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. Sean

    How does she not realize that she demeans people when she acts like this. Laughing at a legitimate question is just spiteful.

    April 10, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  2. joyo

    come on pennsylvania, the country is counting on you to settle this once and for all send the Clintons to Columbia

    April 10, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  3. Art

    She is one hundred percent correct. It would be disengenious of her to say otherwise. Unlike Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton's actions speak volumes and the time she has spent as a Senator speaks for her.

    April 10, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |

    Well, Hillary, you can keep laughing all the way to the bank and
    move to Dubai. Please, spare us your cackle, you laughter and
    your voice. Elton John likes you because he doesn't have to make
    the decision and be responsible for his vote. Did Elton's concert
    bring in enough to pay for the deficit in you Campaign funds? If so
    pay the Insurance Premium to insure your Campaign staffers. Do
    they know that they are not currently insured? Can't quit now, Hillary
    you would be in the whole and you and Bill would have to fork out
    millions from your personal funds to catch up with the mounting
    bills. Have the vendor in Ohio been paid?

    GOOD News today for Obama. Colin Powell, a very respected
    political mind is going to endores Obama. Did you hear that
    Isn't that funny! That is the funniest thing I have heard all day.
    Now maybe, Murtha will change his mind too. They will all be
    walking away, unless you call and threaten them!!! Go ahead,
    Hillary, threaten Murtha at 3 a.m. in the morning. He won't

    Hillary is through. Donate to her.

    Obamaman from day 1. I never faltered.

    April 10, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  5. kani


    April 10, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  6. nom

    Like the popular saying what goes around comes around I guess the kitchen sink has found its spot in hillary's kitchen.

    April 10, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  7. Autin

    Another Hillary's hypocrisy. By their "fruits" ye shall known them.

    April 10, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  8. James

    I just lost my cousin in Iraq. Let's laugh Hillary!

    April 10, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  9. marty from Indiana

    Hillary went on Leno last week and joked about her telling lies. And she laughed about being under sniper fire. Does she think it is funny to lie to the American people? Does she think it is funny that our boys die in Iraq every day from sniper fire?! There are some things which just aren't funny. Our boys deserve a commander-in-chief who doesn't think their deaths are funny!

    April 10, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  10. James

    I just lost my cousin in Iraq. Let's laugh Hillary!

    April 10, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  11. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Hillary is a Lawyer so what she says is the Truth("LawyerTruth"). Besides she cannot get rid of Bill or hide him on the confrence call like she can Penn! The dems being against Free Trade is just a political bumper sticker to please the Unions. They may not want free trade so they can keep the dopehead contingency happy since farmers may grow legal crops raising the cost of illegal drugs?

    April 10, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  12. andrew

    she can laugh her way out of the race.

    April 10, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  13. CNN is twisted!

    Really funny, Hillary. How about you not have a joint income because I am sure that $800,000 to Bill from Colombia really felt nice in your wallet? Do you denounce and reject or are you still laughing because I am not.

    No more Bushes or Clintons. No wonder she is running for President. She can bank just like her hubby when her term is over.

    April 10, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |

    Did you hear that, Hillary!!! Texans, above are sorry and they detest
    you now. Countless and thousands are so sorry they voted for you.
    That message was the above from Dallas, Texans saying Texans
    are so sorry.

    Obama 2008 or NO ONE.

    April 10, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  15. Ponder this

    what a sense of humor.........better than another lie

    April 10, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  16. Wendy

    Good God. People seem to think it's a crime that she's changed her mind on NAFTA. Why is it so difficult to believe that she and Bill can have differences of opinion?? How is that any different than what goes on in your houses???

    As for Mark Penn's idiotic move to talk with the Colombians about a trade deal, it was for his own employer....not Hillary. BIG difference there. I know all you Obama maniacs and Big Media want to make it one and the same, but it isn't.

    April 10, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  17. Fraser

    This is ridiculous–of course it is a conflict of interest! She can't claim to be against a trade deal, when she has $800,000 in her bank account because Bill Clinton has been advocating for that very same deal. If she is really against the trade deal, then she and her husband should return the $800,000. Too many hard-working Americans have lost jobs, because jobs are being shipped overseas. I suppose that if you are the Clintons and you have $109 million, then it's something to laugh about. But for the rest of us who work hard everyday to earn a living and raise a family, it is no laughing matter!

    April 10, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  18. William - North Carolina

    She is a joke!
    This is what the Clinton's do when caught... they laugh, spin and/or get in the "victim position" in order to blame someone else. Do we really need this in the White House?

    April 10, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  19. Ann Marie

    Why don't Hillary just leave!!! Couldn't believe at one time I considered voting for her. Hillary is a fraud.... more lies than truths come out of this lady's mouth. Hillary and Bill– please do us all a favor- take a vacation and don't come back.

    Obama or even McCain!!

    April 10, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  20. MD

    Now that Hillary has given the people of America to express their opinions, here's my two cents worth:

    Pack up and go home. You are BAD for the Democratic Party, and you are WORSE for America.

    You say anything, do anything, and lie about everything just to win the nomination.

    When your husband returns the $800,000, you may have something to say. Until then shut up and let intelligent and honest people talk.

    April 10, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. Ron R

    Keep talking Hillary.......can't you see no one trusts a word you say anymore?. You have been exposed for what you are..a fraud, by your own doing. Thank you for waking up America. PA please end this fiasco!!

    April 10, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  22. John from Las Vegas

    Hillary is done. Dems...stick a fork in her already and rally around the next president.

    OBAMA '08....PEACE '09

    April 10, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  23. SA in OO

    This was a dumb question. Here is the question that you reporters should be asking.

    Mark Penn's conflict of interest with your stated position on NAFTA and as a lobbyist for the Columbian government has only recently become widely publicized in the press. However, the inherent conflict with having a lobbiest represent your campaign and concurrently represent other nations was well know to you and to your staff at the outset of the campaign.

    If elected, could we expect to see a Clinton White House similarly staffed with people who have strong financial interests that are diametrically opposed to the campaign platforms on which your are asking to be elected?

    If elected, what will your husbands position be as in his travels, when asked about NAFTA? Will he represent his own views about NAFTA or yours?

    April 10, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  24. me

    The issue is finding a candidate who can tell the truth.
    Hillary is no economist. She is not trained to be an economist, so the issue is "why is she or bill commenting on this matter". The answer is to be found in Hillaries book of yesteryear, not in her words of today.

    April 10, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  25. Nick

    The thing is Hillary, If you are running with Clinton name and take credit for it, then you should take ills for it too. There are families who were devasted by these deals and lost jobs to columbia and that is the point here Hillary. You lied in ohio and people here in PA are not ready to vote for a liar!

    April 10, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
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