On Super Bowl Sunday, Clinton Plays Defense

- February 7, 2016

Clinton Fumbled On Questions Over Six-Figure Speaking Fees, Wall Street Ties, Her Foreign Policy Record…Even Her Super Bowl Pick



  • Clinton spent Super Bowl Sunday morning on the defensive, failing to explain or defend a litany of issues before she faces Sanders in the New Hampshire primary.
  • Clinton was unable to provide a coherent answer on Elizabeth Warren's accusation that she shifted positions on a bankruptcy bill, making the ridiculous claim that she was relieved a bill she voted for had failed to pass.
  • Clinton was placed on the defensive by a Washington Post analysis that she and her allies have raised $21.4 million, or 10 percent of what they’ve raised in total, from the financial sector.
  • Clinton once again refused to release her transcripts from her closed-door paid speeches despite being the only candidate who has made over $20 million in speaking fees.
  • Pressed on her foreign policy attacks on Sanders being reminiscent of her 2008 campaign arguments against Obama's experience and defense of the Iraq war, Clinton stumbled.
  • Clinton refused to even pick a winner in tonight's Super Bowl.



Clinton Was Placed On Defense Over Her Flip Flop On A Bankruptcy Bill In The Senate

Confronted By Accusations Of Shifting Her Position On A Bankruptcy Bill Because Of Wall Street Donations By Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Clinton Said She "Held Her Nose" When She Voted For A Bankruptcy Bill, But Then Touted The Fact That "It Never Became Law." TAPPER: "I would love it if you would address the substance of the allegation and also the fact that Sanders' campaign sent it out but Sanders himself backed off from making the charge himself." CLINTON: "That's their typical, you know, artistic smear. The campaign sends something out, gets people riled up, and they say 'oh no we are running a positive campaign.' Enough. Okay I'm glad you raised this because I really do want to get this record straight once and for all. I worked with Senator Warren, with whom I have the highest regard, in 2000 to stop a very bad bankruptcy bill. And then when I got to the Senate in 2001, early on, there was going to be a vote on another bankruptcy bill. I was deluged. Now as a Senator, not as a First Lady, lobbying and working against this bill. I was deluged by women's groups and children's groups, because the version of the bill that was going to be voted on did not protect child support, did not protect vulnerable women and their children from what would happen to them if their partner, their spouse, went into bankruptcy and was able to discharge those obligations. And literally people I've worked with for thirty years came and said 'nobody else will do this. You got to help us. You got to change that provision.' I took that on and I went to the floor and I buttonholed the Democrats and the Republicans, who were leading that bill. I said 'you can't do this; you got to change that provision.' And they did but they also put it to me and said 'if we change this provision you have to vote for the bill.' Now that's what happens sometimes. I didn't like the bill any more than I had liked it before; it still had very bad provisions. But I also pushed hard for a deal to protect women and children. So, okay, I held my nose, I voted for it. It never became law." (CNN's "State Of The Union," 2/7/16)

