Hillary Clinton wants 2014 Democrats to run on Obamacare
June 25th, 2014
06:31 PM ET
1 month ago

Hillary Clinton wants 2014 Democrats to run on Obamacare

Washington (CNN) – Hillary Clinton has yet to announce whether she is running for president in 2016, but in an interview that aired Wednesday, Clinton outlined how she would run in favor of Obamacare "if [she] were a Democrat running for reelection in 2014."

Clinton, who in the past has said she is both supportive of Obamacare and of fixes to change the law, told PBS NewsHour's Gwen Ifill in an interview taped Tuesday that Democrats "need to" run on President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare law.

"If I were a Democrat running for reelection in 2014, I would be posing a very stark choice to the voters of my district, or my state," Clinton said. "If you want us to go back to the time when your sister with diabetes, or your husband with his heart condition, couldn't get insurance at an affordable rate, then don't vote for me, because I think it's great that your sister and your husband now have insurance."

The Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – has been a contentious issue since it was passed in 2010 without GOP support. Since then, many Republicans have used Obama’s signature domestic achievement to bludgeon Democrats in difficult races, causing some to distance themselves from the law.

During a private healthcare speech in February, Clinton backed efforts to fix Obamacare while also offering a full defense of the law.

Clinton took a similar position in Wednesday's interview. While she said that Democrats should run on the law, she also said part of that campaign is to admit that they are willing to make "adjustment that need to be made" in the future.

"I think people should say, look, 'We're going to learn more about how it's working, and if there are adjustments that need to be made as we go forward, wouldn't you rather have somebody who wants to keep the good, and fix what's not working, than somebody who wants to undermine it, and maybe throw it out,'" Clinton said. "These are very stark choices."

Clinton's position was starkly similar to what her husband, Bill Clinton, told Ifill at an event in May.

"What I advise the Democrats to do is talk about the good things that have happened under the bill, acknowledge the problems and say, 'Let's do what sensible people would do,'" Clinton said at a fiscal summit in Washington. "We had a problem we had to deal with. Albert Einstein couldn't have done it perfectly the first time. Now let's set a long-term repair process."

Clinton's history with healthcare reform dates back to the 1980s, when Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas.

When Clinton was first lady, from 1993 to 2001, she spearheaded the Clinton White House's unsuccessful effort to overhaul the health care system.

Is Clinton out of touch?

Since the start of Hillary Clinton's book tour, the former secretary of state has been dogged by questions about whether or not she is out of touch because of comments she made about the state of her finances after leaving the White House in 2001.

Clinton rejected those calls in the Wednesday interview, telling Ifill that she had always "been reaching out" to other people, "whether it's talking with our neighbors or going shopping or standing, talking to people in these bookstores and hearing what's on their minds."

At the start of her book tour, Hillary Clinton told ABC News that her family was "dead broke" when they left the White House in 2001. Although Clinton quickly looked to clean up her first slip-up on wealth a few days later in Chicago, the former secretary of state stepped in it again a week later during interview with The Guardian when she compared herself to other "truly" wealthy individuals.

"We pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we've done it through dint of hard work," Clinton said in the Guardian interview.

Republicans have seized on the comments, stating they show Clinton's is removed from everyday issues facing Americans.

Clinton admitted to Ifill that her comments were "inartful," but said that people were taking "things out of context" and trying "to create some caricature."

"I'm fully comfortable with who I am, what I stand for and what I've always stood for," she said.

Waiting on 2016

Hillary Clinton has been more open to answering questions about the prospect of her running for president in 2016 during her frenetic book tour over the last three weeks.

And that trend continued with Ifill.

"I take seriously the passion that a lot of people approach me in book lines, and events, talking to me about this," Clinton said about running for president. "I am not going to make a decision until I have a chance to really sit down and take stock of what I want to do for the rest of my life, and what I think I could uniquely bring to a presidential race."

Among the considerations weighing on whether to run for president, Clinton said, was the fact she will be a grandmother sometime this fall.

"I want to feel and be present in that experience," Clinton said about her daughter, Chelsea, having a baby. "I don't want to be looking over my new grandchild's shoulder, wondering what's happening in state X or Y, I want to be fully engaged."

Clinton has said in interviews around her book tour that she plans to make a decision toward the end of the year on whether to run for president, something she did unsuccessfully in 2008.

As to whether it would be "insane," as Ifill put it, to run for president again, Clinton said, "You have to be a little bit crazy to run for president."


