November 1st, 2007
02:05 PM ET
11 years ago

Clinton denies delaying release of documents

Fireworks mark the opening of the Clinton LIbrary in 2004. Library documents are becoming a campaign issue.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination are accusing her of delaying the release of records from her husband's administration, something the front-runner and President Clinton have denied.

"We have just gone through one of the most secretive administrations in our history. And not releasing, I think, these records at the same time, Hillary, that you're making the claim that this is the basis for your experience, I think, is a problem," Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, charged during a presidential debate Tuesday.

But Clinton, who represents New York, said the release of the records are not up to her or former President Clinton but the archivists at the National Archives.

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Related video: Sen. Clinton's White House records

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Phyllis, Dallas, TX

    You no what? Maybe Hillary is not holding up the release of the documents from the BILL Clinton presidency, however, she knew she was going to run for president. Everything she does is calculating.

    If you plan to run for president and every word out of your mouth about the 1990's is "we" and "our" as if we had a co-president. True some people are stupid indeed and will believe anything that comes from someone mouth without thinking for themselves. I'm not one of them.

    QUESTION: If you knew you were going to run for president (and you did have plans to run for president), why did Bill see fit to keep them secret until 2012? (be specific please)

    November 1, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    poor people, they want so bad to find ANYTHING wrong with Hillary that if THEY are the ones requesting information they should be the first to get it? is that how this things should work now? her life has been played in the public eye for 35 years, people have dough through even her college papers looking for things they can attack her with... so this time they find themselves with a stumblig block... cry me a river! Sen. Obama you are a hypocrate and I hope you have all of your private conversations also available for the world to see since you believe that transparency of government includes telegraph of your provate thoughts to anyone that asks... and you plan to deal with Iran that way? Now I know why I'm not supporting him...

    November 1, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Providence, RI

    Hillary has no control over the National Archive management. She said it over and over and over. She has nothing to hide, but her opponents are making it as as issue to distract voters from the real issue e.g. Iraq, Iran etc. This politics of distortion is not going to work, like it did in 2004.

    November 1, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. James, Phoenix AZ

    According to Newsweek, the Clintons asked in a 2002 letter that "confidential communications involving legal issues and advice" and "communications directly between the president and the first lady" be withheld.


    Simply reject Hillary as the Democratic Nominee and all this will quietly go away.

    Does ANYONE think Bill or Hillary wants this information available BEFORE people vote on Hillary?

    If so we've got some ocean-view property here in Phoenix I'd like to sell you!

    November 1, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Terry, Kensington, MD

    Oh please, Hillary. Her response to Sen. Obama's calling her on it is yet again is political, calculated and careful. Props out to Sen. Obama for calling her on this.

    Side note: Does anyone in the media dare question the Clinton's and their shady past? If the media dares to dig into the scandals and maffia like family, they get smashed. Why won't anyone stand up and do more investigative reporting on the Clintons and secrecy in their past? Because of fear of the Clinton wrath that would ensue.

    November 1, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Kinda, makes sense. Why not release?

    November 1, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Biggdawg, Chicago, Illinois

    So, Obama is taking a page from the "old kind of politics" and engaging in a good ole' fashioned witch hunt. I guess that's easy to do when you don't have a record of your own of any significance because you skip the tough votes.

    Maybe he should enlist Ken Starr in this effort as Obama seeks to revisit and reprise the ugliest kind of politics that prevailed so often in the 90's. Not different, not new, and not an attempt to draw distinctions. Just an attempt to dig up "dirt".

    November 1, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. Eli, Canada

    Is their a point in getting access to these documents? Logically you release documents related to a specific issue to allow clarify that issue. You define the problem first and next you search for answer/solution.
    What are Obama, Edwards and others looking for? Juicy stories?
    You should better try to solve your real problems because you have so many.

    November 1, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. Jesse, Burnsville, MN


    It's important because she says one of her qualification were her years in the White House with her husband. I think it's pretty important to know why this would qualify her.

    November 1, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. John Vanderbilt

    How typical. It amazes me that anyone would even be remotely surprised that they would want to hide those records. People say that Bush is secretive, I can't even imagine what they have in those documents. I would bet if they were released Hillary wouldn't have an snow balls chance in hell, but what do you expect from a couple that came up with "it depends on what your definition of "is" is. Genius if you want to confuse or hampen any discovery of truth keep giving the runaround and never never give anything up until you are forced to!

    November 1, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. Gerry, Anchorage, Alaska

    Actually, Eli, there is very much a point in getting access to these documents. Ms. Clinton is suggesting that her experience as First Lady has prepared her for the office of the presidency, and that her close working relationship with then-President Clinton is key to allowing her to hit the ground running as chief executive.

    If she's going to make these claims, then she needs to pony up the specifics of what, exactly, that First Lady experience consisted of and what hands-on skills did she in fact accrue while working for President Clinton? She can't just say "trust me." That's simply not enough. If she's going to claim the mantle of prior experience, she's got to show it.

