Excerpts from Hillary Clinton’s closed-door paid speeches, including to financial firms, appeared to be made public for the first time on Friday when WikiLeaks published hundreds of hacked emails from her campaign chairman.
The speech transcripts, a major subject of contention during the Democratic primary, include quotes from Clinton about her distance from middle-class life (“I’m kind of far removed”); her vision of strategic governing (“you need both a public and a private position”); and her views on Wall Street, health care, and trade policy (“my dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders").
John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman, was the latest victim in a wave of hacks on key figures in Democratic politics and the political establishment in what administration officials say is an effort by Russia to undermine the election.
Clinton research director Tony Carrk sent the excerpts in an email to Podesta and other senior aides, sourcing the “the flags from HRC’s paid speeches” to the Harry Walker Agency, the firm that represented Clinton and arranged her dozens of public and private paid speech deals after she left the State Department in early 2013.
The email is dated Jan. 25, 2016, with the subject line, "HRC Paid Speeches."
Carrk identified and sent the "highlights" in the email, telling Podesta and Clinton's communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, that there were "a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub" with the campaign's policy department.
Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin said the campaign would not be confirming the authenticity of any of the emails made public on Friday. But administration officials, he said, have "removed any reasonable doubt that the Kremlin has weaponized WikiLeaks to meddle in our election and benefit Donald Trump's candidacy."
U.S. officials have also warned that Russia could be "doctoring" hacked emails, including those stolen this summer from the Democratic National Committee.
During this year's long-fought Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders repeatedly pressed Clinton to release the transcripts of the speeches, which were delivered to a variety of groups, including major firms like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.
Late last year, Clinton said she would “look into” releasing the transcripts. She never did, arguing that Republicans and others should also release theirs. “Let everybody who’s ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them,” she told ABC this February. “We’ll all release them at the same time.”
Late into the primary, Sanders argued that the American people had a right to know what Clinton told well-heeled audiences on Wall Street about her economic policy.
"We all rely on the market's transparency and integrity. So even if it may not be 100 percent true, if the perception is that somehow the game is rigged, that should be a problem for all of us, and we have to be willing to make that absolutely clear," Clinton said in one apparent excerpt, softening an assertion she has made frequently on the trail, that "the economy is rigged in favor of those at the top.”
In the same remarks, attributed to a 2014 speech to Deutsche Bank, Clinton also said that much of financial reform "really has to come from the industry itself."
The flagged excerpts don’t provide context for Clinton’s remarks, but include several comments in which she appears to express strong pro-trade sentiments.
“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders," Clinton is quoted as telling a Brazilian bank in 2013. “We have to resist, protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade.”
Clinton opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but has faced criticism from both Sanders and Trump for adopting what they charge is a politically convenient stance.
The apparent speech transcripts have spilled out into the public as young voters and progressives, including those who flocked to Sanders' campaign, still have questions about Clinton and may turn to a third-party candidate in the fall.
In one excerpt identified as part of a speech to the Xerox company in March 2014, Clinton talked about the need for "two sensible, moderate, pragmatic parties."
Read the full email below:
From: Tony Carrk
To: Jennifer Palmieri, John Podesta, [Chief of Staff to the Chairman] Sara Latham, [Deputy Communications Director] Kristina Schake, [Deputy Communications Director] Christina Reynolds, [National Press Secretary] Brian Fallon
Date: Jan. 25, 2016
Subject: HRC Paid Speeches
Attached are the flags from HRC’s paid speeches we have from HWA. I put some highlights below. There is a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub with Policy.
