In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that she “just didn’t understand” what “establishment” means.
Wolf Blitzer, host of “The Situation Room,” asked Clinton about comments her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders has made on the campaign trail. Sanders has stated that he’s fighting the political establishment and has claimed that organizations like the pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood have endorsed Hillary Clinton because of her “establishment” status.
Blitzer asked Clinton if she was part of the establishment. Clinton responded that she didn’t know what that meant:
“Well, I have to say, I didn’t understand that at all. Planned Parenthood does so much on the front lines to provide women, and men, healthcare, often low income people, people who don’t have any alternative. And of course, we know that Planned Parenthood has been under attack, constantly, from the Republicans, both in Congress, and in many states. And the Human Rights Campaign has been in the forefront of making sure that LGBT Americans are not discriminated against. They helped to lead the battle for marriage equality. I really don’t understand what he means by that. These are two of the really great human rights, progressive organizations in our country. I’ve worked with both of them a long time. I’ve worked to get results for the people that they represent and serve, and I’m proud to have endorsements from both of them.”
Blitzer pressed her again specifically about her association with the establishment, asking, “But are you the establishment?” Clinton replied:
“I just don’t understand what that means. He’s been in Congress, he’s been elected to office a lot longer than I have. I was in the Senate for eight wonderful years, representing New York. He’s been in the Congress for 25. And so, I’ll let your viewers make their own judgment.”
While it’s true that Hillary Clinton herself was Senator for eight years, she was also Secretary of State for four years. In addition, her husband was president for eight years and governor of Arkansas for nearly 12 years, during which time Hillary Clinton was First Lady of the United States and of Arkansas, respectively. Critics held that she had such influence as First Lady that during Bill Clinton’s presidency, bumper stickers were produced that read: “Impeach Clinton…and Her Husband Too!”