Remarks at the CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall in Derry, New Hampshire
COOPER: And welcome back to the CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall at the Derry Opera House in New Hampshire. Thanks very much for being with us. You heard from Senator Bernie Sanders. Please welcome the former secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. [applause]
CLINTON: Thank you very much.
COOPER: So you've obviously had a pretty incredible several past couple of days. Congratulations on winning in Iowa. New Hampshire has always been good to the Clintons. How does it feel out there?
CLINTON: It feels great. I've had just an amazing time. We landed in the middle of the night from Iowa still pretty pumped up about winning there, and then got to work the next day. And I'm seeing a lot of old friends, meeting a lot of new people. I have an uphill climb and I'm going to climb as high and hard as I can because I want to make my case for the people of New Hampshire. As you said, they're people that I feel very close to. They've been good to my husband, to me, my family. But what's most important is the first in the nation primary. It truly is a great opportunity to get out there, explain what you want to do as president, present your ideas, and get vetted by the people of New Hampshire.
COOPER: Bernie Sanders, just a short time ago, said he is the underdog here. Your campaign has said, you know, he comes from neighboring Vermont, you guys are down in the polls. Do you feel you do better when you're fighting from behind?
CLINTON: You know, I don't know. I...
COOPER: Does it bring out something in you?
CLINTON: Well, the intensity of the experience and the importance of trying to convey what's at stake in this election, because to me obviously Tuesday is a really big deal with the primary. But the goal has to be to prevent the Republicans from getting back into the White House and undoing all the progress that has been made under President Obama. [applause]
And so I — I'm very proud of the campaign that Senator Sanders and I are running. I mean, we really have focused on issues. We share a lot of the same big progressive goals, but we have different ways of going about them. We bring different experiences. But we are contrasting on issues, compared to the Republicans who, I think, are contrasting on insults. And I think it's a better contest where we can take our ideas to groups like this throughout New Hampshire, get questions, have people vet them, and then let the voters make up their minds.
COOPER: You've talked about progressive values. Earlier in the day Senator Sanders was asked if you were progressive. He said some days. Are you really a progressive? In the past you have said you plead guilty to being a moderate.
CLINTON: Well, you know, you asked me this question in the first debate, right?
COOPER: I did. And it's coming up again today.
CLINTON: And I said that I'm a progressive who likes to get things done. And I was somewhat amused today that Senator Sanders has set himself up to be the gatekeeper on who is the progressive because under the definition that was flying around on Twitter and statements by the campaign, Barack Obama would not be a progressive, Joe Biden would not be a progressive, Jeanne Shaheen would not be a progressive, even the late, great Senator Paul Wellstone would not be a progressive. So I'm not going to let that bother me. I know where I stand. I know who stands with me. I know what I've done. But I don't think it helps for the senator to be making those kinds of comparisons because clearly we all share a lot of the same hopes and aspirations for our country that we want to see achieved. And I don't think it's appropriate that, you know, if Planned Parenthood endorses me or the Human Rights Campaign endorses me, you know, they're thrown out of the progressive wing and put into the establishment. That's just not anything we need to do. Let's have a good contest of ideas. Let's contrast where we stand. And that's what I intend to do for the next couple of days.
COOPER: It would obviously be historic if you were elected president, first female president.
CLINTON: You think so? [laughter] [applause]
COOPER: I've studied a little bit of history. But it seems like young women aren't rallying to this potentially historic moment. And I say this in Iowa, among women under 30, Senator Sanders beat you by 70 points. Why do you think that is?
CLINTON: That's amazing. Yes. Look, you know, I was very fortunate to have a great team of young people, men and women, supporting me. But I accept the fact that I have work to do to convey what I stand for, what I've accomplished, what I want to do for young people in our country.
COOPER: Why do you think it is? That they're...
CLINTON: But I — well, you know, I don't really know, Anderson. I think — here's what I want young people to know. They don't have to be for me, I'm going to be for them. It doesn't really matter. [applause]
If they are not supporting me, I will be their president, I will do everything I can to give them the opportunities they deserve.
As I speak with young people across the country in Iowa, New Hampshire, and elsewhere, I do sense this real feeling of being somehow disadvantaged, put on the wrong side of American opportunity. And I understand that. I mean the student debt problems, the feeling that the jobs that are out there are not producing the kind of income or opportunity that young people believe they should be able to get. But at the same time I'm so impressed by the level, the intensity of commitment of this generation to you know really going after discrimination, going after racism and sexism and the kind of abuses that LGBT community members have, looking for ways to bring more justice in the economy and the environment, fighting climate change. So I'm impressed with them. And I'm going to do everything I can to reach out and to explain why good ideas on paper are important. But you've got to be able to translate them into action to get results for people. I have a lot experience doing that. I think I can deliver positive change for young people in our country. And I hope to have the chance to win their support.
COOPER: What's wrong with a revolution?
