April 11th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Clinton laughs off Colombia questions


Watch Clinton laugh off a question on Colombia.

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Hillary Clinton used her trademark laugh Thursday to deflect a question about the $800,000 her husband earned in 2005 giving speeches for a Bogota-based group that supports the Colombia free trade agreement - the same trade deal she currently opposes.

Asked by CNN if those earnings represented a conflict of interest given that she has dipped into her family's pocketbook to pay campaign bills, Clinton threw up her hands and laughed loudly for several seconds.

"How many angels dance on the head of the pin?," she responded, continuing to giggle. "I have really, uh, nothing to ... I mean, how do you answer that?"

The New York senator explained there are different sides to the argument over trade, and re-emphasized her own opposition to the trade deal, assailing the Colombian government's "outrageous" record of "targeting labor leaders."

"I am against the Colombia free trade deal," she said. "It doesn't matter who talks to me. It doesn't matter any circumstances. I have been against it. I am against it. I will be against it absent the kind of changes in behavior that I have been calling for from the Colombian government."

Earlier in the press conference, describing her husband's advocacy for the trade deal, Clinton said: "Everyone is free to express their opinion."

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Pennsylvania
soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. Bridgette

    I think this lady is a fraud. I also believe the longer she stays in the race the more of her mess is going to come out. According to her own schedules she had several parties for Nafta. Then just three years ago she profits to the tune of almost a million dollars again with something she is supposedly against. People in America have lost so much of their respect and dignity over these so called free trade deals and the only thing she can think to do is laugh. Sounds let them eat cake to me.

    April 10, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  2. unions are not stupid

    she seems to think everything is a joke these days not realizing the only joke is chances of winning our great state on the 22. You played us for fools!!! I was all with you to the end but after all these misspeaks I mean lies! lets call them what they are. I not only will no longer be voting for you but have lost all respect for you! Notice that in this she laughed away the question. Of course there is a very big conflict of interest!!! the Columbian are indirectly financing her campaign. Just because I am a teamster with just a meager high school diploma and only make 18.50 a hr does not make me dumb enough to buy your lies anymore go away!!!!

    Obama 08

    May not be the change we can believe in but he certainly is far more trustworthy than you. Shame on you Hillary for lying to us.

    April 10, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  3. ltd1974

    Here we go Hillary! Just answer the question with truth. Your lead is slipping by the more every day.

    April 10, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |



    April 10, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  5. Joe, York Beach, Maine

    I am so sick of this woman. It isn't a laugh...it's a cackle. C'mon people...wake up and see this for what it is...Clinton laughing at the fact that she makes more money and that she's making deals to support NAFTA. She's laughing at US! Can't you see her for what she is? What is it going to take for America to wake up? A movement the size of Barak Obama's.

    April 10, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. Laurie Johnston

    Then why can Penn?

    April 10, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  7. john williams san diego, ca.

    well, cackle-cackle is better than coming out lying.

    April 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  8. NH Mom

    Hillary – you go girl!! All the way to the White House.

    April 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  9. Laurie Johnston

    Then why demote Penn for his views and activities?

    April 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  10. James, Wichita, KS

    I do not think this is a laughing matter. The people in the midwest are losing their jobs because of these trade deals so here is my plea...

    My Plea to Pennsylvanians

    As a Pennsylvanian you have the unique opportunity to save the Democratic Party from more bleeding and giving us the BEST chance to win the White House this Fall.

    As much as many folks feel that Hillary is a strong candidate it is time to think about winning. Dragging this contest out, contrary to what some think, will not help our party or the final nominee. It will cause deeper and more severe wounds as the battle is more and more divisive.

    As an Obama supporter, I am going to attempt to refrain from pointing out Hillary's weaknesses and start talking about the issues we care about most... the economy, heath care, Iraq, etc. As long as Hillary hangs on with such a tiny chance of winning, we will be talking about snips and snipes; the Mark Penns, out of context quotes, Bills latest contradiction, and other general non-productive points.

    To truly get to contrasting what John McCain has to offer with the promise of great things from Democrats, we need to consolidate our efforts.

    I hope that Pennsylvanians will take the opportunity the vote for Obama so we can get on with the General and beat McCain in the Fall.


