Clinton On Exorbitant Speaking Fees: “That’s What They Offered”
Secretary Clinton was asked at tonight’s CNN townhall if it was a mistake to take exorbitant speaking fees from various groups. When pressed by CNN moderator Anderson Cooper, “Did you have to be paid $600,000?” Clinton responded in part, “Well, I don’t know. That’s what they offered.”
Despite years of criticism on this topic and renewed interest in the topic from Senator Sanders’ remarks, Clinton still has no good answer on why she accepted millions of dollars from special interest groups and public universities.
Bill Clinton was asked a similar question in May 2015 about charging $500,000 per speech. His answer was also abysmally out of touch: “I got to pay our bills.”
In 2014, Clinton famously claimed she was “dead broke” upon leaving the White House—a claim widely refuted by independent fact checkers and political observers.
The reaction on Twitter to Clinton’s townhall answer was swift and brutal:
Clinton’s answer for why she took Wall Street speaking fees is because she wasn’t sure at the time she was going to run for president. #Bad
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) February 4, 2016
Speaking fee question awkward terrain.#DemTownHall
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) February 4, 2016
Wow. Spectacularly bad answer on Goldman Sachs speeches, even though she must have known it was coming.
— Kevin Drum (@kdrum) February 4, 2016
One thing that hasn't changed for the last two years: Clinton really doesn't have a solid answer on paid speeches. https://t.co/AqVNtWZd7A
— Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) February 4, 2016
Surprised Hillary didn't have a better answer about Wall Street speaking fees, given that Bernie has regularly whacked her over this issue
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 4, 2016
— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) February 4, 2016
Man this segment on the Goldman speeches is just brutal.
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) February 4, 2016