CLINTON: Well, that's for Sen. Sanders to explain because that certainly is the core of his message to young people. I have a different take on it. I think the progress that we have made, and particularly the Democratic Party has made, has been hard fought for, hard won and must be defended. So I want to defend the Affordable Care Act. It is one of the great accomplishments, not only of this president, but of the Democratic Party going back to Harry Truman. [applause] The Republicans are... [applause] You know, the Republicans are determined to repeal it. And they tried 62 times just to turn it back to the insurance companies. Sen. Sanders and I share the same goal. We want to get to universal health care coverage. Before it was called Obamacare it was called Hillarycare, as you remember.
COOPER: I remember.
CLINTON: I fought really hard. The insurance companies and the drug companies spent millions against me. I know what it's like to go up against the status quo and special interests. So when President Obama succeeded, I was thrilled. I don't agree with Sen. Sanders that we should start over, that we should throw our country into a contentious national debate about health care again. We're at 90 percent coverage. I'm going to fix what needs to be fixed. We're going to move from 90 to 100, which is a lot easier to get to than starting at zero to get to 100. So we have a difference. And I think that... [applause] ... is the difference.
COOPER: I want you to meet some of the folks in our audience.
COOPER: This is Dave Skinell. He's a high school English teacher from Manchester. He says he's undecided. David?
CLINTON: Hi, David.
QUESTION: Hi, Sec. Clinton. You — the next president will have as many as three Supreme Court appointments to make.
QUESTION: I'm wondering beyond abortion are there any issues on which you would impose or assert a litmus test. And if your answer is no, aren't certain critical issues like marriage equality, campaign finance just so vital to what we believe in as Democrats that you would have to know the answer as to how these justices would rule before you make the nomination?
CLINTON: Well, I'll tell you what, Dave. I do have a litmus test. I have a bunch of litmus tests because I agree with you. The next president could get as many as three appointments. You know one of the many reasons why we can't turn the White House over to the Republicans again is because of the Supreme Court. I'm looking for people who understand the way the real world works, who don't have a kneejerk reaction to support business, to support the idea that you know money is speech, that gutted the Voting Rights Act. I voted for the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act when I was in the Senate. It passed 98 to nothing based on a very extensive set of hearings and research. Supreme Court comes along. They substitute their judgment for the Congress, signed by George W. Bush. That is one of our problems. They have a view that I just fundamentally disagree with about what the way we have to keep the balance of power in our society is. So they have given way too much power to corporations. They have given Citizens United, the biggest gift to the Koch brothers, Karl Rove and all of those folks whose values I don't share, and who are doing everything they can to try to turn the clock back. We have to preserve marriage equality. We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community... [applause] We've got to make sure... [applause] We've got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed.
We've got work to do... [applause] And here's how I think about it, because when I was a senator, I had to vote on Supreme Court justices. I'm looking for people who are rooted in the real world, who know that part of the genius of our system, both economic and government, is this balance of power. If it gets too far out of whack, so that business has too much power, any branch of the government has too much power, the delicate balance that makes up our political system and the broad-based prosperity we should be working for in our economy is the worse off for it. So I have very strong feelings about what I'll be looking for if I am given the honor of appointing somebody to the Supreme Court. [applause]
COOPER: OK. [applause]
I want you to meet Mr. Jim Kinhan. He's a Democrat who says he is supporting you.
JIM KINHAN: Hello, Madam Secretary.
CLINTON: Thank you.
KINHAN: I'm very pleased to see you. This may come a little bit from right field, this may seem, but it's very personal to me and resonates probably with many other people who are elderly dealing with health issues. The question is coming to me as a person who is walking with colon cancer. And I'm walking with colon cancer with the word terminal very much in my vocabulary, comfortably and spiritually. But I wonder what leadership you could offer within an executive role that might help advance the respectful conversation that is needed around this personal choice that people may make, as we age and deal with health issues or be the caregivers of those people, to help enhance and — their end of life with dignity.
CLINTON: Well, first of all, thank you for being here. Thank you so much for being part of this great New Hampshire primary process and thank you for support. And I really appreciate your asking the question. And I have to tell you, this is the first time I've been asked that question.
KINHAN: I — I figured that.
CLINTON: Yes. I — I really — I really...
KINHAN: Maybe any candidate.
CLINTON: And I thank you for it, because we need to have a conversation in our country. There are states, as you know...
CLINTON: — that are moving to open up the opportunity without criminal liability for people to make this decision, in consultation by their families, even, in some cases, with medical professionals. But the issue is whether the medical professionals want to be involved or just be counselors. So it is a crucial issue that people deserve to understand from their own ethical, religious, faith-based perspective. So here's how I think about it. I want — I want, as president, to try to catalyze that debate because I — I believe you're right, this is going to become an issue more and more...
CLINTON: — often. We are, on the good side, having many people live longer, but often, then, with very serious illnesses that they can be sustained on, but at some point, don't want to continue with the challenges that poses. So I don't have any easy or glib answer for you. I think I would want to really immerse myself in the — the — the ethical writings, the health writings, the scientific writings, the religious writings. I know some other countries, the Netherlands and others, have a quite open approach. I'd like to know what their experience has been. Because we — we have to be sure that nobody is coerced, nobody is under duress. And that is a difficult line to draw. So I thank you — I thank you so much for raising this really important absolutely critical question that we're all going to have to do some thinking about.
