Hillary Clinton in CNN 2015 Democratic primary debate


On Abortion: It's big government to intervene on woman's right to choose

Q: You now support mandated paid family leave. There are so many people who say, "Really? Another government program?"

CLINTON: You know, it's always the Republicans or their sympathizers who say, "You can't have paid leave, you can't provide health care." They don't mind having big government to interfere with a woman's right to choose and to try to take down Planned Parenthood. They're fine with big government when it comes to that. I'm sick of it. We can do these things. We should not be paralyzed by the Republicans and their constant refrain, "big government this, big government that," that except for what they want to impose on the American people. I know we can afford it, because we're going to make the wealthy pay for it. That is the way to get it done.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Civil Rights: We need a New Deal for Communities of Color

The discussion has to go further because we've got to do more about the lives of these children. That's why I started off by saying we need to be committed to making it possible for every child to live up to his or her god given potential. If you don't have schools that are able to meet the needs of the people, or good housing, there's a long list. We need a new New Deal for communities of color.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Corporations: Every once in a while we have to save capitalism from itself

Q [to Sen. Sanders]: Do you consider yourself a capitalist?

SANDERS: Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little? No, I don't.

Q: Is there anybody else on the stage who is not a capitalist?

CLINTON: When I think about capitalism, I think about the small businesses that were started because we have the opportunity and the freedom in our country to do that. I don't think we should confuse what we have to do every so often in America, which is save capitalism from itself. But we would be making a grave mistake to turn our backs on what built the greatest middle class of the world.

SANDERS: I think everybody is in agreement that we are a great entrepreneurial nation. We have to support small and medium-sized businesses. But you can have all of the growth that you want and it doesn't mean anything if all of the new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Corporations: Let bank regulators send bank executives to jail

Q: What would you do about reforming Wall Street?

CLINTON: I represented Wall Street, as a senator from New York, and I went to Wall Street in December of 2007--before the big crash that we had--and I said, "cut it out! Quit foreclosing on homes! Quit engaging in these kinds of speculative behaviors." I took on the Bush administration for the same thing. My plan would have the potential of actually sending the executives to jail. Nobody went to jail after $100 billion in fines were paid.

SANDERS: In my view, Congress does not regulate Wall Street. Wall Street regulates Congress. And we have gotta break up these banks.

O'MALLEY: Madam Secretary, you are not for Glass-Steagall. You are not for putting a firewall between this speculative, risky shadow banking behavior. I am, and the people of our country need a president who's on their side, willing to protect the Main Street economy from recklessness on Wall Street.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Corporations: Investigate "shadow banks" and break up big banks

We have to worry about some of the other players--AIG, a big insurance company; Lehman Brothers, an investment bank. There's this whole area called "shadow banking." That's where the experts tell me the next potential problem could come from. The plan that I have put forward would actually empower regulators to break up big banks if we thought they posed a risk. I want to make sure we're going to cover everybody, not what caused the problem last time, but what could cause it next time.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Crime: Get body cameras on police; tackle mass incarceration

What we need to be doing is not only reforming criminal justice--I have talked about that, including things like body cameras, but we need to be following the recommendations of the commissioner that President Obama empanelled on policing. Similarly, we need to tackle mass incarceration. We actually have people on both sides of the aisle who have reached the same conclusion, that we can not keep imprisoning more people than anybody else in the world.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Drugs: Stop imprisoning marijuana users

Q: When asked about legalizing recreational marijuana, you said let's wait and see how it plays out in Colorado and Washington. It's been more than a year since you've said that. Are you ready to take a position tonight?

CLINTON: No. I think that we have the opportunity through the states that are pursuing recreational marijuana to find out a lot more than we know today. I do support the use of medical marijuana, and I think even there we need to do a lot more research so that we know exactly how we're going to help people for whom medical marijuana provides relief. So, I think we're just at the beginning, but I agree completely with the idea that we have got to stop imprisoning people who use marijuana. Therefore, we need more states, cities, and the federal government to begin to address this so that we don't have this terrible result of a huge population in our prisons for nonviolent, low-level offenses that are primarily due to marijuana.[1]

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Education: Refinance all college debt to help 40 million new grads

Let me address college affordability. All the 40 million Americans who have student debt will be able to refinance their debt to a low interest rate. That will save thousands of dollars for people who are struggling under burdensome college debt. Then we have to make it affordable. My plan would enable anyone to go to a public college or university tuition free. You would not have to borrow money for tuition. I worked when I went through college; I would like students to work 10 hours a week.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Energy & Oil: Obama & I crashed China meeting and got climate change deal

Q: What will you do about climate change?

