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. Mr. Izz

    Yep, lies don't matter. Obama is apparently speaking from experience. It won't ruin anything for Clinton. The media will defend her to the death and will do anything to make sure she is the next president. You can bet they will conveniently forget that anything like this happened when she announces her run for president. If a Republican were to do the same thing, it would be the top news story for the next two years. All we would ever hear is that the Republican candidate is a liar, is out of touch, and doesn't care about Americans. When Hillary does it, it is a gaffe, a mistake, and all is forgiven. This is why the world doesn't like us, thinks we're pathetic, and why we no longer trust our political leaders.

    June 29, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. elgatoysuperra

    Kind of nice that the nut-base will now have two things they can say – Benghazi and Broke. Doubles their meaningless arsenal, but unfortunately not their IQ's.

    June 29, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Adam

    wouldnt think of brushing it off if it was a republican would you buddy

    June 29, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. john

    Yea, what do the Clintons know about the average American.........? Certainly a lot more than the loser Romoney did/does will ever. Bill Clinton came from nothing and worked for everything he acheived, as did Hillary. Their father(s) did not own a car company.

    June 29, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. herchato

    The wealth distribution is already done and it went to the top one percent and now they are doing all they can to keep it that way.

    June 29, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. Ctrygrl

    In terms of her understanding after she had been in the White House for 8 years, I am sure it was like being broke. But both she and her husband have made a lot of money in the 14 years since he left office. So did Ronald Reagan. Neither Bush needed to make money. The fact remains both Bill and Hillary grew up lower middle class, they had to work for what they got. Hillary is nowhere nearly as out of touch with mainstream America as anyone the Republicans have.

    June 29, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. alpeaston

    Sour grapes! Hillary will be the next president (if she runs) and the Republicans damn well know it. They will try ever dirty trick in the book to degrade her but the real problem is that compared to the type of candidates that the GOP has been putting up over the last decade she still look damn good! Example, Mitt Romney who was an arrogant and completely out of touch mega-millionaire who has never had a financial problem is this life! I'll take Hillary's comment about being dead broke over Romney's constant harangue about the "evil poor" who, supposedly, rob this country blind (as opposed to the corporate giants like him who get constant government welfare – tax breaks – while reaping billions in profit)! Go back to you tea party rally and KKK meetings!

    June 29, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. jeremy

    They're all rich, aren't they. Who cares. I hope Hillary runs so she can tear the GOP another one, once again. The GOP has a major problem, the Tea Party. Not to mention Norquist and Limbaugh. Unless they (Tea Party) are extinguished, there's not much hope for middle-of-the-road GOPers.

    June 29, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. BO

    This is understandable considering Obama actually repeatedly stated "If you like your plan you can keep your plan."

    June 29, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. Sam M

    It's just a practice lie.

    June 29, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Susan

    I can see him brushing off the comment, after all it's his and michelles turn at the gravy train next.

    June 29, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. paul

    I agree they both have the same goal. Live off the taxpayer.

    June 29, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. amazed2

    Do republicans do anything other than sit and make negative comments? Anything? Do nothing arm chair politicians and nothing more. Ridiculous, Who votes for these do nothings?

    June 29, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Joe B

    Yes President Obama and Hillary Clinton are elitists but, so are the people in the other party. Hypocrites abound on both sides of the isle. The Democrats want a totalitarian socialist government and the Republicans want unrestrained greedy big business. Blind looney power hungry partisanship.

    June 29, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. trueb0b

    The only people upset about this also use the words Benghazi or liberal at least once every day for the last....who cares how long. They were never voting for her or anyone in her party and they are never going to get anyone to agree with them that doesn't already.

    June 29, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Diogenese

    Choices at the polls are getting easier and easier. Thats why Obama is importing more and more voters to counter those already here.

    June 29, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. iceload

    Obama must have gotten the word the corporations decided Hillary will take his place.

    June 29, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. Daniel

    I don't remember Romney ever trying to say he was broke and not like real millionaires because he had to work for his money...She said it, she is out of touch and you people don't care...First non-white President with no experience...Check, First POOR female President with no accomplishments to her name...check

    June 29, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. Truth

    Of course not, demoncrats are bold face liars and spinners

    June 29, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Relica777

    Defending Clinton is really about defending imperialism, capitalism, corruption, economic slavery and Empire. I would say the same of the GOP as well. Shame on the greedy, wealthy, corporate elite. It's the system that needs to change.

    June 29, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. Johnny 5

    If I had the Clinton's money, I would burn mine.

    June 29, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. j007bond

    If the Clinton's don't know how to handle their own finances, how can we expect Hillary to know how to handle the tax payers money during budget negotiations. IF she becomes president.

    June 29, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. liberal disease

    Obama lined his pockets before he ever took office as well with those 2 fictional books.Do these people really think they
    understand everyday americans? because everyday americans are laughing at them! all books written by politicians should go to charities…then of course very few would write them.

    June 29, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  24. Peace

    Hillary is a racist, don't forget what she said in 2008. She kept on tell us Obama is a black, and blacks cannot lead the country. She is a bad human. Her talk about "broke" proves again.

    June 29, 2014 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  25. conoclast

    If I were an in-the-bankers'-pocket republican I'd be a LOT more scared of Elizabeth Warren than of Hillary. 2016 is still a long ways off and a lot can & will happen to change our thinking, the tea party's fixation on endless campaigning notwithstanding. If the American electorate has any memory at all the midterm election will finally see the tea-baggers kicked out of Congress. If it doesn't then we might just as well cede the rest of the government to the bankers and the too-big-to-fail clique!

    June 29, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
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