KINHAN: Thank you [inaudible]. [applause]
COOPER: I think this is Michael Feel. Michael is a married father of one. He says he's undecided. He's learning — leaning toward Senator Sanders. Michael?
CLINTON: Hi, Michael.
MICHAEL FEEL: Hi, Secretary Clinton. As senator and as secretary of State, you have a history of interventionist foreign policy that is troubling to many Democratic voters, including myself. As a voter who is opposed to the United States being the world's policeman, can you assure me that as president, you would not expand our military involvement abroad?
CLINTON: No, I can't, Michael. I mean I — I'd like to be able to say I could, but here's what I can say. I have learned and have been, you know, really in the crucible of making a lot of hard decisions over the last years. And military force must always be a last resort not a first choice. That is one of the biggest differences between me and the Republicans.
I worked very hard as secretary of State to do what I could diplomatically to avoid conflict. That's why I worked to get the coalition together to impose sanctions in Iran, so that we could get them to the negotiating table, in order to test whether we could get an agreement to put a nuclear weapons agreement in place. I did that in large measure motivated by my deep concern that the absence of effective diplomacy might very well have sparked an arms race among some very unstable nations in the region, and maybe even led to conflict. I will do everything I possibly can to avoid sending American troops abroad, getting us involved in military conflicts. But I can't in good conscious stand here and tell you that there would never be any circumstances in the time that I served as President where it very well might be in America's best vital national security interest. So I want to be honest with you. I will do what I can, I will stand against adventurism, ill thought out missions. I will not send American combat troops to Iraq or Syria. That is off the table. That would be a terrible mistake. We will continue to use Special Forces, and we have to because of the kinds of threats we face. You know, the network of terrorist organizations — not just ISIS, but others who are part of this unfortunate network that stretches from North Africa to South Asia — pose serious threats to friends, allies, and partners, as well as to ourselves. And we've got to keep our country safe, and we have to work with the rest of the world to try to defeat ISIS, to end that terrorist threat. So I will be a very careful, deliberate decision maker when facing hard choices, because I know what's at stake. And I know you can understand why there can't be from me anyway a blanket statement. But I want to assure you I will be transparent, I will be open, and I will explain to the American people if any occasion arises where we do have to take military action to protect ourselves or our close friends and partners.
COOPER: I want to follow up the — yesterday on Capitol Hill the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Commander of the Marine Corps said that he thinks, and I quote, all eligible and qualified men and women should register for the draft, talking about Selective Service. Do you think women should also have to register for Selective Service, like men?
CLINTON: You know the first time I heard that yesterday and here's the reasoning, as best I, I understand from listening to the testimony excerpts. That, if we're going to open combat positions to qualified women so that they can compete to be Army Rangers, they can compete to be Navy Seals, they can compete to be Infantry Officers in the Marines, then we have expanded the definition of the all-volunteer military. I, I have to think about whether I think it's necessary to go as far as our military officers are recommending. You know, from my perspective, the all-volunteer military has worked, and we should not do anything that undermines it because it has provided a solid core of people who are willing to serve our country. The idea of having everybody register concerns me a little bit unless we have a better idea of where that's going to come out. Where I want people to register, I want every young person to register at the age of 18 to be able to vote automatically, and I think if — if we had, you know, if we had a system like that I would, I would be very, very pleased about it. I have a hard time imagining the kind of national emergency that would require the use of the Selective Service system. So I just have to be better informed about why they're making this recommendation.
COOPER: I want you to meet Rebecca Hutchinson. She's a former State Representative in New Hampshire. She says she's undecided and she's got a question for you.
CLINTON: Hi, Rebecca.
REBECCA HUTCHINSON: Thank you. I feel in a way I sort of have a follow-up to the previous question. You clearly have very impressive foreign policy experience, and I've heard you point out to us that President Obama chose you and trusted you to be his Secretary of State. But I get stuck when I think about you voted for the Iraq war, which you now say was a mistake. What have you learned since that vote that could give me confidence that you wouldn't make a mistake of that magnitude again?
CLINTON: Oh, I think that's a very fair question. You know, I did make a mistake and I admitted that I made a mistake. And in large measure that mistake really arose from the Bush administration's approach to what they thought they could accomplish in Iraq. The very explicit appeal that President Bush made before announcing the invasion that getting that vote would be a strong piece of leverage in order to finish the inspections. And he made that comment. And the U.N. Inspector Hans Blix said, give us the time, we will find out. Give us the hammer over their head, namely the vote, and we will be able to find out what they still have in terms of WMD. And the Bush administration didn't give them the time. And that was a breach of faith, in my view. But you know I gave them the vote, in large measure because I thought that would give us the time and we would find out, short of invasion. Turned out not to be. And I really regret that that's the way President Bush proceeded. That would not be something you would have to worry about with me. If I tell you we're going to do diplomacy, we're going to hang tough, we're going to get answers, that's exactly what we will do.
