Hillary Clinton on her 'dead broke' misstep: 'I regret it'
July 29th, 2014
11:40 AM ET
5 months ago

Hillary Clinton on her 'dead broke' misstep: 'I regret it'

Washington (CNN) – Hillary Clinton first opened the can of worms on her sizable wealth during the first interview of her book tour on June 9.

Nearly two months later, Clinton is still being asked about it and tells Fusion that she regrets telling ABC's Diane Sawyer that her family was 'dead broke' when they left the White House in 2001.

"Well, I regret it. It was in-artful," she told Fusion's Jorge Ramos in a portion of an interview posted Monday night. "It was accurate but we are so successful and we're so blessed by the success we've had and my husband has worked incredibly hard."

Clinton then pivoted from her personal wealth and previous comments to what she hopes to do in the future for people struggling to get out of debt.

"What I worry about is not my family. I worry about other families in our country who feel like they're running in place, they're not getting ahead or maybe they are falling backwards," Clinton said. "What I want to do–and this is what Bill has always done since the very beginning of his public life–is to try to create more ladders of opportunity for more Americans so that they can have the same opportunities that Bill and I have had."

Clinton's comments about being “dead broke” and in debt in 2001 rang hollow to many given the fact the family had two massive book advances in the works, a sizable government pension, and the prospect of making millions on the speaking circuit in their future.

Clinton has called her comments in-artful a number of times, including the day after her first interview.

"That may have not been the most artful way of saying that you know Bill and I have gone through a lot of different phases in your lives," Clinton said at an event with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Both Bill and Hillary Clinton, however, have accurately stood by the fact that their family was in debt after leaving the White House. According to financial disclosure forms, the Clintons had between $2.28 million to $10.6 million in debt in 2001.

Former President Bill Clinton recently told an audience that that amount of debt "would qualify as being dead broke."

But the Clintons didn't stay in debt for long.

A CNN analysis of the family's financial records in early 2013 showed that Bill Clinton had earned $106 million from paid speeches since leaving the presidency behind. Bloomberg reported earlier this month that Hillary Clinton has earned $12 million speaking and writing since leaving the state department in 2013.

Questions about Clinton's wealth have persisted for the last two months. Republicans seized on the talking point in an effort to paint the former secretary of state and possible 2016 presidential hopeful as out of touch with everyday Americans, and reporters have continued to press to see how much money the Clintons have made since leaving public service.

Ramos, whose full interview with Clinton will air Tuesday night, also asked Clinton if she knew her net worth.

"Within a range," Clinton said. "We have two very nice houses which we are very proud of."

When asked if the figure was in the millions, Clinton responded, "Yes, indeed."

- CNN's Robert Yoon contributed to this report.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Doesn't she know when it is best to stop talking about something? It's too late to admit you made a mistake. She's making an even bigger mistake by admitting to it now. This is a no-win topic for Clinton.

    July 29, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. smith

    Clinton was trying paint herself as the "Im just like you" person. This is a common mistake among liberals in politics as well as liberals with fame. This same mistake took down Micheal Moore (when he tried to say he wasn`t in the 1%, that and he was exposed for all his lies).

    July 29, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Well, I regret it. It was in-artful," she told Fusion's Jorge Ramos
    -----------------------------------------------------
    This is going to be delightful, getting to know HIll that is.
    So, "in-artful" is that a new word for "untruthful" or "inaccurate"?
    Who knows?..

    However she goes on to say in the same paragraph no less that:
    " "It was accurate but we are so successful and we're so blessed by the success we've had and my husband has worked incredibly hard."
    So maybe "in-artful" does not mean "inaccurate" or maybe it does but it is all relative?
    Oh Hill, getting to know you is indeed going to be quite a thrill.

    July 29, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    smith

    Clinton was trying paint herself as the "Im just like you" person. This is a common mistake among liberals in politics as well as liberals with fame
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Yes about as common in "liberal politics" as Romney saying that he too was one of the unemployed.
    smh...

    July 29, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Dean

    Her gut reaction is to first lie. Then, thanks to a soft liberal media, she can walk back any statements while rigged polls can slowly raise her favorability numbers. This lady is nowhere near qualified to be president.

    July 29, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Tom l

    Dominican mama 4 Obama says:
    July 29, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm
    smith

    Clinton was trying paint herself as the “Im just like you” person. This is a common mistake among liberals in politics as well as liberals with fame
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Yes about as common in “liberal politics” as Romney saying that he too was one of the unemployed.
    smh

    -----

    Liberals will go nuts and point to phony repubs and their "family values". The opposite is true of throngs like this. They are all phony. Can't you just admit that?

    July 29, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. MICK

    Libs talk so much trash about "rich people" funny they never realized that THEY TOO ARE RICH.

    July 29, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    at least it's not the typical rightie excuse "it was taken out of context" She admitted it was said incorrectly. Simple Srah and the rest would say "the librul media is altering what I say"

    July 29, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    -nothing wrong with it, until you see under microscope. But it is not relevant now. Yes, Hillary16.

    July 29, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Lizzie

    Not to worry, – Haim Saban, a multibillionaire media mogul, said Monday he is prepared to spend "as much as needed" to get Hillary Clinton into the White House in 2016.

    July 29, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    smith

    Clinton was trying paint herself as the "Im just like you" person. This is a common mistake among liberals in politics as well as liberals with fame. This same mistake took down Micheal Moore (when he tried to say he wasn`t in the 1%, that and he was exposed for all his lies).
    ------------------------
    You definitely throw mud with your right hand, not your left.

