June 29th, 2014
12:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama brushes off clamor over Clinton’s ‘broke’ comments

(CNN) - President Obama defended Hillary Clinton in the face of criticism recently that she is out of touch with average Americans, based on her comments about the Clintons’ financial security.

"She is in public service because she cares about the same folks that I talked to here today," Obama said from Minneapolis, where he held a town hall meeting. The interview, taped Thursday during the president’s trip, aired on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning.

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As Clinton has traveled the country to promote her memoir, “Hard Choices,” she has discussed life post-White House and said her family was “dead broke” after her husband left the Oval Office in 2001.

Poll: Majority think Hillary Clinton can relate to average Americans

Conservative groups, which see Clinton as one of the biggest potential threats in the 2016 presidential race, have highlighted her comments as evidence that she is out of touch with the daily concerns of Americans.

Although the Clintons did leave the White House in debt due to enormous legal fees, they also walked away with a sizable government pension and the promise of massive book advances and speaking gigs worth millions.

Obama said all the hubbub is to be expected.

“As soon as you jump back into the spotlight - in a more explicitly political way - you’re going to be flyspecked like this,” the President said. “She's accustomed to it. Over time I don't think it's going to make a big difference."

With the presidential election still a couple of years away, Obama brushed off concerns that Clinton’s stumble could hurt her chances.

“I think that Hillary has been to this rodeo a bunch of times.”

Related: Obama: Boehner's lawsuit is 'a stunt'

Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton • President Obama
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Paul

    2016 is looking to be a pretty crappy year either way.

    Most likely the Democrats will win the white house, as from what I have witnessed it is not the battle field of idea's that win elections but who can throw the most mud and control language...

    However, it doesn't really matter it looks like our two choices will be

    Clinton: A proven compulsive liar (100% proven over and over, the sniper comment is just embarrassing)

    Christie/Romney/Jeb: No better in any way, Christie seems to like to use government too to silence his opponents, Romney doesn't even consider half of the country to be relevant and Jeb is well Jeb.

    June 29, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. JE

    I am curious as to the definition of dead broke. Does that include the government pension for life or. . . . Maybe it didn't start right away. . . .nope, that's not it. Wouldn't be a rodeo without the clowns.

    June 29, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Joeseph Eclaire

    Mr. President let's get real here OK. Even the people in that audience we're hand picked. You and her as well as the Republicans are so out of touch with average America it's pathetic.

    We have nothing but lawyers up there and some very rich. Now some of us realize it was lawyers who created America and the 'we the people' spiel has always been just clever writing.
    We only vote to make fools out of ourselves.

    Politics as a career is a disgrace to Democracy, of course America doesn't live under a 'real Democracy' but rather a Republic much like ancient Rome, and like ancient Rome America is on it's way down the sewer.

    In less than 20 years we will look no better than India, which is an island of wealth surrounded by slums.

    June 29, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. Henriette

    Anyone who thinks Obama has forgotten the Clintons' vicious, race-baiting campaign against him in 2008 is very much mistaken. Everything nice-nice that Obama says about her is pretty tepid, of the "for a fat girl she doesn't sweat much" variety. Not that his support would do her any good for 2016 anyway.

    June 29, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. Ken

    "....been to this rodeo a bunch of times". That's because the Clinton's got to where they are by lying, cheating, stealing, extorting, accomplice to (sounds like "hurder"), adulterers etc.... Gotta love the DNC, they are perfectly fine with social security running out of funds but will ensure the entitlement checks for 50+ million guaranteed voters go out every month. I'm still hopeful that one of these days those receiving aid will realize which party it is that has their best interests in mind. Until then, the DNC will do whatever they can to ensnare more and more people into the welfare trap.

    June 29, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Hogarth

    If this is the strongest argument the Republicans have against her, she will win the election if she runs. This is pathetic. Republicans, if you cannot run on your platform, at least have the decency to admit it.

    June 29, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. davecu

    It seems that neither 'GET' it!

    June 29, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. bisusinha

    Clinton's are rich alright, but the they earned from their compassion filled speeches. Their popularity is from any corrupt activities, but their attitude to look after general population of the world not just USA. We don't have any other politician with such attitude. It is true that good work pays off, that's exactly happened to Clintons.

    June 29, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. The Fact of the Matter

    Obama: Clinton comment no big deal: Yeah – what difference does it make?

    June 29, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. don in albuquerque

    Much ado about nothing. I have no doubt they were probably in some dire financial straits after Bill left the White House. Having to defend himself against Whitewater charges (nothing there), the Girl with the Presidential Knee-pads (her words), I am certain he had some really hefty attorney bills. Add too that Hilary's failed run at president and wahlaa....you could be in some real trouble. But thanks to the mighty rule of Capitalism they were able to pull themselves up by the boot straps and succeed, and come back. You would think they would be a GOTP bedtime story.

    June 29, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Eagle0841

    We get if now. It is only conservatives who make controversial comments that are a "big deal". Thanks for clearing that up Obama. /s

    June 29, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Jeff

    @Chris. I guess your were asleep to see the last Republican Primary for President? lol

    June 29, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. GTS58

    One corrupt hand feeds the other when it comes to the Clinton's and the Obama's!

    June 29, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Tommy G

    Slick Willy was an experienced enough liar/politician1 to pull off the "I feel your pain." line. Hillary on the the other hand has lead the life of a kept and sheltered Queen. She isn't a natural politician and can't fake being normal because has never led a normal life. To her it is all about Hillary, protecting what she has and getting more power and prestige and money. Let's just call it what it realy is, Hillary Clinton Inc.

    June 29, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Brian Smith

    HA! "She is in public service because she cares about the same folks that I talked to here today," best joke ever. She is in public service to maximize their financial holdings. I know hundreds of thousands of people care about other people and yet they don't go into 'public service'

    June 29, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. The law

    So true, worth repeating, These are two of the biggest clowns sense the dawn of mankind.. Like someone else said, the American people are paying all her medical coverage and other crap for the rest of her life..

    June 29, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Thomas

    The GOP, will never look at there mistakes .

    And that is sad .

    June 29, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. Yeager

    the entire ruling class from cities and counties to states and the feds is a corrupt bunch in it mostly to grow their own wealth and entitlements. The truly guilty are those that elect these thieves.

    June 29, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. Cynthia

    Liberals are some of the wealthiest people I know. They couldn't care less about helping the economic poor. They just want to build their positions of power and live a life of power!

    June 29, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. furianxo

    public service that allows you to abuse your position and make millions... yea, they do it because they "care."

    June 29, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. barky

    Lie,cheat,steal. The progressive way. The end justifies the means. Yikes.

    June 29, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. dsangiovanni

    Doesn't matter what they say, doesn't matter if they block this president 100 times. We know they prefer their agenda and not the what is best for this country. We know what are they doing, and they will pay. We know who is really disconnected from the majority of the people of this country..... Hillary – Warren 2016....2024.....!!

    June 29, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. stingerhp

    Didn't expect anything short of "brushing it off" where O is concerned.. Birds of a feather flock together..

    June 29, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Kman

    She's in public service for the power and wealth, not for the people. The people are just used to get what she wants.

    June 29, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. Rick Thwaites

    Politicians are in it for one purpose and one purpose only: Self enrichment through money, power and status. The Clintons got a taste of that in the 1990's and their addiction is driving them to find more.

    Its time to recruit a middle-of-the world candidate with a successful private sector track record who is not becoming to PAC donations or special interests. I nominate Michael Bloomberg who has already made his money and who has a stellar track record in both the private and public sector.

    June 29, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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