COOPER: I want you to meet Sean Burke. He's a Democrat from Derry, says he is a supporter of yours. Sean?
CLINTON: Hi, Sean.
QUESTION: Hey. Once you become the nominee and got elected, how are you going to defend yourself against right-wing attacks?
CLINTON: Well, Sean, I had a lot of practice. [laughter and applause] So I could laugh up here, but it's not easy. It is a brutal experience. And when it first started happening to me back in the early 1990s when I was working on health care. And you know I was just unrecognizable to myself. What talk radio was saying, what Republican members of Congress and their allies were saying. I was just stunned. I could not understand how they got away with it. And I have had to learn to take criticism seriously, but not personally. And by that I mean this. The very fair question from Rebecca. People ask you questions or criticize you, think about it seriously. There are lessons to be learned, often from people who don't agree with you. But don't take it personally so that it just paralyzes you, literally stops you in your tracks. And so now that I've been through this for so many years, Sean, my understanding of the political tactics that the other side uses is pretty well versed. They play to keep. They play to destroy. They are constantly doing whatever they can to win. And they have a history now going back, you know, 35-36 years of going after people who they believe they can't otherwise stop unless they engage in that negative attack. So right now, for example, a couple of hedge fund billionaires have started a super PAC to run ads against me. Karl Rove has you know solicited money from Wall Street to run ads against me. I view that as perversely flattering because clearly they know I mean what I say and I will do what I say. And I will stand in their way and I will stop them from perpetuating an agenda on America that is bad for our democracy, bad for our economy, bad for our societies. So I know I have to keep defending against them. But I'm the one who has the experience to do that. It's unlike anything you've ever gone through to be the subject of tens of millions of dollars of untrue, terrible attacks. And now the Koch brothers say they're going to spend $750 million to defeat the Democratic nominee. I'm still standing, and I will be standing. So don't worry about that. [applause]
COOPER: Let me just simply follow up. You mentioned attacks on the early 1990s.
COOPER: Do you still believe there's a vast right-wing conspiracy?
CLINTON: Don't you? [laughter]
COOPER: I'm asking you.
CLINTON: Yes. It's gotten even better funded. You know they brought in some new multibillionaires to pump the money in.
And look, these guys play for keeps. They want to control our country. Senator Sanders and I agree on that completely. They want to rig the economy so they continue to get richer and richer, they could care less about income inequality. They salve their consciences by giving big money to philanthropy, and, you know, getting great pictures of them standing in front of whatever charity they donated to. But make no mistake, they want to destroy unions. They want to go after any economic interests that they don't believe they can control. They want to destroy our balance of power. They want to go after our political system and fill it with people who will do their bidding. I said today in Dover, you know, I don't think all of the Republican candidates are so ill-informed about climate change that they say they don't know because they're not scientists. They're just doing the bidding of the Koch brothers. They're told don't you dare say climate change is real because we're in the fossil fuel business. So this is exactly what they are up to. And, yes... [applause] ... it is probably — look, at this point it's probably not correct to say it's a conspiracy because it's out in the open. You know, there is no doubt about what they're doing and who the players are and what they're trying to achieve. And they're shopping among the Republican candidates to figure out who among them will most likely do their bidding. So just know what we're up against because it's real and we're going to beat it. But it's going to take everybody working together. [applause]
COOPER: I want you to meet Alison Pyott. She's an independent torn between you and Senator Sanders.
CLINTON: Hi, Alison.
ALISON PYOTT: I'm sensing a theme here. First, thank you so much for all you've done for our country and for women.
CLINTON: Thank you.
PYOTT: My question is the number of factors, some you have just described, have eroded trust in you. What will you do to regain that trust, engender trust in Americans and me?
CLINTON: Well, thank you for starting by saying it's related to what I just said. And I acknowledge this as personally painful as it is. When you have been subjected to the level, the velocity of attacks that come every day, even if there is no factual basis to it, it's just normal for people to say, gosh, there has got to be something, why do they keep saying this and then we do that. And, you know, I testify for 11 hours, there's nothing to Benghazi, they don't give it up, they keep coming after it. So I know that I have to really demonstrate as clearly as I can who I am, what I stand for, and what I've always done. I've always been guided by the same values. I have always listened to people. And I've always worked as hard as I could to produce results for people. So when I ran for the Senate the first time and I was out there and, you know, people were barraging, I was running first against Rudy Giuliani and all of that. And I was able to just keep going and tell people, here's who I am, here's what I do, I want to do this with you. And I won. And then since years later when I ran, I got a higher percentage. And then I did have, as you all remember, a really tough campaign against then-Senator Obama. We saw each other very up close and personal. And he wins and turns and asks me to be his secretary of state, because he trusts me, he trusts my judgment, he trusts my experience. So all I can do is to just get up every day and work to do what I believe our country needs, find ways to help people, whether it's on mental health or addiction or autism or student loans, whatever it might be. And I trust the American people. I trust the people of New Hampshire to see my lifetime of work and service and to sort out all of the static and to know that I will work my heart out for you. And that's what I hope you will understand. [applause]
COOPER: I want to welcome Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett. He's an independent, says he's undecided about his vote. Rabbi?
