November 15th, 2007
10:15 PM ET
11 years ago

Clinton on gender: 'I'm not exploiting anything'

Sen. Clinton denied that she had tried to play what pundits have called the "gender card" since an earlier Democratic presidential debate.

(CNN) - The Democratic frontrunner for the presidential nomination Thursday night swiftly rejected accusations that she may have been "exploiting gender as a political issue" through recent remarks about running for the presidency as a woman.

"I am not exploiting anything at all," Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York declared at the debate.

"I'm not playing, as some people say, the gender card here in Las Vegas, I'm just trying to play the winning card. I understand very well that people are not attacking me because I'm a woman. They're attacking me because I'm ahead."

The remarks drew applause throughout the room.

When pressed about her recent remark at her alma mater, Wellesley College, about how the school helped prepare her for the "all boys' club of presidential politics," Clinton responded, "It is clear, I think, from women's experiences, that from time to time, there may be some impediments. And it has been my goal, over the course of my lifetime, to be part of this great movement of progress that includes all of us but has particularly been significant to me as a woman."

She noted that while she is aiming "toward the highest, hardest glass ceiling," she is not "running because I'm a woman. I'm running because I think I'm the best qualified and experienced person to hit the ground running."

Clinton added that as she travels the country campaigning, some older women tell her they were born before a woman could vote and add, "I want to live long enough to see a woman in the White House."

Asked whether any of them believe Clinton is playing a gender card, none of the other candidates on stage seemed to jump at the chance. Since former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina was given the floor, he spoke only generally, saying, "I think that every single candidate on this stage should be held to exactly the same standard" and that voters should understand the differences.

Related video: The gender issue

- CNN's Josh Levs

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Captain America

    Is the sky blue? Is Hillary playing the Gender Card? Is Hillary going to lose? Its True, Its True!! Its True

    November 15, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  2. AD, Denver CO

    I'd heard/read (and been skeptical )of people's statements describing CNN as the "Clinton News Network"... but wow, watching the 'wrap-up' by Anderson Cooper & 'experts' and their "Hilary dominated' biased analysis is truly amazing... and disheartening. I felt like all did well at times, slipped up at times, and Obama pointing out '6% is *not* middle class' (in response to a Hillary attack on *his* plan for Social Security when she has no clear plan) was the best line of the night. Watching this is almost Fox-news like..

    November 15, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  3. Joe, Fredericksburg, VA

    no one really stood out in this debate. to me, Hillary is still the best candidate for president. i think once people start dropping out (kucinich, biden, dodd, and richardson), we can have a real debate where the candidates actually have enough time to fully answer questions and are not interrupted by the commentator after a minute has passed. hillary has my vote right now, but that could change over the course of a month or so.
    Clinton 08', then Obama, then Edwards. this is my order so far.

    November 15, 2007 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  4. Tom Klein

    Hillary Clinton is probably the biggest phony to run for president in history. She'll DO ANYTHING, SAY ANYTHING in order to convince people too stupid to think for themselves that she has any qualifications whatsoever. If it weren't for Bill Clinton, NO ONE would have ever heard of her. She's just a lousy stinking lying opportunist.

    November 15, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  5. Anne, Winnetka Illinois

    The "talking head" commentary is bizarre. Hilary comes off as angry and equivocating - I don't care how calm her manner is. Her makeup is so heavy she looks like a cadaver. Obama was the only one who appeared to be a leader - his presence gives calm. So does Dodd, but he hs no money. Edwards and Biden look like angry folks. And, Richardson, well he's already done that. And forget about the guy who saw the UFO.

    These debates are meaningless - the time is too short for reflection, the program is too "Got ya" - voters are looking to vote for someone who inspires - not the best triagulator. Why is the media so nice to Hilary?? Oh, because half of the commentators hope to work on her campaign because they are part of the washington elite and/or in her white house.

    Come on guys! Your talk is not what real people think.

    November 15, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  6. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Is anybody else watching the post-debate discussion on CNN? Does this just absolutely solidify that this is the Clinton News Network?

    November 15, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |


    November 15, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  8. Janel, Indianapolis, Indiana

    Good job Hillary.. you have my vote...even if Indiana always bats for the other team. Here in Indy we are swinging for you. (VP Collen Powell??)
    (and use Bill as a back up)
    Best Wishes Hillary....2008

    November 15, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  9. Pete R San Diego, CA

    CNN blew it hard.... I agree with the last post. There should be fewer candidates. Secondly, ask some freakin real questions that aren't one liners, and have a real moderator, not communications major dropouts. I won't even pick on a candidate because I think the whole thing wreaked for all of them.

    November 15, 2007 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. ELLIOT, IOWA for Hillary

    Hillary had a great rebound debate. She is clearly the best, most informed candidate. Biden is probably the best candidate for foreign policy, but Hillary is the best candidate all around!!!!!

    GO HILLARY! IOWA for Hillary

    Oh and I was reading thru some of the comments from past posts from people from Iowa, because I am interested in their opinions because they are my neighbors. And some people or at least someone keeps saying that they do not know anyone from Iowa that is for Hillary. I know tons of people who are for Hillary, so I do not know what hole these "people from Iowa" live in. I am from Des Moines, where are these people from in Iowa?