CLINTON: I have been on the forefront of dealing with climate change, starting in 2009, when President Obama and I crashed a meeting with the Chinese and got them to sign up to the first international agreement to combat climate change that they'd ever joined.

Q: Are you referring to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen?

CLINTON: When we met in Copenhagen in 2009 and, literally, President Obama and I were hunting for the Chinese, going throughout this huge convention center, because we knew we had to get them to agree to something. Because there will be no effective efforts against climate change unless China and India join with the rest of the world. They told us they'd left for the airport; we found out they were having a secret meeting. We marched up, we broke in, we said, "Let's sit down and talk about what we need to do." And we did come up with the first international agreement that China has signed.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Energy & Oil: Take opportunity of climate change to raise our economy

I've traveled across our country over the last months listening and learning, and I've put forward specific plans about how we're going to create more good-paying jobs: by investing in infrastructure and clean energy, by making it possible once again to invest in science and research, and taking the opportunity posed by climate change to grow our economy.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Energy & Oil: I now oppose Keystone, but I withheld opinion at first

O'MALLEY [to CLINTON]: Secretary Clinton's campaign put out a lot of reversals on positions on Keystone and many other things.

CLINTON: Well, you know, everybody on this stage has changed a position or two. If you are learning, you're going to change your position. I never took a position on Keystone until I took a position on Keystone. But I have been on the forefront of dealing with climate change, starting in 2009,

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Energy & Oil: Chinese participation is essential to climate change

When we met in Copenhagen in 2009 and President Obama and I were hunting for the Chinese, going throughout this huge convention center, because we knew we had to get them to agree to something. Because there will be no effective efforts against climate change unless China and India join with the rest of the world. There will be an international meeting at the end of this year, and we must get verifiable commitments to fight climate change from every country gathered there.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Families & Children: Even the odds so each child can live up to potential

I have been privileged to serve as first lady, a senator from New York, and secretary of state. I'm the granddaughter of a factory worker and the grandmother of a one-year-old. Every day, I think about what we need to do to make sure that opportunity is available not just for her, but for all our children. I have spent my entire adult life looking for ways to even the odds to help people have a chance to get ahead, and to find the ways for each child to live up to his or her God-given potential.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Families & Children: US needs paid family leave, to join rest of the world

CLINTON: I want to do more to help us balance family and work. I believe in equal pay for equal work for women, but I also believe it's about time we had paid family leave for American families and join the rest of the world.

SANDERS: [If I'm elected], we are going to have medical and family paid leave, like every other country on Earth.

O'MALLEY: In our state, we actually expanded family leave. We would be a stronger nation economically if we had paid family leave.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Families & Children: Design paid-leave system that doesn't burden small business

California has had a paid leave program for a number of years. And it has not had the ill effects that the Republicans are always saying it will have. We can design a system and pay for it that does not put the burden on small businesses. I remember as a young mother, having a baby wake up who was sick and I'm supposed to be in court, because I was practicing law. I know what it's like.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Foreign Policy: Stand up to Putin's bullying in Syria and elsewhere

Q: What would your response to Vladimir Putin be right now in Syria?

CLINTON: We have to stand up to his bullying, and in Syria, it is important to provide safe zones so that people are not going to have to be flooding out of Syria at the rate they are I think it's important that the US make it clear to Putin that it's not acceptable for him to be in Syria bombing people on behalf of Assad, and we can't do that if we don't take more of a leadership position, which is what I'm advocating.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Free Trade: I absorbed new info and changed my mind to oppose TPP

Q: You supported Obama's trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP, dozen of times. You even called it the "gold standard". Now, suddenly, last week, you're against it.

CLINTON: Well, actually, I have been very consistent. Over the course of my entire life, I have always fought for the same values and principles, but, like most human beings--including those of us who run for office--I do absorb new information. I do look at what's happening in the world. Take the trade deal. I did say, when I was secretary of state, three years ago, that I hoped it would be the gold standard. It was just finally negotiated last week, and in looking at it, it didn't meet my standards. My standards for more new, good jobs for Americans, for raising wages for Americans. And I want to make sure that I can look into the eyes of any middle-class American and say, "this will help raise your wages." And I concluded I could not.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Gun Control: Don't shield gun manufacturers from lawsuits:I vote that way

Q: For a decade, you said that holding gun manufacturers legally responsible for mass shootings is a bad idea. Now, you say you're reconsidering. Which is it: shield the gun companies from lawsuits or not?