CLINTON: Hello, Rabbi.
RABBI JONATHAN SPIRA-SAVETT: Hello. Another rabbi, Rabbi Simcha Bunem taught that every person has to have two pockets and in each pocket they have to carry a different note. And the note in one pocket says the universe was created for me. And in the other pocket the note says I am just dust and ashes. And I want you to take a moment and think about what you would tell us about your two pockets.
How do you cultivate the ego, the ego that we all know you must have, a person must have to be the leader of the free world, and also the humility to recognize that we know that you can't be expected to be wise about all the things that the president has to be responsible for?
CLINTON: Another absolutely wonderful question. Thank you, Rabbi. I think about this a lot. Um, I feel very fortunate that I am a person of faith, that I was raised in my church and that I have had to deal and struggle with a lot of these issues about ambition and humility, about service and self-gratification, all of the human questions that all of us deal with, but when you put yourself out into the public arena, I think it's incumbent upon you to be as self- conscious as possible. This is hard for me. You know, I never thought I'd be standing on a stage here asking people to vote for me for president. I always wanted to be of service. I met my husband, who was such a natural, knew exactly what he wanted to do. I was happy to support him while I worked in the Children's Defense Fund and legal services and taught law, and, you know, had our daughter. I never thought I would do this. And so I have had to come to grips with how much more difficult it often is for me to talk about myself than to talk about what I want to do for other people, or to tell stories about, you know, the man I met in Rochester who — whose AIDS medicine is no longer affordable. And that — that can grip me and make me feel like there's something I can do about that. So I'm constantly trying to balance how do I assume the mantle of a position as essentially august as president of the United States not lose track of who I am, what I believe in and what I want to do to serve? I have that dialogue at least, you know, once a day in some setting or another. And I don't know that there is any ever absolute answer, like, OK, universe, here I am, watch me roar or oh, my gosh, I can't do it, it's just overwhelming, I have to retreat. It's that balance that I keep to try to find in my life that I want to see back in our country. And it will be something that I continue to talk about with a — you know, with a group of faith advisers who are close to me. I get a scripture lesson every morning from a minister that I have a really close personal relationship with. And, you know, it just gets me grounded. He gets up really early to send it to me. So, you know, there it is in my in box at 5:00 a.m.. I have friends who are rabbis who send me notes, give me readings that are going to be discussed in services. So I really appreciate all that incoming. And the final thing I would say, because again, it's not anything I've ever talked about this much publicly, everybody knows I — I have lived a very public life for the last 25 or so years. And so I've had to be in public dealing with some very difficult issues and personal issues, political, public issues. And I read a, um, a treatment of the prodigal son parable by the Jesuit Henri Nouwen, who I think is a magnificent writer of spiritual and theological concerns. And I — I read that parable and there was a line in it that became just a lifeline for me. And it basically is practice the discipline of gratitude. So regardless of how hard the days are, how difficult the decisions are, be grateful. Be grateful for being a human being, being part of the universe. Be grateful for your limitations. Know that you have to reach out to have more people be with you, to support you, to advise you, listen to your critics, answer the questions. But at the end, be grateful. Practice the discipline of gratitude. And that has helped me enormously. [applause]
COOPER: We're going to have more questions from the audience for Secretary Clinton when we come back.
We'll take a short break.
COOPER: Welcome back to CNN's Democratic Presidential Town Hall at the Derry Opera House in New Hampshire. We are here with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I want to play a piece of video...
COOPER: ...from Senator Sanders the other night in Iowa after the votes came in, and get you to respond.
[begin video clip]
SANDERS: We do not represent the interests of the billionaire class, Wall Street, or corporate America. We don't want their money. We will... And I am very proud to tell you that we are the only candidate on the Democratic side without a Super PAC. And the reason that we have done so well here in Iowa, the reason I believe we're going to do so well in New Hampshire, and in the other states that follow, the reason is the American people are saying no to a rigged economy.
[end video clip]
COOPER: We got a number of questions, even from people who support your policies, who say they do believe that you represent the interests of Wall Street and corporate America. How do you respond?
CLINTON: Well, look, that's just not the case. And I did represent New York, obviously.
