MIDTOWN — Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords made an emotional entrance during a Hillary Clinton rally in Midtown the day before the New York primary.
Giffords — who has become a staunch gun control advocate since surviving a 2011 assassination attempt in which six people were killed — walked slowly to the podium to loud applause after taking the stage with Clinton and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at the New York Hilton Midtown at 1335 Ave. of the Americans on Monday.
Gabby Giffords takes the stage at @HillaryClinton rally. @DNAinfo pic.twitter.com/UULhA2Difi— Ben Fractenberg (@fractenberg) April 18, 2016
The former Arizona congresswoman — who had to undergo a long path of rehabilitation to re-learn how to walk and talk again after the shooting — said she supported Clinton, in part, because of her strong position on guns.
Gabby Giffords: "Speaking is hard for me, but I want to say these two words: 'Madam President.'"— Ben Fractenberg (@fractenberg) April 18, 2016
Clinton called Giffords a "woman of courage" after taking the stage.
.@HillaryClinton calls Gabby Giffords "a woman of courage," setting off chants of "Gabby!" pic.twitter.com/gHYCDV8sDm— Ben Fractenberg (@fractenberg) April 18, 2016
The former secretary of state then spoke about her support of paid family leave, defending Planned Parenthood and contrasting herself from Bernie Sanders' track record on gun control.
"They know I'm coming after them," said @HillaryClinton about gun lobby after slamming Sanders on his gun safety record.— Ben Fractenberg (@fractenberg) April 18, 2016
Supporters also touted the former secretary of state's work to support women including closing the gender wage gap, which has been a theme of other campaign stops in New York City.
First lady of New York Chirlane McCray reiterated the importance of women to turn out to vote.
Outside of the event, Sharon Muna, 59, said that she's been selling buttons in a show of support for the candidate.
"It's a way to raise money for the campaign," she said.
"@HillaryClinton is the only person I believe is qualified," said Marianne Morvai, 52 (pictured right). @DNAinfo pic.twitter.com/dE6yJCmQNv— Ben Fractenberg (@fractenberg) April 18, 2016
After a sometimes contentious debate in Brooklyn last Thursday, Clinton and Sanders have both stepped up their campaigning in the city.
Clinton visited the Snug Harbor Cultural Center Sunday and told voters that she would seek to unify the country and work with Republicans if she was elected.
Sanders held a colorful rally in Prospect Park the same day, which was attended by nearly 30,000 people.
Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane WIlliams endorsed Sanders during the event and indie rock favorites Grizzly Bear played.