In terms of what was opened to the press and what was not, the Washington Examiner got a hold of one of the private speech contracts (her speeches to universities were typically open press), so this is worth a read
“And I am not taking a position on any policy, but I do think there is a growing sense of anxiety and even anger in the country over the feeling that the game is rigged. And I never had that feeling when I was growing up. Never. I mean, were there really rich people, of course there were. My father loved to complain about big business and big government, but we had a solid middle class upbringing. We had good public schools. We had accessible health care. We had our little, you know, one-family house that, you know, he saved up his money, didn't believe in mortgages. So I lived that. And now, obviously, I'm kind of far removed because the life I've lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven't forgotten it.” [Hillary Clinton Remarks at Goldman-Black Rock, 2/4/14]
CLINTON: You just have to sort of figure out how to -- getting back to that word, "balance" -- how to balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that's not just a comment about today. That, I think, has probably been true for all of our history, and if you saw the Spielberg movie, Lincoln, and how he was maneuvering and working to get the 13th Amendment passed, and he called one of my favorite predecessors, Secretary Seward, who had been the governor and senator from New York, ran against Lincoln for president, and he told Seward, I need your help to get this done. And Seward called some of his lobbyist friends who knew how to make a deal, and they just kept going at it. I mean, politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position. And finally, I think -- I believe in evidence-based decision making. I want to know what the facts are. I mean, it's like when you guys go into some kind of a deal, you know, are you going to do that development or not, are you going to do that renovation or not, you know, you look at the numbers. You try to figure out what's going to work and what's not going to work. [Clinton Speech For National Multi-Housing Council, 4/24/13]
“That was one of the reasons that I started traveling in February of '09, so people could, you know, literally yell at me for the United States and our banking system causing this everywhere. Now, that's an oversimplification we know, but it was the conventional wisdom. And I think that there's a lot that could have been avoided in terms of both misunderstanding and really politicizing what happened with greater transparency, with greater openness on all sides, you know, what happened, how did it happen, how do we prevent it from happening? You guys help us figure it out and let's make sure that we do it right this time. And I think that everybody was desperately trying to fend off the worst effects institutionally, governmentally, and there just wasn't that opportunity to try to sort this out, and that came later.” [Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium, 10/24/13]
“Now, it's important to recognize the vital role that the financial markets play in our economy and that so many of you are contributing to. To function effectively those markets and the men and women who shape them have to command trust and confidence, because we all rely on the market's transparency and integrity. So even if it may not be 100 percent true, if the perception is that somehow the game is rigged, that should be a problem for all of us, and we have to be willing to make that absolutely clear. And if there are issues, if there's wrongdoing, people have to be held accountable and we have to try to deter future bad behavior, because the public trust is at the core of both a free market economy and a democracy.” [Clinton Remarks to Deutsche Bank, 10/7/14]
“Remember what Teddy Roosevelt did. Yes, he took on what he saw as the excesses in the economy, but he also stood against the excesses in politics. He didn't want to unleash a lot of nationalist, populistic reaction. He wanted to try to figure out how to get back into that balance that has served America so well over our entire nationhood. Today, there's more that can and should be done that really has to come from the industry itself, and how we can strengthen our economy, create more jobs at a time where that's increasingly challenging, to get back to Teddy Roosevelt's square deal. And I really believe that our country and all of you are up to that job.” [Clinton Remarks to Deutsche Bank, 10/7/14]