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In Another Exchange, Clinton Provided A Lengthy, Complex Defense For Her Vote, But Reiterated It Was Not An Example Of A Shifting Position Because She "Swallowed Hard, I Said Okay. But, It Was Also The Case, It Didn't Get Passed." STEPHANOPOULOS: "You had your own debate with Bernie Sanders this week as well. You challenged him to come up with evidence that contributions from Wall Street ever influenced your positions. He and his team have circulated the charge from Elizabeth Warren who said you changed your position on the bankruptcy bill back in 2001 because of contributions. Here's what Senator Warren had to say." WARREN: "One of the first bills that came up, after she was Senator Clinton, was the bankruptcy bill." HOST: "And?" WARREN: "She voted in favor of it. She has taken money from the groups and more to the point she worries about them as constituency." STEPHANOPOULOS: "How do you respond to that charge?" CLINTON: "Well I'm glad you asked me about it, because this is one of these innuendos, insinuation charges that the Sanders' campaign is engaging in." STEPHANOPOULOS: "Well that was Senator Warren though." CLINTON: "I know, but if you had played the entire quote what you would have heard her say, she and I worked together in 2000 to stop a bankruptcy bill that we both believed was very harmful. When I got to the senate in 2001, one of the first big votes there was on a version of the bankruptcy bill. I was deluged by women's groups and children's advocate groups to do everything I could to make sure that child support and women's precarious financial situation in case of divorce or not being able to get the kind of funding they needed from a partner or a spouse in bankruptcy would not be endangered and it was. That bill was making it a very low priority. So, I did go to work on behalf of all of these women's groups and children's group because they needed a champion and I got that bill changed and in return it had nothing to do with any money whatsoever, and I resent deeply any effort by the Sanders campaign to so imply. It had to do with trying to get a deal that would protect women. But, now let me finish George because this has been bandied about and I just want to set the record straight. And so then, three years later, part of what Senator Warren said, you played, you didn't play the whole thing, because we have been allies. I faced a tough decision and I stood up for women and children. I went to the senate floor, said that was exactly what I was doing. Then the bill did not pass, it never became law. And then when the next bill came up, in 2005, women's issues were taken care of, because I had made that a point back in 2001. And so, then, I was against that bill. I didn't get chance to actually vote against it because Bill was in the hospital having a heart procedure, but I put a statement out I was against it. So, I'm happy to set this record straight, and I really want to once again call out the Sanders campaign, which claims they like to run a positive campaign, but they have been quite artful in raising questions and trying to cast doubts about my record. And I really am not going to sit and take it anymore. You know, I have a public record, I have never ever been influenced in a view or a vote by anyone who has given me any kind of funding. So, I'm just going to keep setting the record straight." STEPHANOPOULOS: "And in her book, Senator Warren said the bill was essentially the same but Hillary Rodham Clinton was not. Big banks were now part of her constituency, she wanted their support, they wanted hers, including a vote in favor of that awful bill." CLINTON: "Look, I have the greatest respect for Senator Warren, as I said, we did work together. I faced a choice. I could have said to the women, who have been my advocates for 30 year. I'm sorry I'm now in the Senate, I can't help you. Nobody else was helping them. They were desperate to get help. They were afraid child support was going to be below credit card debt. That they were really going to be left out and left behind and badly damaged. I could have said, you know I can't do that because somebody in ten years might say that, you know, something else was going on. That's not the way I work. So, they came to me, I said this is outrageous. I went to the floor, I lobbied to get it changed, and, as part of getting that change from both Democrats and Republicans, who were leading that legislation, they said if we change the bill at the last minute to take account of the issues you're raising, about women and children, which they had not made a priority before I showed up, then, you know, you have to say you'll vote for it. It was, look, that's what you have to do. I swallowed hard, I said okay. But, it was also the case, it didn't get passed. I got what I needed into the bill. It stayed in the bill, even in a bad version that I opposed in 2005. So, thanks for the opportunity to set the record straight." ( ABC's This Week, 2/17/16)

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Clinton's Previous Defense? Biden Did It Too! "Hillary Clinton defended her vote for a controversial bankruptcy bill reviled by the left on Thursday, and said she did so at the insistence of then-Sen. Joe Biden, who just happens to be considering challenging her for the Democratic presidential nomination." (Laura Meckler, "Hillary Clinton's Explanation For Controversial Bankruptcy Vote? Joe Biden," The Wall Street Journal , 9/17/15)

  • Wall Street Journal Headline: "Hillary Clinton's Explanation For Controversial Bankruptcy Vote? Joe Biden" (Laura Meckler, "Hillary Clinton's Explanation For Controversial Bankruptcy Vote? Joe Biden," The Wall Street Journal , 9/17/15)

Clinton Dismissed An Analysis That She And Her Allies Have Received Tens Of Millions From The Financial Services Industry

Clinton Dismissed The Washington Post's Analysis That She And Her Allies Have Raised $21.4 Million From The Financial Services Industry. CBS NEWS' JOHN DICKERSON: "In the town hall the other night you said that the financial interests 'are not giving me very much money now,' but according to the Washington Post analysis donors at hedge funds, banks, insurance companies and other financial service terms have given you at least $21.4 million that's about 10% of what you've raised that seems like a lot of money." CLINTON: "Well, I, I, that's just not the calculation that we've done. but you know, that's somebody's analysis. I'm not going to argue with it. You know, what's really going on here, John, is disturbing to me. I'll be really frank with you. What the Sanders' campaign is trying to do is link donations to my political campaign or really donations to anyone's political campaign with undue influence, with changing people's views and votes. I've never, ever done that." (CBS's "Face The Nation," 2/7/16)