SANDERS: Bernie Sanders has a D-minus voting rating from the NRA. Back in 1988, I told the gun owners of Vermont that I supported a ban on assault weapons. I have strongly avoided instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole. And I think we've got to move aggressively at the federal level.

Q: Is Bernie Sanders tough enough on guns?

CLINTON: No, not at all. We have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day from gun violence. This has gone on too long and it's time the entire country stood up against the NRA. The majority of our country supports background checks, and even the majority of gun owners do.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Homeland Security: PATRIOT Act was needed, but Bush chipped away at warrants

Q [to Senator CHAFEE]: You and Hillary Clinton both voted for the PATRIOT Act. Do you regret that vote?

CHAFEE: No, no. As long as you're getting a warrant, I believe that under the Fourth Amendment, you should be able to do surveillance. In the PATRIOT Act, section 215 started to get broadened too far, so I would be in favor of addressing and reforming section 215 of the Patriot Act.

Q: Secretary Clinton, do you regret your vote on the Patriot Act?

CLINTON: No, I don't. I think that it was necessary to make sure that we were able after 9/11 to put in place the security that we needed. And it is true that it did require that there be a process. What happened, however, is that the Bush administration began to chip away at that process. And I began to speak out about their use of warrantless surveillance and the other behavior that they engaged in. We always have to keep the balance of civil liberties, privacy and security. It's not easy in a democracy, but we have to keep it in mind.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Homeland Security: Snowden should face the music; he broke the law

Q: Is Edward Snowden [the federal employee who released thousands of NSA documents] a traitor or a hero?

CHAFEE: The courts have ruled that what he did was say the American government was acting illegally.

CLINTON: He broke the laws of the United States. He could have been a whistleblower. He could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistleblower. He could have raised all the issues that he has raised. And I think there would have been a positive response to that.

Q: Should he do jail time?

CLINTON: He stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands. So I don't think he should be brought home without facing the music.

O'MALLEY: Snowden put a lot of Americans' lives at risk.

SANDERS: I think Snowden played a very important role in educating the American people to the degree in which our civil liberties and our constitutional rights are being undermined.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Immigration: Include undocumented immigrant kids in state college tuition

Q: Governor O'Malley and Senator Sanders want to provide in-state college tuition to undocumented immigrants. Where do you stand?

CLINTON: My plan would support any state that takes that position, and would work with those states and encourage more states to do the same.

O'MALLEY: And a the immigrant haters like some that we've heard, like Donald Trump, that carnival barker in the Republican party, tried to mischaracterize it as free tuition for illegal immigrants. But, we took our case to the people when it was petitioned to referendum, and we won with 58 percent of the vote. The more our children learn, the more they will earn, and that's true of children who have yet to be naturalized, but will become American citizens.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Immigration: Include undocumented immigrant kids in healthcare coverage

I want to make sure every child gets health care. I helped create the Children's Health Insurance Program. I want to support states that are expanding health care and including undocumented children and others. I want to open up the opportunity for immigrants to buy in to the exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. I think to go beyond that, so they would get the same subsidies raises many issues. It would be difficult to administer, it needs to be part of a comprehensive immigration reform.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Jobs: It hasn't been this bad since the 1920s; so vote Democrat

Bill and I have been blessed. I want to make sure every person in this country has the same opportunities to make the most of their God-given potential and to have chances for a good education and good jobs. This inequality challenge we face, it hasn't been this bad since the 1920s. If you look at the Republicans vs the Democrats when it comes to economic policy, there is no comparison. The economy does better when you have a Democrat in the White House.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Principles & Values: I'm a progressive who likes to get things done

Q: Plenty of politicians evolve on issues, but even some Democrats believe you change your positions based on political expediency. You were against same-sex marriage. Now you're for it. You defended Obama's immigration policies. Now you say they're too harsh. Will you say anything to get elected?

CLINTON: I have been very consistent. But I do absorb new information. I do look at what's happening in the world.

COOPER: Just for the record, are you a progressive, or are you a moderate?