There was no doubt that I took on a lot of what was going down on Wall Street, including calling them out on the mortgage issues, calling for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau even before we got one created, calling for changes in CEO pay. But I honestly think that the best answer to this is the fact that everybody that I know who looks at what's happening in this campaign sees the same thing. The Wall Street interests, the money interests, the Republican political interests are spending a lot of money to try to defeat me. So I just find it kind of a strange argument. I happen to agree with Sen. Sanders. I'm not just going after Wall Street though. I think that's too narrow a target. I think we need to go after a company like Johnson Controls that is trying to avoid paying taxes after all of us bailed it out by pretending to sell itself in a so-called inversion in Europe. It's a perversion. It should be stopped. I want to go after the hedge funds that have bought up drug companies, you know Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Turing Pharmaceuticals, taking drugs that have been around a long time and upping the price. So I take seriously the obligation that I would have as president once again to try to get the deck un-stacked, to get the odds favoring the average American again... [applause] And but I just have to — I have to respectfully say, I think Sen. Sanders' target is too small, I really do. You know I respect him going after the big banks. I agree with him. No bank is too big to fail. No executive to powerful to jail. But we actually passed the process to be able to take on banks that pose excessive risk in our financial system in Dodd-Frank. So let's know the next president has to implement, but doesn't have to achieve that. Here's what I want to do. I want to go after all the other culprits. It wasn't just the big banks. It was the insurance company AIG. It was the investment bank Lehman Brothers. It was Countrywide Mortgage. It was Wachovia. There were a lot of bad actors. And if all you do is look over here, I'm telling you, they're going to be over there in the shadow banking sector just cooking up all kinds of ways to once again put our economy at risk. So I've got no argument that we need to take on these vested interests. I just have a wider group that I think we need to go after, from pharmaceuticals... [applause] ... insurance companies, shadow banking and other corporations that I think are undermining our ecoomy. And frankly they are undermining our democracy. This Johnson Controls thing really infuriates me. We bailed them out. The Republicans wanted the auto industry to just fail. They didn't care about the millions of jobs. Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress gave them a bailout. It turned out to be a good deal. All of us paid for it. They paid back the Treasury. So we didn't lose any money and we saved millions of jobs. And the auto industry just had a great year. Johnson Controls was one of those begging for the bailout. And now they're not going to pay their taxes? We're going to go right after that. That is absolutely wrong. [applause] And we need to be focused on getting a fix for that. [applause]
COOPER: One of the things... [applause] One of the things that Sen. Sanders points to and a lot of your critics point to is you made three speeches for Goldman Sachs. You were paid $675,000 for three speeches. Was that a mistake? I mean was that a bad error in judgment?
CLINTON: Look. I made speeches to lots of groups. I told them what I thought. I answered questions.
COOPER: But did you have to be paid $675,000?
CLINTON: Well, I don't know. That's what they offered, so...[laughter] You know every secretary of State that I know has done that.
COOPER: But [inaudible] for office they're not running for an office...
CLINTON: Well, I didn't know...
COOPER: ... have known.
CLINTON: To be honest I wasn't — I wasn't committed to running. I didn't know whether I would or not.
COOPER: You didn't think you were going to run for president again?
CLINTON: I didn't. You know when I was secretary of State several times I said you know I think I'm done. And you know, so many people came to me, started talking to me. The circumstances, the concerns I had about the Republicans taking back the White House, because I think they wrecked what we achieved in the 1990s with 23 million new jobs and incomes going up for everybody. I did not want to see that happen again. I want to defend President Obama's accomplishments and the progress we've made. I want to go further. So yes, I was convinced. But you know anybody who knows me who thinks that they can influence me, name anything they've influenced me on. Just name one thing. I'm out here every day saying I'm going to shut them down, I'm going after them. I'm going to jail them if they should be jailed. I'm going to break them up. I mean they're not giving me very much money now. I can tell you that much. [laughter] Fine with me.
I'm proud to have 90 percent of my donations from small donors and 60 percent, the highest ever, from women, which I'm really, really glad about. [applause]
COOPER: So just to be clear, that's not something you regret, those three speeches, that money?
CLINTON: No, I don't, because, you know, I don't feel that I paid any price for it and I am very clear about what I will do and they're on notice.
COOPER: I want to see if Chris Lopez is here. Chris, there you are. Chris is an independent with a question for Secretary Clinton. She says she's undecided, I should point out. Chris?
CLINTON: Hi, Chris.
CHRIS LOPEZ: Hi. Thanks for taking my question. I see a lot of hypocrisy in this country when I have a really hard time getting the medicine I need and yet it's really easy to get alcohol. What will you do to decriminalize marijuana so people — so I and people like me can get the pain and spasm relief that we need?