    July 29, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. freedom

    Lies, lies, lies – do you folks get it? That was her first rollout to the public on the campaign trail – and it's all lies – a stupid one too. Her lies go much deeper and are more damaging – like for instance, it was because of a video that my former colleague was brutally murdered and dragged through the streets of Benghazi. She's a dangerous, despicable woman.

    July 29, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    "Liberals will go nuts and point to phony repubs and their "family values". The opposite is true of throngs like this. They are all phony. Can't you just admit that?"
    ---------------------------
    Fail. You're projecting your own reactions, what you might do in the same situation, onto others. BTW, what "throngs" are you talking about? Why do so many of your posts sound like the tail end of a conversation?

    July 29, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. smith

    @DM4O-Clinton and Moore`s comments were made in the present when they had already obtained wealth and fame. Romney was talking about his past and wasn`t trying to run away from his wealth.

    July 29, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Will Bill have his office in the East Wing ?

    Who ate my vegan strawberry cake ?

    America , the New Improved Aristocracy , where big money talks and can feel your pain .

    July 29, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. smith

    @Rudy-I didn`t see any rich GOP folks trying to fit in with so-called 99% during the occupy movement. Did you?

    July 29, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Chris..E.Al

    Misstep? Hmm which one? Russia? Libya? Bosnia ? Syria? Iraq? N.korea? Mexico? Cuba? Gitmo? Iran? America??

    July 29, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. SMH

    smith
    @DM4O-Clinton and Moore`s comments were made in the present when they had already obtained wealth and fame. Romney was talking about his past and wasn`t trying to run away from his wealth.

    You are allowed your right handed swings, but you are NOT allowed to rewrite history to fit your story lines. Romney wasn't talking about his past. He was taking his present:

    Romney quotes from political ticker June 16, 2011

    "After listening to a group of unemployed Floridians discuss the challenges they face in the job market, the presidential hopeful -and multi-millionaire– cheekily divulged, "I am also unemployed."

    "Yes actually and I'm networking," Romney answered. "I have my sights on a particular job that I'm working for."

    July 29, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. Getoverit

    Too late.

    July 29, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. Scott

    Hilary declares the "reset with Russia" a success. Can you imagine what failure is in her mind. Perhaps claiming a great right wing conspiracy only to find out that Monica kept the blue dress......?

    July 29, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. Gurgyl

    -who is more dangerous, is it millions killed in Iraq, no WMD, or Iran arms sale and sent jobs to china on Trickle down. Don't you know Bill Clinton era was Golden era, with lot of jobs, dot com boom, excess surplus. Where did this disappear? Didn't moguls like Koches, Sheldon Adelson, PAC guy Karl Rowe spent too much money on that lost guy, Mittens? What venom you spew? On Race? On Gender? Quit your rant–know this is 21st century. Good luck. Hillary16. An indispensable lady.

    July 29, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    smith

    @DM4O-Clinton and Moore`s comments were made in the present when they had already obtained wealth and fame. Romney was talking about his past and wasn`t trying to run away from his wealth.
    ------------------------------
    You really need to work on your historical re-writes. I believe Romney's words were in the present tense, something like ... "I'm just like you. I'm unemployed, too." "I am" hardly sounds like he's talking about his past, does it?

    July 29, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. tom l

    Rudy NYC

    "Liberals will go nuts and point to phony repubs and their "family values". The opposite is true of throngs like this. They are all phony. Can't you just admit that?"
    ---------
    Fail. You're projecting your own reactions, what you might do in the same situation, onto others. BTW, what "throngs" are you talking about? Why do so many of your posts sound like the tail end of a conversation?
    ========
    Rudy, you are so boring and monotonous. It's the same drivel from you day in and day out. This is why you have jumped the shark and are just irrelevant. You are tiresome and worn out and I'm just over having any conversations with you.
    I will say that this is an article about Hillary Clinton so I'm guessing that is why smith made his comments. I believe I have seen him poke at repubs and their family values phoniness, as well, but I could be wrong. No doubt he would agree with me on that and the analogy is perfectly relevant and makes sense. But, of course, you must point to something irrelevant and make some attack at me about "projecting my own reactions". So, indeed, I make fun of repubs for their "family values" transgressions and mock that phoniness just like I mock someone like Hillary or any dem as being "just a regular person" when she is nothing of the sort. Same phoniness. And I meant to type "things" instead of "throngs". Didn't think it was so difficult to recognize that it was a typo.

    So just keep up with your mindless, same stuff every day comments that have no relevance and foster zero discussion. Good for you because it sure seems to make you feel good about yourself. As for me? I just can't take your auto-pilot remarks any longer.

    July 29, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Smitty

    Hilly is no different than Obammy, 1st response is to lie, its sad. Remember Obammy when asked your favorite food? He said broccoli to a kid. Point being 1st response was a lie, typical

    July 29, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    smith

    @DM4O-Clinton and Moore`s comments were made in the present when they had already obtained wealth and fame. Romney was talking about his past and wasn`t trying to run away from his wealth
    -----------------------------------------------------
    smith do not prevaricate.
    Romney made that statement to a group of uneployed men in 2012 when he was campaigning.
    He was quite, quite wealthy at the time smith.

    July 29, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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