Bill Clinton defends wife's commitment to poor

Former president says his family's personal wealth is "wrong debate"
Associated Press
Jun 25, 2014

Bill and Hillary Clinton pointed to ways to bolster the economy and achieve broad-based prosperity, responding to weeks of criticism over their wealth ahead of a potential 2016 presidential bid by the former secretary of state.

The Clintons joined forces at an annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative America on Tuesday to talk about approaches to reduce the gap between the rich and poor — a potent issue within the Democratic party — and harness corporate and non-profit know-how to hire and mentor struggling young workers.

The former president, in an on-stage interview with NBC News, defended the former first lady's commitment to the poor and working Americans, saying his family's post-presidential wealth had not diminished Mrs. Clinton's understanding of the economic plight of many U.S. families.

"She's not out of touch," Mr. Clinton declared, noting that in law school his future wife sought legal assistance for the poor and later advocated for paid leave for new mothers during the 1970s.

The former first lady, who is considering another White House campaign, told ABC News earlier this month that her family was saddled with legal bills and "dead broke" when they left the White House in early 2001. Republicans have seized on the remarks and her comments in other interviews, pointing to the millions of dollars the family has earned since the end of Clinton's presidency.

More than two years before the next presidential election, GOP officials have sought to undermine Hillary Clinton's standing with working-class families who have been supportive of the family's political campaigns in the past. If she runs for president, Republicans say Mrs. Clinton could be vulnerable to charges of being a Washington insider insulated by private jets and six-figure speaking fees at a time when many Americans struggle.

The tactic could represent a payback of sorts after Democrats portrayed Republican Mitt Romney as a plutocrat during the 2012 presidential campaign.

During the interview, the ex-president told NBC's David Gregory that his family's personal wealth was the "wrong debate" and the focus should be on how political leaders address "the central challenge of our time which is the demise of the American dream."

With the gap between the rich and poor on the minds of many Americans, Bill Clinton said most Americans do not resent someone doing well financially. "I think they resent it if they're not getting a fair deal," he said.

He also said the couple visits their local grocery store on weekends like anyone else. "We talk to people in our town. We know what's going on."

Hillary Clinton did not address the debate over the family's wealth at the meeting but announced projects to create job opportunities for young people. The initiatives by companies like The Gap, JPMorgan Chase and Marriott to train and hire young people.

The project, called "Job One," aimed to help young people age 16-24 who are out of school and unemployed. Students preparing for the workforce in the aftermath of the recession have faced persistently high unemployment levels at rates about twice the national average.

"For those who don't get a college education or even high school, most doors just won't open, no matter how hard they knock," the former first lady said. A longtime child advocate, Clinton also announced projects aimed at promoting brain development and literacy for babies and toddlers.

The event took on the air of a Clinton alumni association, with several former members of Clinton's White House team in attendance, including former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and former Clinton economic adviser Gene Sperling. An afternoon news conference put Mr. Clinton alongside longtime labor allies such as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers union.

Yet even in a roomful of Clinton admirers, the debate got spirited at times. During a panel discussion on economic justice, Mr. Clinton and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina — an ex-adviser to Romney — tangled over the merits of raising the minimum wage and the role of government in the economy.

When Fiorina suggested the Obama administration was crushing the coal industry in West Virginia, Clinton interjected. "Who had the smallest government workforce since Eisenhower? Me." Fiorina responded, "That's right. You declared the era of big government over."

"Yeah, but I didn't declare the era of weak government that had nobody at home at the SEC before the financial crisis," Clinton said to roars of approval, referencing complaints that the Securities and Exchange Commission failed to effectively police Wall Street.

 

Comments

jazzbo

O boy , here we go !

JudgeMeNot

Maybe we should all chip in and rescue poor Hillary from her plight? It's heartbreaking to know she is in such financial straights.

freespeech1

Then Hilderbeast needs to quit bringing up the fact she was so called broke. That being said, name one just one accomplishment this woman has done. There aren't any!!! Her question back when she was running for the dem nod was "will you answer the 3 am phone call"? We all seen she didn't, and 4 Americans died in Benghazi. "what difference at this point does it make"? Just like Obama voters who voted for him just because of race, these same idiots will vote for her just because shes a woman. Good bye America.

deertracker

Get a life and an education!

freespeech1

That's all you have to come back with? Typical lib. How about you answer the question! What has she accomplished? (as crickets chirp)

meowmix

http://www.thefamouspeople.com/p...

Yet, I'm sure you felt quitter Sarah Palin was just fine and dandy to serve as our vice president. Idiot.

Contango

Re: "Furthermore, she (Clinton) prominently advocated U.S. military intervention in Libya and was at the forefront of US response to Arab Springs.'

So how's that "Arab Spring" goin'?

