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. larry fort wayne. indiana

    How the hell does he know she misspoke? Just because she didn't say what he wanted her to say.

    March 9, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  2. Rich

    Ohh since Richard Gere said so it must be true. Since he knows the Clintons so well. Clintons a bad politician, Obama bad president, Pelosi bad person.

    March 9, 2009 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  3. Lynn

    She is representing President Obama's views. I think Gere's concerns should be with President Obama administration not Secretary of State Clinton personally. I believe Clinton haters forget she works for him.

    March 9, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  4. Mark

    I don't think she mis spoke, I think she cares very little about people, just money and power. Obama made a mistake in appointing her. The people spoke during the election, we didn't want her, we elected him.

    I think we will see more of these insights into the "true" Clinton as time progresses.

    Let's just presume she misspoke, after Bush, can we afford the damage caused by misspeaking, and political blunders? NO.

    March 9, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  5. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Sounds like putting principles on hold for economic gain. Typical Clinton philosphy.

    March 9, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  6. Tack

    Gere go back and do what you do best – looking in a mirror... Leave the world matters to the professionals.

    March 9, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  7. Phil

    Exactly what is wrong with America, We try to please everyone.. Some people give up thier rights when they decide to forego everyone elses..

    March 9, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  8. MM

    What a joke. Richard Gere is now the spokesperson for the Secretary of State. While I love your movies, please do me a favort just act!

    March 9, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  9. Bev

    Again...Celebrities who have no business in politics. Meeting wtih Pelosi, speaking "on behalf" of Clinton...who do these celebrities think they are and why on earth do they think their opinions are more important than mine? Pop culture influencing politics in the country and far-left smear machines are dangerous to this country. It sickens me and makes me angry. These priviledged people have no business influencing government and I guarantee you Pelosi and the like will lose the next election cycle because of it.

    March 9, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  10. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Clinton is not complicated. Human Rights is. Mr Clinton said it best. It depends what "is" is.

    March 9, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  11. DS

    Hillary said exactly what she meant. I love when the occasional truth escapes these politicians' lips.

    March 9, 2009 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  12. Mark Ramsey MD, Milwaukee WI

    I'll give her the benefit of the doubt too. Her record on human rights is clear; she spoke poorly. To all the republicanswho are going to jump on this, RELAX. At least she can pronounce "nuclear".

    March 9, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  13. Grant Devereaux

    You cannot ignore human rights for economic reasons. If you do that, you are saying human rights are only for those who can afford them. You are putting a price on doing the right thing. When you do that, you lose all morality.

    Like Richard Gere, I find it hard to believe that Secretary Clinton would do that.

    March 9, 2009 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  14. Mark Robinson

    Well gee, with China holding who knows (or will admit) how many trillions in US bonds, what would you expect her to say? "China's history of abusing it's citizens is deplorable, and they should be diplomatically shunned and thrown out of the WTO"? Not bloody likely.

    March 9, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  15. Christophe

    I find it odd that the author of this article did not directly quote Clinton and the full context of her speech. She has always been a tireless supporter of human rights, and this cleverly misleading paraphrasing of her is just another "bash-Hillary-for-no-reason" article.

    Gere is the most ardent advocate for human rights in Tibet and he knows these Clinton bashing stories are just salacious, misleading and completely unfair. That's why he spoke up when the really meanspirited media was ready to jump down her throat again.

    March 9, 2009 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  16. Ryan

    Um, the US has no choice but to try and convince China to buy US bonds, and debt. The US is in no position to be telling the Chinese what they can or cannot do. She did not "misspeak in the moment" – it's called she has no choice and the last thing she is going to do is press them on this issue.

    March 9, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  17. Clif Muller

    Gere is more than correct. When Hilary Clinton said human rights “can’t interfere with the global economic crisis"...she placed money and economic success over the ethical dimensions of the golden rule (treating others the way you want to be treated). She is welcome to her opinions and she is free to do what she can within the law to create a society where human ethics are subordinate to economic success whenever the two conflict but she is at odds with me in this. She is not a friend to most world religions with this attitude. She isn't in agreement with those who follow the teaching of Buddha or the Bible.

    March 9, 2009 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  18. Larry

    To an American, human rights are desperately important and you have to say the words.”

    Things like freedom of speech .

    March 9, 2009 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  19. shannondoodle

    Can democrats do no wrong? Do they always need an interpreter whenever they say anything controversial? If Condoleezza Rice had said that I am sure Richard Gere would be excoriating her. Unbelievable!

    March 9, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  20. becca

    We all know Secretary of State is an advocate of human rights and always will be.

    She is promoting President Obamas message and agenda.....whether she agrees or disagrees with it. That is her job!

    So cut her some slack!!

    March 10, 2009 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  21. John

    If Clinton misspoke, why didn't she correct herself? Why does the media let one democrat clean up after another democrat and not bother to question the first democrat? this is crazy, total capitulation.

    March 10, 2009 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  22. tom moriarty

    how many times have we ignored human rights violations in favor of what is politically expedient and economically important. east timor. ruanda, congo, serbia, bosnia, darfur. the list goes on and on. let`s be honest, governments have even less loyalty than the average streetwalker. for all their flag waving, governments don`t have any ethical standards at all, it`s all about money and power.

    March 10, 2009 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  23. reb

    Wow, Gere is so good that he can correct Clinton in her work? That's pretty impressive, we'd better all change our opinions to match Gere's because he's so brilliant. Why isn't he secretary of state?

    March 10, 2009 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  24. Patricia Tharp

    As sec of State she has to say what needs to be said in order to make some inroads in diplomacy. China may shut down totally if Human Rights is made an issue right down. After all, China is keeping us afloat!

    March 10, 2009 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  25. Ann Donnelly

    Richard Gere could not be more perfectly correct. To an American, there is nothing more important than human rights. But sadly, Secretary of State Clinton did not misspeak – this is the "change" the American people voted for. We now owe the Chinese so much- since they must purchase our huge debt – that we are at a great disadvantage. Notice that Barack Obama paid scant attention to the British Prime Minister, who represents our oldest ally for human rights, Britain. (France would, of course, be similarly important in our history.)

    Richard Gere – please continue to speak out! You, Gary Kasparov and others – you are needed now more than ever.

    March 10, 2009 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
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