WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton, responding to a question about whether there might be a “new business or personal scandal” involving her husband Bill Clinton, said Monday night that voters should not be worried about the possibility.
"You know, I can assure this reader that that is not going to happen," she said, in response to a question from a Santa Monica reader of the Web site Politico.com. "You know, none of us can predict the future, no matter who we are and what we are running for, but I am very confident that that will not happen."
The New York senator also told interviewers from the Politico and Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA that Democratic rival Barack Obama’s rhetoric signaled an unwillingness to fight as hard as he would need to do as chief executive.
“You never hear the specifics. It’s all this kind of abstract, general talk about how we all need to get along,” said Clinton. “I want to get along, and I have gotten along, in the Senate. I will work with Republicans to find common cause whenever I can. But I will also stand my ground because there are fights worth having.”
Speaking to the same set of interviewers, Obama tried to turn the focus to transparency, and the Clintons’ unwillingness to date to release their financial records in full.
“All I can tell you is, I’ve released my income tax return because I think it is appropriate, if you’re running for the highest office in the land, for people to have a sense of how you make your money,” said the Illinois senator, saying that it was up to his opponent and her husband, the former president “ to determine whether or not they want to follow my lead on that.
“… It’s not a question of what I want to know. I think it’s what the American people deserve to know - which is just how, in fact, are people’s finances handled.”
Obama said laying out tax returns in full was “a long-standing tradition in presidential politics. It’s like releasing your medical records, it’s part of the information that people make an assessment in terms of how you are going to perform as president.”
He also talked about his struggles quitting smoking. “You know, it’s been tough, but that Nicorette has worked out. You’re supposed to have phased out on that stuff - I haven’t completely, I’m still chewing.”
“The patch, I was a little more worried about,” he added, saying that he does not use a nicotine patch to aid his efforts. “The truth is that … this was a nasty habit - but it wasn’t a heavy one. So I didn’t get the shakes or anything like that.”
The two had been invited to debate each other on the same stage on the eve of the Potomac primary - votes in neighboring Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. - but Obama declined the offer. Both candidates spoke to the same interviewers, but appeared in separate half-hour segments.
- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand