Pull a chair up to the table, Bill Clinton – the kitchen table, that is.
During Sunday night’s Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked to elaborate on her husband’s possible role when it comes to advising on economic issues, specifically whether it would be more of a “kitchen table role” or a “real policy role.”
“It’ll start at the kitchen table and we’ll see where it goes from there,” Clinton said, to laughter.
“I’m going to have the very best advisers that I can possibly have,” she continued. “And when it comes to the economy and what was accomplished under my husband’s leadership in the ’90s, especially when it came to raising incomes for everybody and lifting people out of poverty more than any time in history, you bet I’m going to ask for his ideas, I’m going to ask for his advice, and I’m going to use him as a goodwill emissary to go around the country and find the best ideas we’ve got.
“Because I do believe – as he said – everything that’s wrong with America, is solved somewhere in America. We just have to do more of it and reach out especially into poor communiteis and communities of color to give people their own chance to get ahead.”
Clinton wasn’t the only candidate to address her husband during the debate.
Moderator Andrea Mitchell asked Senator Bernie Sanders whether he regrets calling former President Bill Clinton’s transgressions disgraceful.
“I was asked a question. You know, that question annoys me. I cannot walk down the street – Secretary Clinton knows this – without being told how much I have to attack Secretary Clinton. I have avoided doing that. I’m trying to run an issues-oriented campaign,” Sanders said, as Clinton nodded approvingly.
“I was asked a question,” he repeated. “Yes, his behavior was deplorable. Have I ever once said a word about that issue? No, I have not. I am going to debate Secretary Clinton and Gov. O’Malley on the issues facing the American people, not Bill Clinton’s personal behavior.”
Clinton, Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley squared off Sunday night on a variety of serious issues, including gun control, health care and Wall Street reform.
Sanders took a jab at Clinton when the debate turned to how he plans to handle Wall Street. “The first difference is I don’t take money from big banks. I don’t get personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs,” he said.
He then turned to Clinton, adding: “You’ve received over $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in one year. I find it very strange that a major financial institution that pays $5 billion in fines for breaking the laws, not one of their executives is prosecuted while kids who smoke marijuana get a jail sentence.”
Clinton then argued that it was Sanders who “voted to deregulate the financial market in 2000, to take the cops off the street … to make the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission no longer able to regulate swaps and derivatives, which were one of the main causes of the collapse in ’08.”
Two new polls show Sanders is surging ahead of Clinton in Iowa and leading her by a margin of 53 percent to 39 percent in New Hampshire.