March 9th, 2009
09:50 PM ET
9 years ago

Gere: Clinton 'misspoke in the moment'

Actor Richard Gere discussed Tibet on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer Monday.

Actor Richard Gere discussed Tibet on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer Monday.

(CNN) – Actor Richard Gere told Wolf Blitzer in an interview on Monday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “misspoke in the moment” when she said that human rights “can’t interfere with the global economic crisis.”

While on a diplomatic trip to Asia in February, Clinton said that the global economic crisis, climate change and security take precedent over human rights issues when dealing with China. Gere said that Clinton has always been on the “forefront of human rights.”

“Let’s assume she said more than that because she’s more complicated than that,” Gere said. “For me, these are all the same issue. If you want to make it about human rights, that’s perfectly valid. From my point of view, human rights are very important. To an American, human rights are desperately important and you have to say the words.”

Gere is the chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, which has focused on fighting for human rights and democratic freedom in Tibet. He attended a reception with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi Monday afternoon to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dalai Lama’s exile from Tibet.

Filed under: Extra • Hillary Clinton • Popular Posts • The Situation Room
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Art Roberts

    I'll stand with Secretary Clinton long before Richard Gere.

    March 9, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  2. Andy

    I'm tired of liberals excusing each other when they say dumb comments. She spoke her mind now lie in your bed.

    March 9, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  3. ZZ

    Why can't Hillary say she mis-spojke, if she really did? I figure she meant wahtever she said to the Chinese, right?

    March 9, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. No Hillary = No Obama

    Economics will always trump equal access – just look at the NFL or any professional sports team, all loaded with multi-millionaires who happen to be all men. I think that's a human rights issue.

    March 9, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  5. Desmond

    I absolutely hope Clinton misspoke! I think it is most reprehensible that the economy could trump human rights. While I believe, and hope, that this would never be Obama's view, Clinton has been known to blow with the wind, notably with regard to the Israeli-Arab crisis.

    March 9, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  6. xenia

    Human rights concerns should be in the forefront of any negotiations with China. As Americans we should continually press China about improving human rights with their own citizens.

    I'm sorry about what Clinton said regarding the "global economic crisis" not being about human rights and hurrah for Gere who came to her rescue and told us whan Clinton really said.

    March 9, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  7. lynn in NM

    No, I believe she meant exactly what she said. She knows very well the power of the spoken word. SHe has already proved that she doesn't care about human rights. Sorry, Richard, go tell it somewhere else.

    March 9, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  8. AP

    She didn't misspeak. She meant it as all other politicians before her in her position did. Cash is king and there's a lot of it to be had in China. Gere is hypocritical as well. I bet he doesn't support the right of all humans. If he did, he would be pro-life. He's not.

    March 9, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  9. me

    if she misspoke, why doesn't she admit it? why must hollywood feel forced to cover up democrat's blunders?

    maybe clinton cares about her economy and not the millions suffering in china under a brutal regime.

    March 9, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  10. rlkidd

    This is probably the only time she hasn't "misspoke".

    March 9, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  11. Kirsten

    really? she misspoke? Seriously, Gere. Hillary is an experienced public speaker, you odn't just go around saying stuff like that if you don't mean it.

    March 9, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  12. Dan Troutman

    Let's hear Hillary say so herself. Either way our inexperienced "smarter diplomacy" Secretary of State is committing quite a few number of amateur "gaffs" around the world.
    Go figure....

    March 9, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  13. Justin

    Actually, she didn't "misspeak" at all, but rather all the media outlets – this one included – only provided a partial quote, changing the entire meaning of the whole statement.

    Anyone who read the whole statement would not be offended, and would be irate with the media for distorting the comment through snippets.

    March 9, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. Brian

    He's an actor. Who cares? He just says things some what else writes for him. On screen or in an interview like this.

    March 9, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. shawn

    I dont't normally agree with political hollywood types, least of all Richard Gere. But america must atleast be consistant. If Obama's administration is throwing the old Bush administration under the bus for Gitmo it should demand human rights be upheld everywhere, not go to bed with China because we neeed their capital support. Talk about a double standard.

    March 9, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  16. Terry Bothel

    Richard Gere is either naive, or just ignorant to the complexities of politics and world diplomacy. Secretary of State Clinton meant exactly what she said because she is a career politician who would lie, cheat and steal to secure her position in the world. Moreover, the Obama Administration is trying to negotiate from a weakened positon because our poor economic condition interferes with our ability to lead from the front. Finally, those in Hollywood who have spent the majority of their lives living in the world of fantasy need to reserve comment and judgment to those who have to work and live in the world of reality! Basically, be quiet Mr. Gere because your opinion just doesn't count!

    March 9, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Grammi

    Hillary needs to be scripted and watched very closely. She is dangerous.

    March 9, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  18. Chuck, Tennessee

    She didn't misspeak. Gere just can't fathom how someone on the Left, the side he supports, could hold an opinion different from his own.

    March 9, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  19. Jude Banks

    Human rights is such an important issue, It's unfortunate that such as devisive figure as Nancy Pelosi was involved in the commemoration.

    March 9, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  20. Tanya

    Human rights, always important- yet, if global warming, destruction of the environment, continues at the current pace, we won't have to worry about human rights-we will be battling each other to the very end for every last scrap of resources that can be dug up from this fragile planet. What if other countries refused to work with us because of Bush's gigantic Iraqi war blunder....thousands upon thousands of dead soldiers and Iraqi civilians. There have to be priorities, maybe if we can work together with China to create a sustainable environment-human rights can also be addressed.

    Like you said, Gere, Clinton is more complicated that the simple misinterpreted statement. Clinton did not mispeak-I think you did, just a little bit.

    March 9, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  21. health care reform

    Gere please donate all your money and future earned dollars to human rights advocacy.


    March 9, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  22. Gar Logan

    So Richard Gere knows what Hillary Clinton means when she speaks? Wow.

    And here I thought Hillary Clinton was just proving herself a hypocritical opportunist.

    She makes Dems look bad.

    March 9, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  23. Amarissa

    Hillary has no choice but to follow Obama's instructions. So give me a break Gere and stop it with your silly comments. If you want to complain, tell our President, not Hillary!

    March 9, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. Tony G

    Who cares? Who the heck is Richard Gere and why should anyone care what he thinks or says?

    March 9, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. cristina east

    Richard gere is cor rect,altruism not narcissism aids us

    March 9, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
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