“I mean, it's still happening, as you know. People are looking back and trying to, you know, get compensation for bad mortgages and all the rest of it in some of the agreements that are being reached. There's nothing magic about regulations, too much is bad, too little is bad. How do you get to the golden key, how do we figure out what works? And the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry. And I think there has to be a recognition that, you know, there's so much at stake now, I mean, the business has changed so much and decisions are made so quickly, in nano seconds basically. We spend trillions of dollars to travel around the world, but it's in everybody's interest that we have a better framework, and not just for the United States but for the entire world, in which to operate and trade.” [Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium, 10/24/13]
“Secondly, running for office in our country takes a lot of money, and candidates have to go out and raise it. New York is probably the leading site for contributions for fundraising for candidates on both sides of the aisle, and it's also our economic center. And there are a lot of people here who should ask some tough questions before handing over campaign contributions to people who were really playing chicken with our whole economy.” [Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium, 10/24/13]
“So our system is, in many ways, more difficult, certainly far more expensive and much longer than a parliamentary system, and I really admire the people who subject themselves to it. Even when I, you know, think they should not be elected president, I still think, well, you know, good for you I guess, you're out there promoting democracy and those crazy ideas of yours. So I think that it's something -- I would like -- you know, obviously as somebody who has been through it, I would like it not to last as long because I think it's very distracting from what we should be doing every day in our public business. I would like it not to be so expensive. I have no idea how you do that. I mean, in my campaign -- I lose track, but I think I raised $250 million or some such enormous amount, and in the last campaign President Obama raised 1.1 billion, and that was before the Super PACs and all of this other money just rushing in, and it's so ridiculous that we have this kind of free for all with all of this financial interest at stake, but, you know, the Supreme Court said that's basically what we're in for. So we're kind of in the wild west, and, you know, it would be very difficult to run for president without raising a huge amount of money and without having other people supporting you because your opponent will have their supporters. So I think as hard as it was when I ran, I think it's even harder now.” [Clinton Speech For General Electric’s Global Leadership Meeting – Boca Raton, FL, 1/6/14]
In remarks at Robbins, Gellar, Rudman & Dowd in San Diego, Hillary Clinton said, “When I was a Senator from New York, I represented and worked with so many talented principled people who made their living in finance. But even thought I represented them and did all I could to make sure they continued to prosper, I called for closing the carried interest loophole and addressing skyrocketing CEO pay. I also was calling in '06, '07 for doing something about the mortgage crisis, because I saw every day from Wall Street literally to main streets across New York how a well-functioning financial system is essential. So when I raised early warnings about early warnings about subprime mortgages and called for regulating derivatives and over complex financial products, I didn't get some big arguments, because people sort of said, no, that makes sense. But boy, have we had fights about it ever since.” [Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd in San Diego, 9/04/14]
“SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. Well, you know what Bob Rubin said about that. He said, you know, when he came to Washington, he had a fortune. And when he left Washington, he had a small --
MR. BLANKFEIN: That’s how you have a small fortune, is you go to Washington.
SECRETARY CLINTON: You go to Washington. Right. But, you know, part of the problem with the political situation, too, is that there is such a bias against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives. You know, the divestment of assets, the stripping of all kinds of positions, the sale of stocks. It just becomes very onerous and unnecessary.” [Goldman Sachs Builders And Innovators Summit, 10/29/13]
“URSULA BURNS: Interesting. Democrats?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, long, definitely.
URSULA BURNS: Republicans?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Unfortunately, at the time, short.
URSULA BURNS: Okay. We'll go back to questions.
SECRETARY CLINTON: We need two parties.