    April 10, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  11. Janet, OK

    Ha, ha, ha, lie, lie, ha, ha, ha, lie, lie.

    She's a liar, plain and simple.

    April 10, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. Reality

    Rhetorical question. Look under "conflict of interest" in the dictionary and you'll find Hillary.

    April 10, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  13. When will it end?

    I used to support her. She has lost my vote. Not because I think Obama is the savior, but because she clearly isn't.

    Smug. Disgusting. I can't wait to see her use that laugh after she loses the nomination, for it will be exactly this sort of thing that has caused her to lose it.

    Answer the question! It's valid. Too bad as a candidate she no longer is.

    April 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  14. Anna

    She had a similar reaction to Mike Gravels questions about the Iraq war and her stand on invading Iran at a previous debate.
    She laughed for 2 or 3 minutes while poor Mike stood there wondering what was so funny about millions of people losing their lives because of her poor judgement.
    Hillary makes a decision and millions lose their jobs or their lives and she laughs.
    What a nut.

    April 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  15. Cami

    These are Clinton's words regarding the Candadian "NAFTA" issue with the Obama campaign:

    “If you come to Ohio and both give speeches that are very critical of NAFTA and you send out misleading and false information about my position regarding NAFTA and then we find out that your chief economic adviser has gone to a foreign government and basically done the old ‘wink, wink, don’t pay attention, this is just political rhetoric.' I think that raises serious questions,” Clinton told reporters.
    She suggested that if reporters were to substitute her name for Obama’s name in this story that she would have received greater scrutiny.

    “Just ask yourself,” Clinton said. “If some of my advisers had been having private meetings with foreign governments basically saying 'ignore what I’m saying because its only political rhetoric,' I think it raises serious questions.”
    So, when she is asked those "serious questions" she refers to, she cackles and make a joke about it, just like she did on Leno with the fake "Bosnia sniper fire" fairy tale???? Why the double standard???

    April 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  16. Jack

    Obama's "sexual" comment toward the woman in Indiana is much more relevant news b/c it questions Obama's judgment....

    Hillary Clinton made it clear that she opposes the trade deal in it's current format

    April 10, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  17. White, Female Boomer for Obama

    "How do you answer that Question?? Try a little honesty!!

    April 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  18. Now for Obama

    I live in Dallas, TX and there are countless amounts of different Anti-Hillary groups. Many have previously voted for her, but know they detest her. People really don't trust her around here. Thousands of people have switched to Obama. If she gets the Democratic nomination or even is on the ticket or has even a cabinet position in the White House, then I don't know anyone who would vote Dem in the Fall.

    April 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  19. Jenn

    Such a ridiculous question. Hillary you are the strongest candidate. We need you in the White House!

    Hillary '08.

    April 10, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  20. Sean

    Good for CNN for calling her out! Took her a few seconds and she still couldn't come up with a lie.

    April 10, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  21. Sean

    Good for CNN for calling her out! Took her a few seconds and she still couldn't come up with a lie.

    April 10, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  22. Yvonne, CT

    Everyone knows that wha is good for us, is never good enough for a Clinton. She lives one way, and expects us to live another way.

    I don't like or trust her. It's easy for her to lie to us and laugh everything off. Everything is a joke with this woman. I can't believe New Yorkers didn't see through her facade.

    After the primaries, no more Hillary. The next time she writes a book, it should be called "Memoirs of a Liar".

    April 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  23. Chris in Va.

    ANOTHER SCANDAL, only to laugh it off 'eh Hillary? Have you no morals, have you no shame, have you no conscience?

    April 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  24. Lydia

    Hahahaha! While Hillary says she is against the Colombian free trade deal, it did not stop her from depositing that $800,000 into their bank account. However, it will be up to the voters to decide how they want to read this obvious conflict of interest.

    An $800,000 payout is a lot more than just the freedom to express one's opinion.

    April 10, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. Black Man for Hillary

    When Obama laughs off the "silly" questions about his NAFTA snafu, Rev. Wright, Rezko, primaries in FL and MI, people think he's being "oh so witty."

    Bill Clinton gives speeches for money. Were his speeches about Hillary wanting a free trade agreement with Columbia? NO.

    April 10, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
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