Hillary Clinton photo

Interview with John Dickerson of CBS News "Face the Nation"

February 07, 2016

DICKERSON: We begin with campaign 2016 and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is fighting to close a double-digit gap in the polls behind Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. She joins us from Manchester. Secretary Clinton, your name came up, not surprisingly, in the Republican debate. [laughter]

Senator Marco Rubio claimed that on the question of abortion that you support abortion on baby's due date. What do you say to that?

CLINTON: Well, I think it's pretty pathetic, John. This is something that illustrates how Senator Rubio has been just going as far as he can to try to, I guess, buttress his credentials with certain parts of the Republican constituency. I have been on record for years about where I stand on making abortion safe and legal, the exceptions that are appropriate, that should be looked into, and the very difficult choices that very few women have to confront that lead to excruciating kinds of decisions. And to begin to politicize this so early in the campaign season, to try to raise the false charges and look like he's going to try to make sure Roe v. Wade is overturned and Planned Parenthood is defunded is just a tried-and-true tactic by those on the right.

DICKERSON: His charge here, though, is in terms of late-term abortions, that you talk about medical issues, but there are nonmedical abortions, he would say, and others who share his view would say, and that you're not having any restrictions on those who would choose to have an abortion for nonmedical reasons puts you on the extreme side of this.

CLINTON: Well, it's just not true. People should go back read Roe v. Wade. Reasonable kinds of restrictions can be imposed as long as the life and health of the mother are taken into account, and that is what the law is today. And I remember very well having a lot of incredibly difficult conversations listening to women who were told something devastating toward the end of their pregnancy, who were facing horrible kinds of consequences to their health and even potentially to their life. That's why this has to be taken into account by each individual woman, by her physician and her family. But, of course, under Roe v. Wade, there are certain guidelines. And Senator Rubio should know that, or I hope he does now.

DICKERSON: In the town hall the other night, you said that the financial interests — quote — "are not giving me very much money now." But according to "The Washington Post" analysis, donors of hedge funds, banks, insurance companies and other financial service firms have given you at least $21.4 million. That's about 10 percent of what you have raised. That seems like a lot of money.

CLINTON: Well, that's just not the calculation that we have done. But that's somebody's analysis. I'm not going to argue with it. What's really going on here, John, is disturbing to me. I will 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 have never, ever done that. And I really do resent the implication, or, as I said the other night, the insinuation. It would be like saying that President Obama, who took probably more money from Wall Street than any Democrat certainly had in 2008 with his successful campaign, was therefore automatically disqualified. Well, in fact, we know that was not true. He signed the toughest financial regulations since the 1930s with the Dodd-Frank bill. This is a very artful smear. And I'm just not going to sit and take it anymore.

DICKERSON: Are you saying, though, on these questions that people from the financial services industry have no greater access to you than anybody else?

CLINTON: I'm saying that I am available to and open to listening to people from all walks of life. I always have been. I always will be. But talk to the — if people want to donate to me from whatever industry, they know where I stand. They know that I called them out on the mortgage market mess back in — before the great crash happened. And I always like to remind people, it was not me, it was Senator Sanders who voted to deregulate slots and derivatives, which gave Lehman Brothers a lot of extra leverage, which was one of the contributing factors to their collapse, which obviously contributed to what happened in the great recession. So, we can take these step by step and try to unwind them, but it doesn't change the basic facts. People know where I stand. I rolled out the toughest, most effective effort to rein in financial abuse of anybody in this campaign. And it goes much further than Dodd-Frank. It goes much further than restoring Glass-Steagall, a 1930s efforts. It goes into shadow banking. It goes after hedge funds. It goes after carried interest loophole. Now, that is full disclosure. I am on the record. If somebody in one of these firms wants to give me money, I hope they know they're giving money to someone who is going to make sure they never wreck the economy again.

DICKERSON: In the debate, you also said — quote — "Senator Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment."


DICKERSON: But isn't the experience you're — the experience you're running on gained through years of working in Democratic politics, doesn't that put you in the establishment, all that experience?

CLINTON: Well, I don't know. Senator Sanders has lot more time in elective office than I do. And I find that sort of an amusing contrast. He's been elected official for 25 years, far longer than I was. I think I bring a great mix of experience. And I think being a woman is a big part of how I see problems, how I think about solving problems, what I believe is absolutely foundational, starting with children and their lives and their opportunities. On my way to Flint today to go and meet with the mayor, who asked me to come because she wants to keep the national spotlight on what happened to the children in her community. And I commend her for it. So, I think that the experiences I have had starting when I was in an advocate taking on the establishment, going on to be first lady, taking on the drug companies and the pharmacy companies, taking on the financial system, taking on a lot of big lobbies like the gun lobby, I think that I have shown that I have got a lot of experience taking on the establishment. And I'm proud of what I bring to the table to actually be able to solve problems and get results for people.

DICKERSON: All right, Secretary Clinton, we will have to leave it there. Thanks so much for joining us this morning.

CLINTON: Great to talk to you, John. Thanks.

Hillary Clinton, Interview with John Dickerson of CBS News "Face the Nation" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/312379

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