URSULA BURNS: Yeah, we do need two parties.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Two sensible, moderate, pragmatic parties.” [Hillary Clinton Remarks, Remarks at Xerox, 3/18/14]
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, this may be borne more out of hope than experience in the last few years. But Simpson-Bowles -- and I know you heard from Erskine earlier today -- put forth the right framework. Namely, we have to restrain spending, we have to have adequate revenues, and we have to incentivize growth. It's a three-part formula. The specifics can be negotiated depending upon whether we're acting in good faith or not. And what Senator Simpson and Erskine did was to bring Republicans and Democrats alike to the table, and you had the full range of ideological views from I think Tom Coburn to Dick Durbin. And they reached an agreement. But what is very hard to do is to then take that agreement if you don't believe that you're going to be able to move the other side. And where we are now is in this gridlocked dysfunction. So you've got Democrats saying that, you know, you have to have more revenues; that's the sine qua non of any kind of agreement. You have Republicans saying no, no, no on revenues; you have to cut much more deeply into spending. Well, looks what's happened. We are slowly returning to growth. It's not as much or as fast as many of us would like to see, but, you know, we're certainly better off than our European friends, and we're beginning to, I believe, kind of come out of the long aftermath of the '08 crisis. [Clinton Speech For Morgan Stanley, 4/18/13]
CLINTON: So, you know, the Simpson-Bowles framework and the big elements of it were right. The specifics can be negotiated and argued over. But you got to do all three. You have to restrain spending, you have to have adequate revenues, and you have to have growth. And I think we are smart enough to figure out how to do that. [Clinton Speech For Morgan Stanley, 4/18/13]
CLINTON: But, at the State Department we were attacked every hour, more than once an hour by incoming efforts to penetrate everything we had. And that was true across the U.S. government. And we knew it was going on when I would go to China, or I would go to Russia, we would leave all of our electronic equipment on the plane, with the batteries out, because this is a new frontier. And they're trying to find out not just about what we do in our government. They're trying to find out about what a lot of companies do and they were going after the personal emails of people who worked in the State Department. So it's not like the only government in the world that is doing anything is the United States. But, the United States compared to a number of our competitors is the only government in the world with any kind of safeguards, any kind of checks and balances. They may in many respects need to be strengthened and people need to be reassured, and they need to have their protections embodied in law. But, I think turning over a lot of that material intentionally or unintentionally, because of the way it can be drained, gave all kinds of information not only to big countries, but to networks and terrorist groups, and the like. So I have a hard time thinking that somebody who is a champion of privacy and liberty has taken refuge in Russia under Putin's authority. And then he calls into a Putin talk show and says, President Putin, do you spy on people? And President Putin says, well, from one intelligence professional to another, of course not. Oh, thank you so much. I mean, really, I don't know. I have a hard time following it. [Clinton Speech At UConn, 4/23/14]
“I mean, let's face it, our government is woefully, woefully behind in all of its policies that affect the use of technology. When I got to the State Department, it was still against the rules to let most -- or let all Foreign Service Officers have access to a Blackberry. You couldn't have desktop computers when Colin Powell was there. Everything that you are taking advantage of, inventing and using, is still a generation or two behind when it comes to our government.” [Hillary Clinton Remarks at Nexenta, 8/28/14]
“I mean, probably the most frustrating part of this whole debate are countries acting like we're the only people in the world trying to figure out what's going on. I mean, every time I went to countries like China or Russia, I mean, we couldn't take our computers, we couldn't take our personal devices, we couldn't take anything off the plane because they're so good, they would penetrate them in a minute, less, a nanosecond. So we would take the batteries out, we'd leave them on the plane.” [Hillary Clinton Remarks at Nexenta, 8/28/14]
“You know, when Colin Powell showed up as Secretary of State in 2001, most State Department employees still didn't even have computers on their desks. When I got there they were not mostly permitted to have handheld devices. I mean, so you're thinking how do we operate in this new environment dominated by technology, globalizing forces? We have to change, and I can't expect people to change if I don't try to model it and lead it.” [Clinton Speech For General Electric’s Global Leadership Meeting – Boca Raton, FL, 1/6/14]
“And anybody who has ever traveled in other countries, some of which shall remain nameless, except for Russia and China, you know that you can’t bring your phones and your computers. And if you do, good luck. I mean, we would not only take the batteries out, we would leave the batteries and the devices on the plane in special boxes. Now, we didn’t do that because we thought it would be fun to tell somebody about. We did it because we knew that we were all targets and that we would be totally vulnerable. So it’s not only what others do to us and what we do to them and how many people are involved in it. It’s what’s the purpose of it, what is being collected, and how can it be used. And there are clearly people in this room who know a lot about this, and some of you could be very useful contributors to that conversation because you’re sophisticated enough to know that it’s not just, do it, don’t do it. We have to have a way of doing it, and then we have to have a way of analyzing it, and then we have to have a way of sharing it.” [Goldman Sachs Builders And Innovators Summit, 10/29/13]