    November 15, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  11. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Can somebody tell me how ethical it is for the CNN post-debate political team to have TWO out of FOUR "analysts" that worked in the Bill Clinton White House? UH, CLINTON NEWS NETWORK!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 15, 2007 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. Tere, FL

    Obama tells Hillary Clinton that 6% of Americans, the percentage that makes over $97000 is NOT MIDDLE CLASS. What does Clinton say to that, NOTHING. Obama, I loved the way you lectured Hillary like a child , about talking like a Mitt or a Rudy by referring to increasing the social security cap as a 1.2 trillion tax increase. Wake up guys, 6% of Americans who will get this tax increase deserve it, they are not MIDDLE CLASS. Way to go Obama!
    Obama 08

    November 15, 2007 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    After hosting the worst Debate. Then CNN follow it up with past Clinton staffers to critique is just wrong.
    CNN should start ALL 2008 coverage and Debates with a DISCLAIMER

    " CNN is actively Campaigning for Hillary By Law we must inform you of that".
    They do not care about any real change for our Country. Good thing most folks could car none about the debates and don't watch them. I wanted to do what most folks did after the first 15 minutes, TURN THE CHANNEL.

    November 15, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  14. Carol Corson. Philadelphia, PA

    I am frustrated by all the attention by commentaters after the debate being on Sens. Clinton and Obama with an occasional mention of Edwards. I felt Bill Richardson seemed the most sensible of all but he's barely mentioned by the press. Could we have more even attention to all the candidates, including Dodd, Biden and Kucinich so we, as voters, can make a more knowledgable decision before we vote? I feel the decision will be made by the press before we get a chance.

    November 15, 2007 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  15. Dan, TX

    Wow, CNN really stacked the deck for Clinton tonight.

    Obama and Edwards both did well but were clearly in front a crowd stacked in favor of Clinton.

    Clinton had to be rescued by the audience several times. She was put in her place several times, but pretending it didn't happen worked ok for her fan base.

    November 15, 2007 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  16. Stephy, Groton CT

    I am seriously getting tired of the whole "gender card". I do not want to spend half an hour debating about a woman's right to be on that stage. We all know that Hillary is a formidable candidate and that yes she is a female. Now that the media got over the question: "is Barack Obama black enough?",they are obviously still locked in the whole gender bias. I am personally waiting for "is Bill Richardson Latino enough?". Then again I am not hoping for it, Hillary clearly has the favorite spot on CNN. Please no more of these question.

    November 15, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  17. Emmett Steele, Canton, GA

    Joe Biden was by far the most direct and honest, The Top three couldn't give a direct answer to anything – Yes Hillary said NO to the drivers license question, but she learned her lesson from last week and just watched Obama go down in flames with his tirade of the obscure.

    November 15, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  18. mbot565, San Diego, CA

    This woman is something else. How on earth you can say you're not playing a gender card & the next second give an example of a 96 year old woman who would like to see a woman president before she died? And she said it like it's no big deal with big smirk smile on her face? Get OUT OF THE KITCHEN, HILL... YOU'RE AN EMBARRASSMENT!!

    November 15, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  19. Alan, Auburn, NH

    How can we make an informed decision when there is blatant favoritism towards the perceived front runners? The time allotted and number of questions posed by CNN staff towards the chosen few was very disappointing? It ain' over 'till... The press is pushing us toward Hillary and Barack in spite of several other highly viable candidates that deserve to be heard.

    November 15, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  20. Jeff, Minneapolis, MN

    Is it just me, or did Joe Biden seem to match Hilary better than Obama and Edwards, if not actually win. Even Hilary acknowledged his leadership on oversight of the Supreme Court. I'm not taking gender into account. I just think Joe also has a positive attitude in the debate and has more experience than Hilary.

    November 15, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  21. fair,washington,dc

    Yea,,I'm a Hillary supporter, but I have to admit that little panel on CNN is like a Hillary Lovefest...not a problem for me cause I'm for Hillary but I could see why somebody supporting another candidate might be a lil disgusted.

    November 15, 2007 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  22. Mitty, Miami Gardens, Florida

    I am a 65 y/o black woman and would like to see a black president before I die. I donot care about seeing a woman president.
    Obama 2008!

    November 15, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  23. Anthony Palmer, Columbia, SC

    I am watching the post-debate analysis and for the past 30 minutes, the ONLY candidates the analysts are talking about are Clinton, Obama, and occasionally Edwards. Joe Biden turned in a very strong performance tonight and he is not getting mentioned at all even though he did a better job than both Obama and Edwards. I normally like CNN, but this is appalling.

    November 15, 2007 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  24. mike columbus ohio

    Best part of the debate? Obama waffling on the drivers liscense for illegals answer. Did you hear that? DRIVERS LISCENSE FOR ILLEGALS answer. I laughed so hard I almost peed myself

    November 15, 2007 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  25. Josephine, Pork n' Bean Project, Miami, Florida

    Kudos! Senator Obama. Great Job.

    November 15, 2007 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
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