Libya worked out well too didn't it?

deertracker

Libya was a CIA operation and it worked out as planned!

freespeech1

I didn't support palin and where did I even mention her name? Nice try though. Why so hostile? All I asked was a simple question, and by your lame response you cant answer it. So whos the idiot?

jazzbo

you

can't you tell?
It's easy.

There you go again

Ok, I read Hillary's biography. She went to high school, she became a lawyer, she supports blah-blah issues. The question still remains....What has Hillary done that was so exceptional?

JudgeMeNot

Hillary and Bill made millions from her Book deal selling 300,000 to the AFL-CIO Union memebers.

freespeech1

Heres a blast from the past!! You libs all remember Sandy Burgler (Berger) stealing classified documents to cover al Slick Willies butt!

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger was sentenced Thursday to community service and probation and fined $50,000 for illegally removing highly classified documents from the National Archives and intentionally destroying some of them.

coasterfan

No different than the millions of conservatives who voted for McCain and Romney because they "would never vote for a black man"...

anthras

Re:"No different than the millions of conservatives who voted for McCain and Romney because they "would never vote for a black man"

Cfan, Per your statement alluding to voting for a black man can I assume that you did vote for Ken Blackwell in lieu of Ted Strickland ?

I do not have any problem voting for a black man as I did vote for Ken and I have just sent a very substantial donation to Dr. Ben Carson. If you would like to learn about a real man I would suggest you read his book "America the Beautiful"

JMOP

Just because her parents were "dead broke" leaving the White House, Chelsea Clinton didn't want to worry about making a lot of money. She doesn't think making $600,000 per year at NBC is a lot of money?
Biden isn't that "rich" either, well according to him.
Yes, they are out of touch with the average American, or at least they want to try to fool some into thinking they're not.

Weallhavevoices

I can't wait to vote for her! If hubby helps great!!! 8 years wasn't long enough for his term, good times back then for working people especially after screwed up Reagan years

freespeech1

Oh yes good times, the housing crisis(which was caused by his policies , nafta, but tell me, why are you so hell-bent on voting for someone that has ZERO accomplishments? Kinda like the tool in the oval office now huh? But what do we expect from low information voters.

deertracker

Get a life PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

freespeech1

Again answer the question! What has she accomplished?

Contango

Re: "What has she accomplished?"

I'll take "Hillary Clinton" for $200 Alex.

A: She set a record for this as Secy. of State.

What is: She covered more miles in the fewest number of days than any previous Secy. of State?

That is correct.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/...

And THAT is a qualification to be POTUS? LOL.

Contango

Re: "Reagan years,"

Pres. Clinton's admin. changed few Reagan admin. policies. It was more like a continuation.

JMOP

Do you know who was the majority in the House and Senate when all these good times were happening? Might wanna give credit where credit is due.

Tourist

Chortle. They live in Chappaqua NY. "Money Magazine reports that the annual family income of families in Chappaqua is $219,000."
http://www.weewestchester.com/20...

"Families choose to put down roots in Chappaqua because it’s a quiet, safe family-friendly town where the children of CEOs go to school with kids who live in nearby condominiums and townhomes. Living in Chappaqua certainly carries a level of cache, and it was part of the town’s identity before the Clintons decided to put down roots there."

Contango

Mr. Clinton: "wrong debate"

Typical lib; when in doubt, attempt to deflect the focus of the discussion.

The Clintons are estimated to be worth somewhere between $30-$50 million.

The socialist propaganda: Rich Dems - good. All others - bad.

Altruism and caring pays very well in DC.

deertracker

It's the wrong debate pooh. He didn't steal anything from you did he? Is your truck load of Kessler's missing?

meowmix

lololololo----

downthemiddle

actually she and Bill did steal from us... quite a lot of White House artifacts and other furnishings that were there all along.

...And they trashed the place on the way out.. it looked like it had been ransacked.... which it was.

meowmix

Actually--they didn't.....
A formal review by the General Accounting Office, Congress’ investigative agency, “had found no damage to the offices of the White House’s East or West Wings or EOB” and that Bush’s own representatives had reported “there is no record of damage that may have been deliberately caused by the employees of the Clinton administration.”
Another Faux News dish, lapped up and swallowed "downthemiddle" by the gullible masses.

Contango

@ meowmix:

But WH staff did "steal" boxes out of Vince Foster's office prior to the arrival of Park Police.

"Secret Service agent Henry O' Neill watched as Hillary Clinton's chief of staff, Margaret Williams, carried boxes of papers out of Vincent Foster's office before the Park Police showed up to seal it,"

Tampering with possible evidence - criminal behavior.

What were they hiding?

Debunk that.

Ms. Clinton has a track record that's wider than an 8-lane Hwy.

She's heading for an early exit.

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