November 15th, 2007
10:15 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton on gender: 'I'm not exploiting anything'

Sen. Clinton denied that she had tried to play what pundits have called the "gender card" since an earlier Democratic presidential debate.

(CNN) - The Democratic frontrunner for the presidential nomination Thursday night swiftly rejected accusations that she may have been "exploiting gender as a political issue" through recent remarks about running for the presidency as a woman.

"I am not exploiting anything at all," Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York declared at the debate.

"I'm not playing, as some people say, the gender card here in Las Vegas, I'm just trying to play the winning card. I understand very well that people are not attacking me because I'm a woman. They're attacking me because I'm ahead."

The remarks drew applause throughout the room.

When pressed about her recent remark at her alma mater, Wellesley College, about how the school helped prepare her for the "all boys' club of presidential politics," Clinton responded, "It is clear, I think, from women's experiences, that from time to time, there may be some impediments. And it has been my goal, over the course of my lifetime, to be part of this great movement of progress that includes all of us but has particularly been significant to me as a woman."

She noted that while she is aiming "toward the highest, hardest glass ceiling," she is not "running because I'm a woman. I'm running because I think I'm the best qualified and experienced person to hit the ground running."

Clinton added that as she travels the country campaigning, some older women tell her they were born before a woman could vote and add, "I want to live long enough to see a woman in the White House."

Asked whether any of them believe Clinton is playing a gender card, none of the other candidates on stage seemed to jump at the chance. Since former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina was given the floor, he spoke only generally, saying, "I think that every single candidate on this stage should be held to exactly the same standard" and that voters should understand the differences.

Related video: The gender issue

- CNN's Josh Levs

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Amy, Seattle, WA

    "On another note, why was Clinton given two to three minutes to talk about being a woman? It seemed like a lot of wasted time that could have been given to anyone else.
    Posted By Max, Boston, MA"

    Because 50% of voters are also women? I want to hear a woman perspective on economy, education, health, society, war, etc.. Is it clear or not?

    November 16, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The gender card has always and continues to be played against women in the corporate world. If you follow the statistic reports on how many women have broken the "glass ceiling", so few in comparison to men and their position is short lived. Additonally, gender plays a part on a females pay check vs. a males.

    November 16, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Ben

    "I'm not exploiting anything"

    HAAAAAAAAA! Good one.

    November 16, 2007 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  4. margaret, Houston, Texas

    Senator Hillary,
    I listened to the debates, you were very confident in yourself and you stood firm for what you belief, you have all it takes to be the next President of United States. I'm proud of you.

    November 17, 2007 04:55 am at 4:55 am |
  5. Anonymous, Hampton, VA

    "Ms. Clinton was awesome last night! 2008!"


    Then, obviously CNN's biased debate in favor of Hillary worked. It is a shame there are people that don't recognize that.

    November 17, 2007 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  6. Anonymous, Williamsburg, VA

    HILLARY, YOU EXPLOIT EVERYTHING to obtain your goals.

    Google "Hillary Exposed" with an open mind. Something's fishy here, but I'm sure the Clinton diehards will cite "Swift Boating" in her defense. Just how many people have been exploited and trampled by the Clintons?

    November 17, 2007 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
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