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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Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.
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The U.S. economy grew at an anemic 1.2% in the second quarter, "well below the 2.6% growth economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast." Consumer spending was "robust," but it was offset by "cautious" business investment. "Since the recession ended seven years ago, the expansion has failed to achieve the breakout growth seen in past recoveries. "The average annual growth rate during the current business cycle, 2.1%, remains the weakest of any expansion since at least 1949."