Clinton family members speak to students, guests at University of Miami

Students, guests packed Bank United Center for plenary session

By Liane Morejon - Reporter

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, their daughter and other global panelists spoke to students and guests Saturday at the University of Miami.

The Clinton Global Initiative is headquartering efforts this weekend at the university. College students from all over the country, and abroad are in South Florida to learn and contribute.

Related: Clinton family visits University of Miami

Bill Clinton discussed the economy while other global panelists focused their discussion on energy.

"If you spend all your money on the present and the past, you don't have enough for the future," said Bill Clinton.

Students and guests packed the Bank United Center for the plenary session Saturday, which focused on the national debt and economy.

"Your whole future depends on having economic policy," Bill Clinton said.

Standing on stage with Bill Clinton were students from Stockton University. Their focus on raising awareness of America's long-term fiscal and economic health earned them the top award from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation's Up to Us campaign.

Panelists with expertise on a wide variety of social issues took the stage moments later. Just a few hours before, many students got to sit with the same leaders in a more intimate setting.

Greeted by cheers and applause, Hillary Clinton joined daughter, Chelsea, on stage at the Bank United Center. The appearance helped close out Saturday's events for the Clinton Global Initiative University.

The former Secretary of State made no mention of a possible presidential run. The mother-and-daughter team instead focused mainly on women's rights and gender inequity.

"When everyone has the opportunity to lift themselves up, it helps everyone," said Hillary Clinton.

It was the first time Hillary Clinton was seen in public since it was revealed she used a personal email account during her time as secretary of state. While there was no mention of that, Bill Clinton took time to address his own controversy. The Clinton Foundation has accepted millions of dollars from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Germany and Saudi Arabia -- a move the former president defended publicly Saturday for the first time.

"UAE gave us money. Do we agree with everything they do? No, but they help us fight ISIS," said Bill Clinton. "You have to decide if accepting the money does more good than harm."

The session ended with a panel discussion hosted by Comedy Central's Gary Wilmore, and featuring Russian activist girl band Pussy Riot and Dr. Paul Farmer, of Harvard Medical School.

Students Local 10 spoke to said they plan to take the lessons with them and put them to use for their respective projects.

The weekend wraps up Sunday with a community service event in Liberty City.

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