CLINTON: I will do a lot, Chris, because we have an opportunity to do much more with respect to research into marijuana, what it can do to help people with the kinds of conditions you've just briefly described. I want to move it from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II so that we can begin to do more research. The NIH and a lot of universities can begin to try to find out. Because I want you to know what we know from science. But I also want you to be able to use it while we're doing the research. And so many states, as you know, have moved to provide legal protection for the use of medical marijuana. I support that. I think that the states are the laboratories of our democracy. We should be learning about what works, what doesn't work. Different states have actually listed the kind of illnesses and conditions that it can be used for. Are they right? We don't know. That's why we have got to do the research. I also want you to know what dosage is right, what interacts with the other medication you're taking. I want to accelerate this because I have no doubt that there are very real benefits for people. We know in chemotherapy, we know from other conditions in using the right amount of the right kind of marijuana. I just want to make sure it's the right amount and the right kind. That's why I want to get that research up and going as quickly as possible. But you said something else which I think is really important. We can't be here in New Hampshire and not talk about the addiction problem in New Hampshire. Not talk about the fact that there have been more deaths by overdoses than car crashes in this state. Not talk about the lives that are being destroyed, the people that I meet, the grandmothers raising their grandchildren because they've lost their children. I just left a rally in Manchester, and a woman grabbed my hand and she said, I just lost my son to an overdose. So I have been working with elected officials like Senator Shaheen, like Governor Hassan, like Governor Shumlin of Vermont, who supports me, to try to figure out how do we put together a new approach, a new law enforcement approach so that first-time, low-level drug users are not sent to jail but instead we have more treatment and recovery programs? There are 23 million people who need help in our country, both alcohol and drugs. There are 10 percent of the kind of spaces that they need to take care of those people. So we've got to work on law enforcement. We have to work on doctors to understand better when they prescribe opioids, which is often the first step towards heroin. We have to have every police department equipped with naloxone, which is the antidote to reverse overdose, save lives here in New Hampshire. We've got to put more money into this. So all of this to me fits together. You deserve answers about marijuana and we deserve more treatment for people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol for other kinds of challenges. So that's what I would like to do. [applause]
COOPER: I want you to meet — this is Julie Carnigan, she's from Windham. Julie?
JULIE CARNIGAN: Hi. Thank you for taking my question. I'm the proud mother of five girls, two of my own, three step- daughters. And unfortunately they are all "feeling the Bern." And I would like to know what you would do to convince them to vote for you.
CLINTON: How old are they?
CARNIGAN: They're in their — 21, 22, and a couple of 23s and a 25-year-old. [laughter]
CLINTON: Well, first of all, tell them I'm glad they're interested in politics, and I really mean that. I want them to be involved. I want them to feel like I felt when I was that age, some years ago, and getting excited and interested in politics for the first time.
I also want them to take a look at my record, what I have done my entire life, starting as a young lawyer working for the Children's Defense Fund, taking on the problem of juveniles incarcerated with adults in South Carolina, trying to gather information to end segregated academies in the South. I want them to know that I was a legal services lawyers, standing up for equality under the law, defending people's rights because I believe passionately that those of us who have the opportunity to serve should serve. And then I hope they will look at what I have accomplished from, you know, starting the Children's Health Insurance Program that insures eight million kids, looking at ways to try to be smart in reforming our adoption and foster care system, with very partisan Republicans when I was First Lady. Getting healthcare for our National Guard. Helping to negotiate and implement a treaty to reduce nuclear weapons. A long list. And the reason I say that is I think it's very important that, as people move toward the primary on Tuesday, whatever your age, you really think about what someone is proposing and what their record is about getting it done. And as I've said and I mean it absolutely, I have the highest respect for Senator Sanders. But as the "Concord Monitor" said today in its writing about this, you know, it's, it's very hard to see how any of his proposals could ever be achievable. So I don't want to over promise. We've got too much of that. I want to tell people what I will do. I want to be specific because I do want to — to go back to the question I was asked earlier — recreate the trust that seems to have been splintered in America. We need to set big goals again. I am all for that. I have big, ambitious goals. Affordable college, early childhood education, making sure that we are on the path to paid family leave, all of which will help your daughters. But I also want them to hold me accountable. I want them to say, OK, how's that actually going to happen? What do we have to do to make it? We've got to get 60 votes to break a filibuster in the Senate. Nancy Pelosi has said, we're not going to revisit healthcare. We're going to stick with the Affordable Care Act. That's exactly where I am. We're going to improve it. Because I am somebody who wants to actually produce a real difference in people's lives. I am a progressive who gets results. And I will be a progressive President who gets results. And the final thing I would say is, it is still the case that there are challenges and obstacles to young women's ambitions. And I'm going to try to break the highest and hardest glass ceiling. I hope it splinters completely and, and I hope for your daughters it opens doors that might not be open right now, regardless of whether any of them ever do any politically. But in their lives, their profession, how they're treated. I hope it does give them more of a sense of empowerment. That's what I want for my daughter and my amazing granddaughter, and that's what I want for your daughters.
COOPER: [inaudible]. Just as we did with Senator Sanders, we've talked about a lot of important policy issues. I just want to ask kind of a couple of personal questions just for voters to get...
CLINTON: You don't think they know everything?
COOPER: Well, I don't know. We'll see about that. It's interesting to me, I mean you have — as you said, you have been one of the most famous women in the world now for, for decades. You have no anonymity. If you could be anonymous for just one day, what would you do?