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton • Obamacare
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Silence DoGood

    Smart lady. After initial glitches and scare tactics from the radical right (remember Death Panels?) there has been a lot of good come out of ACA. I assume most people are smart enough to read about this on their own somewhere besides Tea Party central. I have known several success stories with friends. She wanted this originally too. Of course she would promote it. Let's move the country forward and join the rest of the civilized world that already has successful modern healthcare systems.

    June 25, 2014 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Let's make Obama a one term president ?

    It's time for America to put it's foot down on radical medical coverage .

    June 25, 2014 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. CALIFORNIA

    Obamacare overall RAISED my monthly health care costs. I'm not even well off middle class even.

    Run on it democrats because 90+% of the people I know hate it.

    June 25, 2014 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. Much thunder...little rain

    What's with all these old people running for office go retire I am sure you memory and hearing needs work

    June 25, 2014 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  5. rick

    Of course she wants all the democrats to support Obamacare.. If they DID then she WOULDNT have any serious opposition to the democratic run for presedency!!! Essentialy no other to nominate from the party BUT HER ALONE! Because people would vote AGAINST any who do run with that backing. What does she think? Americans have a attention span of a goldfish? Best thing Hillary can do for the party.. And most important. Herself. Is to fade away and keep her big mouth shut.

    June 25, 2014 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  6. Smitty

    The V.A. is Obummer care. Govt medicine will cost more money, more wait times, more LIVES lost. Yeah run on that.

    June 25, 2014 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  7. Gyrgyl

    It is huge success. ACA is the Law.

    June 25, 2014 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    That's pretty much suicide for the Dems. There isn't ANYONE who actually thinks ObamaCare is a good thing..........except Dems.

    June 25, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  9. ja

    It is law according to the highest court in America, Why Not!!!!!!!!!

    June 25, 2014 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. Gunderson

    Are you sure Hillary?

    June 25, 2014 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  11. freedom

    These "lawmakers" will never be subject to Obamacare – they don't know what they're talking about – Hilary is a liar and a power-hungry crass woman. period.

    June 25, 2014 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  12. Chris-E...al

    L0L ba haba aaaaha abahaha stop it .

    June 25, 2014 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  13. Wes

    obamacare is a disaster.

    June 25, 2014 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  14. Al

    That would be good, especially with the report that will be officially coming out this week. Run on the Democrats ACA, then explain to the people why there need to be so many changes to the law that bypassed the Congress. Explain why the cost of peoples health care has gone upward when they lied to the people that it would be lower. Yes, run with it, let's get the truth out on the Democrats plan, tell the people that present law had no changes made by the White House.

    June 25, 2014 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  15. Naples Nick

    Democrats definitely need to heed the advice of the former failed Secretary of State and embrace Obamacare:
    – $ billions wasted on a website that never really worked
    – people losing their doctors
    – people getting denied treatment
    – illegal immigrants being able to apply and drain resources meant for US Tax Payers
    – costs increasing
    – constantly moving deadline
    – millions losing their policies even though they were promised, "You can keep your policy. Period."

    June 26, 2014 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  16. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    They should, it's working. But all the Kocks have to do is put out an ad, which I'm sure we'll see soon, against it and the cowardly dems will duck and run. They know nothing about standing up and fighting. Look how they threw AW under the bus over a few pictures, yet the GOP stood right by Sanford, who ended up with as good of a job as the job he lost, and his indiscretions were way worse than AW's.

    June 26, 2014 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  17. Sara

    Hey Democrats = you've spent an eternity campaigning against the "1 Percenters" and to be in the 1% one simply needs to make $394,000 per YEAR – Hillary makes more than that in 2 hours of 'speaking' to a corporation or university.

    So, if Hillary can fill the requirements to be a 1% (something you loath) not in one year, but in two hours time, then what does that make her? Queen of all 1%ers? Congratulations, Dems, Hillary has painted your whole party into the two face world of the Clintons.

    June 26, 2014 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  18. Marie MD

    They should run on Obamacare but for the teaklans make sure they call it the ACA.
    A woman where I work (yes haters, a Democrat who works) needed it because she was being riffed but she wanted nothing to do with Obamacare.
    She's now part of the MD ACA and she's happy. Go figure.

    June 26, 2014 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  19. sifto

    Hilary clinton is getting a lot of "soft ball" press out of this..probably planned as part of her campaign..morning joe, mika, and cnn are chuckling about her in an embracing manner..almost making her a victim..they sure treated mitt romney differently..what a bunch of hypocrites...

    June 26, 2014 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  20. laurent

    She 's running out of money ( broke) and wants new money as a president ? In old times only hoboes were real poor .Now wealthy one try to seems hobo for middle class that they are destroying and ask our money . Shame on you .

    June 26, 2014 07:20 am at 7:20 am |