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. j

    Wow! Talk bout 'being in bed' with the lobbyists!

    April 10, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  2. david

    Hillary's soluton is laughter when it comes to a difficult question. husband supports and wife opposses and may be they call it political tactics. actually Bill finished his Ph. D. in political tactics. anyway this is a contest. we can make fun of our feloow democrats. domocrats can change this country. whoever is our nominee, I will vote. No bush legacy in white house.

    April 10, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  3. Chavis, North Carolina

    Stop giggling, did your husband make 800,000 from a NAFTA deal that you say you don't support? Why not get rid of it Hillary, you've made your money already, to h...l with the rest of us. The reason is because you will say and do anything to be president. You are a liar.

    Obama 08

    April 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  4. Zach

    She can laugh her way back to the Senate in 2009. People are tired of her misleading and her misspeaking.

    Obama '08

    April 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  5. Ben, AZ

    Hey Hillary, Got Truth?

    Nope, I didn't think so.

    April 10, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  6. Ben, AZ

    Let's rename November 4th Obama Day. I can't wait to vote for him and am so excited him my president.

    Oh happy day...oh happy day...November 4th.

    Obama 08

    April 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. Ratgurl

    There she goes, laughing again at a legitimate concern. Is this how she handles getting busted with her hand in the cookie jar? We should all start noting when she giggles in response to a tough question....

    April 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  8. unions are not stupid

    Oh my this is sick as a PA resident I am ashamed of her to think this is a laughing matter when we are losing are jobs truly sad!!!!!

    I don't know about the rest of PA but i know the wool has been lifted from my eyes lets see how far you poll rating go down, while here negative rating go up.

    Come on Mr. governor we voted you in and now you too if you continue to support this lier you will go down also. and if you continue to support here I hope you do!

    Pissed off Pa union white male now for Obama as I see the best of the worst emerging and that always seems to be are choice in November the best of the worst!

    April 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. Arizona

    what a liar. this lady will do all it take to win this nomination. she is very close to her husban, then this a double speaking. you cannot oppse something at the same time you are earning an incmoe for giving speeches. because she and her husban have a joint bank account.

    April 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  10. Mary - PA

    Okay, let me get this straight. From what I understand, Clinton opposes the trade deal because of how Colombia treats labor unions. I have yet to hear her say she opposes it because of the unfair advantage it gives to Colombia.

    More Clinton double speak if you ask me.

    April 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  11. Filipe da Silva

    It's all in the hands of the Pennsylvania people:

    Please, vote for Obama, put an end to this Clinton nightmare and start a general campaign to defeat McCain.
    The world wouldn't stand another Republican president.

    As president, Hillary would just be another joke (after the Bush joke).
    She has no credibility.

    Vote for Obama.

    April 10, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. Bill

    Woh, thats an easy way to do, laugh all the way to the bank while those rust belt workers laugh at her jokes in misery

    April 10, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  13. carmen

    Living off the avails of her Colombia free trade lobbyist husband while proclaiming to be against it is hillarious. I am busting a gut myself. She is right about situations having different sides and between them the Clintons have them all covered. haha haha ahah

    April 10, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  14. gary


    April 10, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  15. jeremy

    so let's get this straight her former chief strategist and her husband have collected millions from groups that support the Colombia Trade deal, but she doesn't?

    OK. I believe that as much as I believe in her Sniper fire story.

    keep laughing HRC, your campaign is almost over.

    April 10, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  16. Carol McFarlane

    Amazing that she is allowed to get away with a 'laugh' – she would never allow Obama to live such a thing down, and she and Bill are 800,000 ahead on this deal? How can we allow such behavior in this country? It's downright underhand and 'un-American'

    April 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  17. Vignesh

    Laughter is a great way to answer a question like that!

    No, not really. It would really benefit if we learned why there is this disagreement. Obviously, a husband and a wife can disagree. But, its rather odd that she is completely "against" it, but Bill got 800K! Bill seems to be really active in her Campaign as well, so that 800k does mean something, basically its like a huge campaign staff member opposes supports the deal. In fact, its like the 2nd most active Campaign staff member supports the deal.

    April 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  18. Pat

    I am confused as to what Senator Clinton's position really is concerning trade! but it is more confusing what the role of Bill Clinton in a prospective White House as First Spouse would be....most especially if they disagree on an issue as they supposedly do on Columbian trade?

    How would a President Hillary Clinton deal with her very outspoken spouse and could he really take a back seat to her?

    April 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  19. DB, San Francisco

    Serious question met by hysterical laughter? Am I the only one freaked out when she does that (this isn't the first time!)? It actually sends a chill up my spine which heads back down again when I think of the situations as President that might be met with that cackle instead of a measured and appropriate response...

    April 10, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  20. marty from Indiana

    Pathetic. So she is against the deal but uses the money Bill earns to finance her campaign. That is clearly a conflict of interest. If she were in court, she would be required to recuse herself from any participation. She should recuse herself from the campaign. I just hate that phony laugh of hers when she is caught and trying to buy time to come up with a answer (a lie of course). We don't need any more phony liars in Washington, especially in the White House.

    April 10, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. Alex H

    Ummmm... wow

    April 10, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  22. Kelly

    Hillary is a compulsive liar. She does not care about the american people. She will lie to get her way. She lied about a women receiving health care and almost being shot under sniper fire. You cannot trust anything she says. If you vote for Hillary than you think it is okay to vote for a liar.

    April 10, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  23. Alex H

    The 'trademark laugh' is actually a tell sign. That's how you know she is or is about to lie.

    April 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  24. Sean

    So it is ok to take outrageous sums of money from people that you disagree with? That definitely screams conflict of interest...

    April 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  25. Chuck in Oregon

    Yes. That is a very good question. How does one answer that? Your against NAFTA, but your husband made 800K supporting it. Very interesting. Laughing about it, and making a joke about it (how many angles dance on the head of the pin) is not the answer you want to be out there that is for sure. Wow, this is not funny at all, it is a serious matter. This causes me to question what was really know about MR Penn's work as well as your true position on NAFTA. This could have been advoided by simply comming clean and up front from the beginning instead of trying to hide it. When you hide try to hide something like this it hurts 100 times worse. I think maybe you just closed the door in Pennsylvania against yourself. I really do not get it, blowing this off with a laugh, its like committing political suiside (SP).

    April 10, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13