    November 1, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  12. Linda, St. Louis

    As Senator Obama said, Hillary has been making the claim that she has more national experience than the other candidates. This claim is based on her time in the White House as First Lady. If she expects people to support her due to her 'experience,' she needs to actually show what she did during that time.

    November 1, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. Colin742

    Within the last year, long after his death, a tape was released of Nixon talking to Kissinger in which he was reviling Jews. Also in the last year the personal daily diaries Reagan wrote while in office were released, again long after his death.

    We know that the Republicans want to rummage through Clinton files to regurgitate the rubbish we heard during the Clinton years. To divert Hillary from talking about what she is going to do to fix the Bush disasters, they want to find letters so that they can say "look what you wrote 12 years ago and now you say this" –Flip Flop" etc.

    About $100,000,000 was wasted by Republicans investigating the Clintons. They found NOTHING on Hillary. She is perhaps the only Politian who we know has been proven, by massive expensive exhaustive investigations to law abiding, ethical and truthful.

    I recall the instance of missing "billing records". She told the investigators what she recalled about what was in them. They did not believe her. Then months later the records turned up. Someone had been put in the wrong place. The "billing records" stated exactly what Hillary had said. That is she was PROVEN TO BE TRUTHFUL.

    The scoundrels that want to PAW through these files will not let the PEOPLE see the records of Cheney's Energy committee. You remember, members of this committee were recommended by Ken Lay of ENRON. This may have been the reason for the IRAK war. They achieved their aim. OIL $100 a barrel.

    I understand Bill Clinton is supposed to review documents before they are released. His time is better spent on what he is now doing, providing free or low cost drugs in poor counties. His charitable efforts are saving thousands of lives. His precious remaining time on earth should not be wasted on the demands of these scoundrels.

    November 1, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. PM Oldsmar,FL

    Then why did her hubby send a letter requesting the documents to be sealed in the first place? Why does anyone conceal anything? Answer = to hide something. Hello?

    November 1, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. Tommy, Soo, Michigan

    I wonder how many documents (if any) will be released to the dubya library when its up and running? Perhaps some coloring books and fingerpaintings?

    November 1, 2007 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. Kim, Sacramento, CA

    The point to getting these documents released is that both Hillary and Bill Clinton refer to Hillary's time in the White House and her involvement to indicated that she is the most "experienced" candidate. They make the claim but then they choose to keep secret the documents that prove that claim. So, not only do you have someone unwilling to put their cards on the table, they want to hide their cards and now they are choosing to lie about the fact that they have done that.

    Come on now, we have had too much hidden from us, too much under the table and behind the back activity going on under the Bush administration. We don't need it from another.

    November 1, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Earl, Ohio

    Dear non-US citizen/voter Eli:

    When a candidate claims that she gained a lot of leadership experience based on what is in these documents, yet won't let anyone have access to them, there is usally a reason for this. My assumption? There's probably enough skeletons buried in there to start an undead army.

    November 1, 2007 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. Earl, Ohio

    Dear non-US citizen/voter Eli:

    When a candidate claims that she gained a lot of leadership experience based on what is in these documents, yet won't let anyone have access to them, there is usally a reason for this. My assumption? There's probably enough skeletons buried in there to start an undead army.

    November 1, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. FL

    Seems like someone has something to hide. So much for open and honest.

    November 1, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. Jake, San Diego CA

    She uses her time as first lady as part of her "experience". Well how is anyone supposed to know what she did if she doesn't let us. For all we know she did nothing, is it fair for her to claim that as experience?

    The better question is what is she hiding? We all know if it was something positive that would help her presidential run that it would of been released as soon as possible. So the fact that it wasn't is kind of troubling.

    November 1, 2007 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Sarah

    Then why did Bill Clinton write a letter to The National Archives advising them of which documents he refuses to allow them to release until after 2012?

    November 1, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  22. Brian, Syracuse NY

    Eli –

    Since Hillary's running on her "accomplishments" as First Lady, it would seem that the record she's running on should be available to the public.

    November 1, 2007 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  23. Atticus, San Francisco CA

    The point is..(drum roll)...if you are going to boast about your record of time spent in the White House, than why not let the documented time fall under scrutiny?

    Should we just believe her word about the great things she has done while hanging out with ol Abe in the oval office?

    November 1, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  24. Willy-Chesapeake, VA

    Why don't they let Sandy Burglar release them.

    November 1, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  25. Mike, Asheville, North Carolina

    The point is that Clinton is consistently making the argument that she is the most experienced. Considering that almost all of this experience takes place during her times as first lady and In order for the voters to truly evaluate her time as first lady we must be able to view those records. You can't make one of the staples of your campaign about your experience if no one knows what you did during that time.

    November 1, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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