June 29th, 2014
12:00 PM ET
6 months ago

Obama brushes off clamor over Clinton’s ‘broke’ comments

(CNN) – President Obama defended Hillary Clinton in the face of criticism recently that she is out of touch with average Americans, based on her comments about the Clintons’ financial security.

"She is in public service because she cares about the same folks that I talked to here today," Obama said from Minneapolis, where he held a town hall meeting. The interview, taped Thursday during the president’s trip, aired on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning.

As Clinton has traveled the country to promote her memoir, “Hard Choices,” she has discussed life post-White House and said her family was “dead broke” after her husband left the Oval Office in 2001.

Poll: Majority think Hillary Clinton can relate to average Americans

Conservative groups, which see Clinton as one of the biggest potential threats in the 2016 presidential race, have highlighted her comments as evidence that she is out of touch with the daily concerns of Americans.

Although the Clintons did leave the White House in debt due to enormous legal fees, they also walked away with a sizable government pension and the promise of massive book advances and speaking gigs worth millions.

Obama said all the hubbub is to be expected.

“As soon as you jump back into the spotlight - in a more explicitly political way - you’re going to be flyspecked like this,” the President said. “She's accustomed to it. Over time I don't think it's going to make a big difference."

With the presidential election still a couple of years away, Obama brushed off concerns that Clinton’s stumble could hurt her chances.

“I think that Hillary has been to this rodeo a bunch of times.”

Related: Obama: Boehner's lawsuit is 'a stunt'


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton • President Obama
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. veritas

    The far left does love their lies...

    June 29, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. DaveinIL

    "Obama: Clinton comment no big deal"
    Of course it isn't. To be a big deal it would have to have something to do with Obama, not anyone esle on the planet.

    June 29, 2014 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. basehitter

    " I am running for public office because I want to help mankind. The fact that it will make me whelthy has nothing to do with it"

    June 29, 2014 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  4. MrObvious

    Hillary grew up lower middle class? As the daughter of an Arkansas statesman? Yea riiight! She had plenty of money to go to a prestigious college and invest in shady real estate deals but she was low clas, that's for sure!!!!

    June 29, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  5. Redspotz

    Of course Barry doesn't think this is an issue, didn't he think we had 57 states? Isn't his administration 0-2 with SCOTUS in the past week?

    June 29, 2014 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. G_Edwards

    Of course Pres Obama brushes it off – he's in the same boat.

    He complains about the rich not paying their "fair share," but instead of paying what he thinks is fair, he pays the bare minimum in taxes. He never walks his talk.

    I always wonder why liberals won't do what they think is right, unless there's a law forcing them to.

    .

    June 29, 2014 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. aaron

    Simple solution. How about the spinmasters going on and on about the Clinton's wealth just disclose who their masters are.....and how rich they are? Then, we can all do a comparison. Lord only knows, these idiots will beat a dead horse beyond death.

    June 29, 2014 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  8. Zayah V

    Silly Republicans. Mitt Romney was and is out of touch with the Average American. Saying Clinton is is just sooo LMFAO>

    June 29, 2014 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  9. Jim

    Much ado about nothing. typical

    June 29, 2014 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  10. Lizzie

    sosupernova
    Obama's right. Hillary has been flyspecked by the Republicans who are always trying to make something out of nothing!

    June 29, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
    Finn McCoo
    Is this is all the GOP mudslingers can come up with? Please discuss actual issues and quit seeing what might stick to the wall.

    June 29, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
    sosupernova
    Obama's right. Hillary has been flyspecked by the Republicans who are always trying to make something out of nothing!
    Finn McCoo
    Is this is all the GOP mudslingers can come up with? Please discuss actual issues and quit seeing what might stick to the wall.
    - for a minute I believed you talked about democrats like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and the democratic machine who does it every day about those who dare not to bow to them.

