Hillary Clinton: I Am Not Mitt Romney. And Voters Know That.

In a new interview, the former secretary of State said any comparison to the former presidential candidate is a “false equivalency.”

National Journal
Dustin Volz
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Dustin Volz
June 25, 2014, 2:02 p.m.

Hil­lary Clin­ton is still try­ing to down­play the sig­ni­fic­ance of re­cent gaffes about her per­son­al wealth, which Re­pub­lic­an crit­ics have pounced on as evid­ence that the pre­sumed 2016 pres­id­en­tial front-run­ner is “out of touch.”

“I shouldn’t have said the five or so words that I said, but my in­art­ful use of those few words doesn’t change who I am,” Clin­ton told PBS News­Hour‘s Gwen Ifill on Wed­nes­day, re­fer­ring to com­ments she made that she and her hus­band Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House. She later tried to cla­ri­fy her com­ments by say­ing the couple was dif­fer­ent from oth­ers who are “truly well off” and don’t pay “or­din­ary in­come tax.”

In the in­ter­view, Clin­ton ac­cused oth­ers of tak­ing her com­ments out of con­text or try­ing to “cre­ate some ca­ri­ca­ture.” When Ifill noted that such a strategy “sticks some­times — ask Mitt Rom­ney,” Clin­ton em­phat­ic­ally re­buked the con­nec­tion.

“That’s a false equi­val­ency,” Clin­ton said. “People can judge me for what I’ve done. And I think when some­body’s out in the pub­lic eye, that’s what they do. So I’m fully com­fort­able with who I am, what I stand for and what I’ve al­ways stood for.”

Ifill pressed back: “What I meant by Mitt Rom­ney is there’s a bubble prob­lem some­times where you can be cut off from people in a reg­u­lar way. George H.W. Bush, you re­mem­ber, had that with the gal­lon of milk. How do you avoid that?”

Clin­ton was un­deterred. In re­sponse to the “out of touch” la­bel, she said: “If you come from where I came from and where I have al­ways been, I’ve al­ways been reach­ing out and wheth­er it’s talk­ing with our neigh­bors or go­ing shop­ping or stand­ing, talk­ing to people in these book­stores and hear­ing what’s on their minds, or even the work I did for eight years as a sen­at­or to bring new jobs to New York and stand up for the people I rep­res­en­ted.”

Clin­ton might have faith that her re­cord “speaks for it­self,” but that doesn’t mean the GOP is not go­ing to hang on her every word for — po­ten­tially — the next two and a half years, listen­ing closely for her “47 per­cent” mo­ment.

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