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. Anonymous

    I was stunned to watch CNN's post commentary of the debate which said what a brilliant night Hillary had.

    did they watch what I did? She was stale. Obama ruled it.

    November 15, 2007 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  2. Adam, Plano, TX

    Why not play the gender card? This is historic and should be recognized as such. There is a qualified, honest-to-goodness female contender for the White House…finally!!!
    Posted By Jane Tulsa, OK : November 15, 2007 9:52 pm

    then why can't Obama or Richardson play the race card? according to your logic, its fair game! its bigotry, no matter how you play it, and its not what any of these candidates should stand for. Hillary has been playing the gender card since day one, with crap like "i'm the girl for you!". Obama and Richardson do not play the race card, which is far more respectable than this 2 faced woman's constant playing gender card.

    November 16, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  3. TR, Minneapolis, MN

    The "gender card" issue isn't about whether or not she's trying to appeal to female voters (of course she is!), it's about whether or not she's getting beat up by the other candidates because she's a woman. When giving your own two cents on the "gender card" issue, don't get confused on the what the issue really is. Many of you are just looking to take jabs at Hillary and, in the process of doing so, get confused on the actual facts.

    November 16, 2007 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  4. Matt, TX

    I'm SO thankful that the candidates do attack each other. It's the only thing that stops them from completely lying ALL the time. If the flip flops aren't called,, the people will just hear....."and it's George Bush's fault" and everybody starts clapping. That's when I slap my forehead and start to worry.

    November 16, 2007 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  5. CWalker

    Hillary keep up the good work!
    Keeping your cool as you did unlike some on the stage was a plus.
    I cant wait to see you in more debates.I think you are just warming up and getting better and better.

    November 16, 2007 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  6. David MO

    The look on David Gergen face when Anderson Cooper pointed out that he worked for Bill Clinton right after he gone into an Anti-Obama rant...PRICELESS

    November 16, 2007 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  7. Tapera, Toronto

    I don't really see the purpose of these debates when the candidates do not get enough time to answer the questions posed. How can we even classify this under debates. It's more like True/False questions.
    I was disgusted by the post commentary on the debate.
    What's the difference then between CNN and the communist news agencies that spread propaganda. I think CNN is not being patriotic at all when they do their country a disfavor by pushing a certain candidate to the people. Please give enough coverage to all the candidates so you can let the american people make their choice.
    I think Joe Bidden and the other candidates did a good job but they are not being given enough air time.
    I have to agree that Obama didn't give give a clear answer about giving out driver's licences. I belive that he had made a point though, that the main issue is about either alllowing those people to stay in the country or not. I could tell he is for legalizing the deserving immigrants. Let's face it people, could all the illegals be possibly deported? There are some people who have been illegals for decades and what can be possible done about them?

    November 16, 2007 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  8. stan pitts p.a

    i cant take anymore of hillarys rigged debates!!! thanks hillary for undermining our democracy and trying to fool the american people, the people in the crowd who booed were planted, just like most of the questions she gets asked on the campaign trail this woman will do anything to win!!! shameful!!!

    November 16, 2007 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  9. A Voter in N.Y.

    "I'm just trying to play the winning card."

    It's a first, she actually said what was on her mind and said what she really wants. Hillary will say or do anything to get elected and that's the bottom line.

    She claims to have the most experience, but has done nothing as a Senator except authorize Iraq and blame everyone else.

    there is always her failed health care she wrangled for as first lady, but in the next breath Bill takes the hit for the team and takes responsibility for the failure of Hillary care, stating he was running it.

    She wants it both ways all the time, but if elected then what will happen when it is no longer academic?

    When she has to make REAL decisions. Will Bill take the hit then or just leave every American hanging. From their past actions, it's easy to see they don't care about anyone or anything except themselves.

    Anyone BUT Clinton in '08

    November 16, 2007 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  10. Jeffrox, LA

    A pretty lady walks into a bar full of drunks and she gets ????. Her fault for having poor judgment – she should know better. A woman dares to aspire to be president and she gets mugged on stage in a very public way. Serves her right for trying, huh? Oh how far we've come as a civilized country. It's well worth seeing eight years of her in the WH so all these children of a greater god with so much hate in them would be sucking on their own bile. You go girl!!! You have my vote.

