’s next stop is scheduled for Sunday at Cesar Chavez High School in Delano, California, where he will be joined by civil rights and labor leader Dolores Huerta, according to the Clinton campaign website.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s campaign rival, U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, will also rally with supporters in San Diego over the weekend – both Saturday and Sunday.
Sanders will first rally at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Kimball Park in National City. On Sunday, Sanders will head to Rancho Buena Vista High School’s stadium (1610 Longhorn Dr.) for a 2 p.m. rally with supporters.