CLINTON: I used to do this in the White House and, you know, I would, I would put on a baseball cap and sunglasses and, you know, sweat pants and a sweat shirt, and put my hair back, and I would go walk. And I would tell the Secret Service they had to wear casual clothes, they had to take the things out of their ears, they had to look like they were just tourists. I had the best time, you know. I would, I would end up over on the Mall sometimes, walking around. And a family would come up and say, would you mind taking our picture in front of the White House. I'd be happy to. Here, why don't you... So, you know, there's nothing I like better than to be anonymous, as hard as that is to achieve. So I would spend the day, you know, out in nature, talking a long walk, walking through one of the beautiful towns here in New Hampshire, stopping in a cafe, stopping in a bookstore. You know, maybe calling some of my friends, some of whom are here tonight, and say, don't tell anybody but meet me, you know, there. That's what I, that's what I want to do, and it's what I get the great joy out of. I am so fortunate that I still have my friends from grade school and every other phase of my life. And they keep me grounded, they keep me honest, they deflate my head, they deal with the universe in one pocket and the dust and ashes in the other. [laughter]
So any time I get to spend time with them. And then of course it would have to end with seeing my granddaughter because that's the creme de le resistance...
COOPER: What does she call you?
CLINTON: She calls me grandma. Grandma. Yes. She's working really hard on words. And it was so thrilling. They came to Iowa that last weekend because we obviously weren't going to leave. And so they got in late the night, Saturday night. And Sunday morning I'm getting ready. And you know Bill and I are you know having coffee and everything. So Chelsea brings her in and she sees me. She goes "grandma". And honest to goodness, the caucus could've ended right there. I would've been perfectly happy... [applause] ... saying the best thing has happened to me right this minute in Iowa. So that's where I'd end my day.
COOPER: You talked about the circle of friends you have. Obviously in 2011 your mom passed away.
COOPER: In 2008 she was part of your campaign.
CLINTON: She was.
COOPER: And you wrote about how at the end of the day you would, you know, sit around the kitchen table with her, kick off your shoes and just talk about everything that had happened.
COOPER: What do you think — what advice do you think she would give you today in this campaign in this year?
CLINTON: You know, my mother truly is my inspiration because she had such a terrible, miserable life and was abandoned and rejected by her own family, and was out at the age of 14 working as a housemaid. And her resilience, her love, her ability to have her own family to take such good care of us was just, you know to me the ultimate accomplishment in any life. And she would always give me the advice she gave me as a little girl. You know you get knocked down. Everybody gets knocked down. What matters is whether you get up. And when you get up, what do you do? How do you behave? Are you going to be bitter? Angry? Upset? Are you going to try to be positive, get something done, help somebody else? And I'm sure that's exactly what she'd be saying now. She'd be encouraging me. She'd be very proud, a little apprehensive because you know it's a brutal business being in politics. And people say things about those you love, whether it's your daughter or someone else. So she was very supportive. But you could tell you know how much pain she kind of absorbed from time to time. And so I would sit with her and I would say don't listen to that stuff, mom. And she'd say, well I have to know what they're saying about you. And I'd say you know don't put yourself through that. And so that would be what she'd be doing now I think too. Yes.
COOPER: I want you to be able to make your closing argument...
COOPER: ... to the people in New Hampshire.
CLINTON: Well, thank you. Well, first of all, thanks again for being part of this process, this first in the nation primary. You know I said earlier today some people said well you know Sen. Sanders is ahead. And I respect that. And so maybe you know I should go onto the next state. And I said absolutely not. New Hampshire has been so good to me and my family. And I love campaigning in New Hampshire. I love this process. So, you're going to have to put up with me. I'm going to be going around the state, going to as many events as I can, answering as many questions, trying to talk about what I am offering. I really believe that we have a chance to build on the progress we've made and to get results for people. To get the economy producing more good jobs, to get incomes rising again, that's my goal. I will not raise middle class taxes because the middle class hasn't even yet recovered from the Great Recession. We're going to stick with the Affordable Care Act. We're going to make it work. We're going to get early childhood education, affordable college and pay down student debt, a lot of the agenda that is important to our country, particularly to young people. And we're going to defend our rights. We're going to defend a woman's right to make her own health care decisions. [applause] We're going to defend Planned Parenthood. We're going to defend marriage equality and end discrimination against LGBT Americans. And we're going to take on the gun lobby because it is absolutely unconscionable to have... [applause] ... 33,000 people a year die from gun violence. [applause] So please, join me in this campaign. I hope you will come out and vote for me on Tuesday. And I will fight for you every single day in the White House. Thank you all very much. [cheers and applause]
COOPER: I want to thank both candidates for coming tonight, the voters for being here and asking such amazing questions... [applause] And the viewers at home. I also want to thank everybody with the Derry Opera House for their hospitality...[cheers] With the New Hampshire primaries now just days away, a reminder we'll be here for it all with [inaudible] expert analysis... [applause] Our coverage continues with Don Lemon right after this. [cheers] Thanks again.
CLINTON: Thank you all. [applause] Thank you, guys. [applause]
Hillary Clinton, Remarks at the CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall in Derry, New Hampshire Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/312425