“Personally, having, you know, lived and worked in the White House, having been a senator, having been Secretary of State, there has traditionally been a great pool of very talented, hard-working people. And just as I was saying about the credit market, our personnel policies haven’t kept up with the changes necessary in government. We have a lot of difficulties in getting—when I got to the State Department, we were so far behind in technology, it was embarrassing. And, you know, people were not even allowed to use mobile devices because of security issues and cost issues, and we really had to try to push into the last part of the 20th Century in order to get people functioning in 2009 and ‘10.” [Goldman Sachs Builders And Innovators Summit, 10/29/13]
“So I think that Keystone is a contentious issue, and of course it is important on both sides of the border for different and sometimes opposing reasons, but that is not our relationship. And I think our relationship will get deeper and stronger and put us in a position to really be global leaders in energy and climate change if we worked more closely together. And that's what I would like to see us do.” [Remarks at tinePublic, 6/18/14]
“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.” [05162013 Remarks to Banco Itau.doc, p. 28]
“If you look at countries that are comparable, like Switzerland or Germany, for example, they have mixed systems. They don't have just a single-payer system, but they have very clear controls over budgeting and accountability. If you look at the single-payer systems, like Scandinavia, Canada, and elsewhere, they can get costs down because, you know, although their care, according to statistics, overall is as good or better on primary care, in particular, they do impose things like waiting times, you know. It takes longer to get like a hip replacement than it might take here.” [Hillary Clinton remarks to ECGR Grand Rapids, 6/17/13]
“You know, on healthcare we are the prisoner of our past. The way we got to develop any kind of medical insurance program was during World War II when companies facing shortages of workers began to offer healthcare benefits as an inducement for employment. So from the early 1940s healthcare was seen as a privilege connected to employment. And after the war when soldiers came back and went back into the market there was a lot of competition, because the economy was so heated up. So that model continued. And then of course our large labor unions bargained for healthcare with the employers that their members worked for. So from the early 1940s until the early 1960s we did not have any Medicare, or our program for the poor called Medicaid until President Johnson was able to get both passed in 1965. So the employer model continued as the primary means by which working people got health insurance. People over 65 were eligible for Medicare. Medicaid, which was a partnership, a funding partnership between the federal government and state governments, provided some, but by no means all poor people with access to healthcare. So what we've been struggling with certainly Harry Truman, then Johnson was successful on Medicare and Medicaid, but didn't touch the employer based system, then actually Richard Nixon made a proposal that didn't go anywhere, but was quite far reaching. Then with my husband's administration we worked very hard to come up with a system, but we were very much constricted by the political realities that if you had your insurance from your employer you were reluctant to try anything else. And so we were trying to build a universal system around the employer-based system. And indeed now with President Obama's legislative success in getting the Affordable Care Act passed that is what we've done. We still have primarily an employer-based system, but we now have people able to get subsidized insurance. So we have health insurance companies playing a major role in the provision of healthcare, both to the employed whose employers provide health insurance, and to those who are working but on their own are not able to afford it and their employers either don't provide it, or don't provide it at an affordable price. We are still struggling. We've made a lot of progress. Ten million Americans now have insurance who didn't have it before the Affordable Care Act, and that is a great step forward. (Applause.) And what we're going to have to continue to do is monitor what the costs are and watch closely to see whether employers drop more people from insurance so that they go into what we call the health exchange system. So we're really just at the beginning. But we do have Medicare for people over 65. And you couldn't, I don't think, take it away if you tried, because people are very satisfied with it, but we also have a lot of political and financial resistance to expanding that system to more people. So we're in a learning period as we move forward with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. And I'm hoping that whatever the shortfalls or the glitches have been, which in a big piece of legislation you're going to have, those will be remedied and we can really take a hard look at what's succeeding, fix what isn't, and keep moving forward to get to affordable universal healthcare coverage like you have here in Canada. [Clinton Speech For tinePublic – Saskatoon, CA, 1/21/15]