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The Washington Post : "Donors At Hedge Funds, Banks, Insurance Companies And Other Financial Services Firms Had Given At Least $21.4 Million To Support Clinton's 2016 Presidential Run…" "Through the end of December, donors at hedge funds, banks, insurance companies and other financial services firms had given at least $21.4 million to support Clinton's 2016 presidential run - more than 10 percent of the $157.8 million contributed to back her bid, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission filings by The Washington Post." (Matea Gold, Tom Hamburger and Anu Narayanswamy, "Clinton Blasts Wall Street, But Still Draws Millions In Contributions," The Washington Post , 2/4/16)


After Saying She Would Look At Releasing Transcripts Of Her Six-Figure Paid Speeches, Clinton Now Says Any Presidential Candidate "Who's Ever Given A Speech To Any Private Group Under Any Circumstances" Has To Release Their Transcripts First. STEPHANOPOULOS: "In the debate the other night, you said you'd look into whether or not to release the transcripts of your speeches to financial groups. Have you made up your mind?" CLINTON: "Yeah, you know, here's another thing I want to say. Let everybody who's ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them. We'll all release them at the same time. You know, I don't mind being the subject in Republican debates, the subject in the Democratic primary. That kind of goes with the territory, I've been around long enough. But at some point, you know, these rules need to apply to everybody. And there are a bunch of folks, including, you know, my opponent who has given, you know, speeches to groups, and people on the other side who have given speeches to groups. If this is now going to be a new standard, so, then it should apply to everybody, and then I'll be happy to look into it further." (ABC's "This Week," 2/7/16)

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Since Stepping Down Ad Secretary Of State, Clinton Received $21 Million In Speaking Fees. "Overall, Clinton earned $21 million from speeches between 2013 and 2015." (Rick Newman, "Goldman Sachs Helped Hillary Clinton Get Rich? So What," Yahoo Finance, 2/5/16)


Clinton Was Placed On Defense Over Her Vote For The Iraq War

In An Interview Today, Clinton Was Forced To Defend Her Vote In Favor Of The Iraq War. TODD: "Do you believe if it wasn't for the Iraq War we wouldn't have ISIS today?" CLINTON: "Well, I think that's a hard conclusion to draw because remember we had Al Qaeda before we had ISIS. Al Qaeda attacked us in New York. Al Qaeda attacked our embassies in Africa." TODD: "But the argument is that the instability in Iraq is what has created this, and that if Saddam Hussein were still there…" CLINTON: "Well, I think that is a lot of jumps in logic that to me doesn't really add up. The Iraq War contributed to instability, I'm not going to in any way deny that." ( NBC's Meet The Press, 2/7/16)

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Clinton Was Placed On Defense Over Why Her Attacks On Sanders Are Any Different From Her Attacks In 2008 On Obama

Struggling To Defend Why Her Experience And Naiveté Arguments Against Sanders Aren't Identical To Those She Leveled Against Obama In 2008, Clinton Could Only Point To Obama's "Foreign Policy Network" Of Advisors In 2008. TODD: "I want to go to the debate a little bit because I would say the foreign policy section is one that you guys wanted to highlight because you felt as if he didn't do so well. You brought up Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to talk about it. But some of the things you said about Senator Obama's readiness on foreign policy, they are very similar to what you've said about Bernie Sanders. In '08 you said 'I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.' It sounds very similar to what you said when you're like, 'okay, you had one vote on the Iraq war.'" CLINTON: "Well, you know what-" TODD: "What's the difference between what you said about then-Senator Obama and what you're saying about Senator Sanders?" CLINTON: "There's a very big difference. In 2008, Senator Obama had really done his homework in the Senate. He'd been there by that time a few years. He had developed a network of advisors on national security and foreign policy issues. They were very diligent and focused on making sure he was ready, that he had as broad a set of views as possible, and they really went toe-to-toe with all the people supporting me. That's not happening in this campaign. There really isn't any kind of foreign policy network that is supporting and advising Senator Sanders." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 2/7/16)

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In Typical Fashion, Earlier Today Clinton Dodged On Picking A Super Bowl Winner. TODD: "All right. What do you got in the Super Bowl?" CLINTON: "I don't have anybody right now." TODD: "You don't have anybody?"( NBC's Meet The Press, 2/7/16)

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