    June 29, 2014 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  11. Lizzie

    sosupernova
    Obama's right. Hillary has been flyspecked by the Republicans who are always trying to make something out of nothing!
    Finn McCoo
    Is this is all the GOP mudslingers can come up with? Please discuss actual issues and quit seeing what might stick to the wall.
    - for a minute I believed you talked about democrats like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and the democratic machine who does it every day about those who dare not to bow to them.

    June 29, 2014 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. Norma Vessels

    For pete's sake! Hillary Clinton only said that when she and President Clinton left the White House, they were broke. They owed millions of dollars to lawyers because of the Liwinsky debacle. I know I'm not the only one that remembers that. Of course, they made money with speeches and books later, and they paid the debts off, and they are well off now, but at that time, they were in a deep well of debt.

    June 29, 2014 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  13. dave

    He saw it on TV

    June 29, 2014 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  14. Atul C

    It's no big deal to tell lies as I have said much bigger lies. You're correct Mr. President.

    June 29, 2014 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  15. wjm980

    Of course Obama says it doesn't matter. Just imagine, however, if it had been a Republican that said it. Oh those sanctimonious libs.

    June 29, 2014 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  16. Rationalintn

    When the bills are piling up, don't a lot of people feel dead broke. How is Hillary Clinton's comment out of touch, she felt the same way a lot of us have felt. Did George Bush or Mitt Romney ever in their lives have to worry about money? No, they didn't because Daddy would take care of it. The Clintons have obviously done very well since leaving the Whitehouse, yet the media wants to hold it again them. I'm sure most high profile political figures cash in on book deals and speaking fees, why is it wrong when Hillary Clinton does it? I've heard talking heads suggest Mrs. Clinton should not take speaking fees. Wait, what?

    June 29, 2014 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  17. neutral observer

    Why would any politician discourage that which will make them wealthy?

    June 29, 2014 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  18. Wonder Woman

    I had high hopes of Hillary Clinton becoming the first female president, she just carries too much baggage. I don't feel it would be a lame duck presidency riddled with old scandals. The party needs new ideas and new blood.

    June 29, 2014 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. 2kmaro

    “I think that Hillary has been to this rodeo a bunch of times.”

    The question being was she doing the riding her way up the ladder, or was someone else in the saddle?

    And speaking of leading an old horse to water – when we consider the amount of money she and Bill have made from various major, and often politically biased, organizations and businesses, can she really put that all completely out of mind and govern without prejudice (or behind the scenes reminding)?

    June 29, 2014 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  20. John

    They were in debt only because Bill couldn't keep it zipped up. Also, she said she is well off (50-100m) she just not really rich like other people. She is in touch............right

    June 29, 2014 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  21. TonyInNYC

    They were broke in 2001 when they had debts. Now they're worth about $55 million. Bill gets something like $100,000 for giving a speech. That can add up over the years. They're smart people and they're actually pretty good at handling their money.

    June 29, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  22. Catherine

    Well we all know if Barry says it, it must be true!!! The King of Lies and Deception

    June 29, 2014 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  23. Mark

    The Republicans must be really, REALLY scared if they've already started their destruction of Hillary 2 years before the next Presidential election. Just run a better candidate and we'll vote for him/her!

    June 29, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  24. Tony D

    I could care less about any of this rubbish. My concern is does she have the ideas and the ability to get this country moving forward the way it has in the past, prior to this Obama non-recovery recovery. From everything I have seen and heard, the answer is a resounding NO. She has no proven track record of success with economic matters. Didn't we learn our 8 year long lesson with Obama?! Giving good speeches and handing out goodies to select groups fixes nothing. Nothing in Hillary Clinton's past leads me to believe she is up the the daunting job of President. If we screw up again by electing a novelty instead of a truly qualified and capable leader, the country is doomed.

    June 29, 2014 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  25. jacknyd

    Shes nothing but a liar looking to capitalize on the tax payers money. She learned from the best on how to lie, OBAMA>

    June 29, 2014 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
1 2 3 4 5