    November 16, 2007 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  11. Paul NY

    lol...all these Clinton haters know she was at her best tonight and did and excellent now that they can't bash her they will turn on cnn for stating the obvious. Calling CNN the clinton news network because they report on her (she is the frontrunner , her husband is the ex-president , she is a current senator..etc.)is ridiculous. At least the powers to be at CNN didn't ask someone to lie about Giuliani's corrupt buddy as to not hurt Giulianis chances to be the republican candidate , like some other corrupt news network I know .cough*FOX*cough. Where is your outrage about that?

    November 16, 2007 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  12. Max, Boston, MA

    I wonder if anyone's attacking her because they believe she's wrong.

    November 16, 2007 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  13. Olivia - San Antonio -

    Ms. Clinton was awesome last night! 2008!

    November 16, 2007 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  14. Anonymous

    Clinton 08!

    November 16, 2007 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  15. Max, Boston, MA

    On another note, why was Clinton given two to three minutes to talk about being a woman? It seemed like a lot of wasted time that could have been given to anyone else.

    November 16, 2007 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  16. Jimenez - Texas

    CNN DOESNT SUCK! Grow up people. They're just reporting the news. Isn't their fault that Clinton is inthe lead and a best candidate. Clinton 08!

    November 16, 2007 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  17. dw, roeland park, ks

    For all of the people saying CNN is for Clinton, I say GREAT!!!!!!!!!!! After MSNBC berating Clinton everyday and FOX NEWS cutting her down everyday, at least one cable news station seems to be more favorable.

    So far all of you complainers, thats life. Go get one.

    November 16, 2007 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  18. Andy, Evansville, IN

    Hillary, come on, you exploit everything and everyone you can think of to get a vote.

    November 16, 2007 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  19. Steve, Indianapolis, IN

    "The remarks drew applause throughout the room."

    Why did the Clinton News Network decide not to mention she used the exact same scripted phrases she used a couple weeks ago? I hope you're not all buying this. Hillary Clinton = George Bush 2.0

    November 16, 2007 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  20. Rapscallioness, Albuquerque, NM

    Gender card? Heck no. How can Hillary play the gender card when it's obvious she's just another member of the "Good Old Boy" network that's been running this country into the ground?

    November 16, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  21. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    Can you all please stfu about "playing the gender card"?? Do Romney, Guliani, McCain, Huckabee, etc play the white male card when they go hunting, attend Nascar rallies, go fishing, etc to prove their manly man bonafides to THEIR base (aka WHITE MEN)? Does the media harp on that at all?? All of a sudden, I guess they realized the other 50% of the USA, women, are ALSO a constituency that can be courted; but if Hillary dares to do such a thing, she is "playing the gender card". And so what if she said that politics is an "all boys club"? Is there something even REMOTELY untrue about that statement?? I think the fact that she can call a spade a spade is what the Beltway finds so offensive.

    November 16, 2007 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  22. Megha, San Antonio, TX

    Obama goes to SC and talks about how historic is it for him to run coz he's African American. But that is not playing the gender card. But if Hillary says it's historic that she's a WH hopeful coz she's a woman, that suddenly becomes a gender card issue. Guys, at least be fair! C'mon people, we have to chose what is best for America, stop getting caught in candidate blame game. Let them do it themselves.

    November 16, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. Kate, Aurora CO

    This country's double standard is just sickening. So its completely ok to accuse a woman of playing the "gender card" but I wonder what would happen if we said Obama was playing the "race card"? I'm not a Hillary supporter at all but as a woman I find this labeling to be offensive and completly inappropriate.

    November 16, 2007 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. Zoe, Austin Tx

    I have to say that I was a bit disheartened by the debate, and particularly with the post debate discussion. The guys at work often tease me about watching "clinton news network". Ordinarily, I laugh it off, but last night it was more than apparent. Do the producers even monitor the programming? I mean there were individuals analyzing the debate that actually worked for the Clintons. How objective is that? Also, it is a sad day when audience members have to rescue their particular candidate from answereng the tough questions. I do not believe that either Edwards' or Obama's questions were out of line. We have every right as voters to know where the candidate's differ on certain issues. If Hillary is elected president who will rescue her from a tough predicament...or better yet who will rescue us?

    November 16, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. Jr., California

    I like Dodd. Of all the Dem. candidates, he seems the most "Presidential".

    November 16, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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