CLINTON: I'm a progressive. But I'm a progressive who likes to get things done. And I know how to find common ground, and I know how to stand my ground, and I have proved that in every position that I've had, even dealing with Republicans who never had a good word to say about me, honestly. But we found ways to work together on everything from reforming foster care and adoption to the Children's Health Insurance Program. So I have a long history of getting things done, rooted in the same values I've always had.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Principles & Values: First woman president would be an "outsider"

Q: How would you not be a 3rd term of Pres. Obama?

CLINTON: Well, I think that's pretty obvious. I think being the first woman president would be quite a change from the presidents we've had up until this point, including Pres. Obama.

Q: Is there a policy difference?

CLINTON: Well, there's a lot that I would like to do to build on the successes of Pres. Obama, but also, as I'm laying out, to go beyond. And that's in my economic plans, and how I would deal with a full range of issues that I've been talking about throughout this campaign.

Q: This year has been the year of the outsider in politics. Why should Democrats embrace an insider like yourself?

CLINTON: Well, I can't think of anything more of an outsider than electing the first woman president, but I'm not just running because I would be the first woman president. I'm running because I have a lifetime of experience in getting results and fighting for people, fighting for kids, for women, for families, fighting to even the odds.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Principles & Values: My email methods were a mistake, but it's over-politicized

I did say it was a mistake. What I did was allowed by the State Department, but it wasn't the best choice. I have been as transparent as I know to be, turning over 55,000 pages of my e-mails, asking that they be made public. I've been asking to testify for some time and to do it in public. Let's point out that this committee is basically an arm of the Republican National Committee. It is a partisan vehicle, as admitted by the House Republican majority leader, Mr. McCarthy.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Principles & Values: As a woman, I am the ultimate outsider

I can't think of anything more of an outsider than electing the first woman president, but I'm not just running because I would be the first woman president. I'm running because I have a lifetime of experience in getting results and fighting for people, fighting for kids, for women, for families, fighting to even the odds. I know how to find common ground and I know how to stand my ground.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Principles & Values: America's best days are still ahead

I revere my late mother, and one of the best pieces of advice she gave me was, the issue is not whether or not you get knocked down. It's whether you get back up. America's been knocked down. We're standing but not running the way America needs to. My mission as president will be make sure we get back to the bargain I was raised with: If you work hard and you do your part, you should be able to get ahead. Please come and make it clear that America's best days are still ahead.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Social Security: Enhance benefits for poorest recipients

Q: Senator Sanders would expand Social Security and give all Americans Medicare. What's wrong with that?

CLINTON: I fully support Social Security. And the most important fight we're going to have is defending it against continuing Republican efforts to privatize it.

Q: Do you want to expand it?

CLINTON: I want to enhance the benefits for the poorest recipients of Social Security. We have a lot of women on Social Security, particularly widowed and single women who didn't make a lot of money during their careers, and they are impoverished, and they need more help from the Social Security system. And I will focus on helping those people who need it the most. And of course I'm going to defend Social Security. I'm going to look for ways to try to make sure it's solvent into the future. And we also need to talk about health care at some time, because we agree on the goals, we just disagree on the means.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On Tax Reform: Wealthy pay too little and middle class pay too much

At the center of my campaign is how we're going to raise wages. Yes, of course, raise the minimum wage, but we have to do so much more. We have to figure out how we're going to make the tax system a fairer one. Right now, the wealthy pay too little and the middle class pays too much. So I have specific recommendations about how we're going to close those loopholes, make it clear that the wealthy will have to pay their fair share, and have tax cuts for middle-class families.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On War & Peace: No-fly zone in Syria, but no American troops on the ground

Q: What to do in Syria?

SANDERS: We should put together a coalition of Arab countries who should lead the effort. But I do not support American ground troops in Syria.

CLINTON: Well, nobody does. I agree completely. We don't want American troops on the ground in Syria. I never said that. What I said was we had to put together a coalition, and that it should include Arabs, people in the region.

SANDERS: She is talking about a no-fly zone in Syria, which I think is a very dangerous situation. The president is trying very hard to thread a tough needle here, and that is to support those people who are against Assad, against ISIS, without getting us on the ground there.

CLINTON: We are already flying in Syria just as we are flying in Iraq. I have advocated that the no-fly zone--which of course would be in a coalition--be put on the table, to figure out what leverage we have to get Russia to the table. Diplomacy is not about the perfect solution; it's about how you balance the risks.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

On War & Peace: We're already involved in Syria; deal with Russia there

We are already flying in Syria just as we are flying in Iraq. What I believe and why I have advocated that the no-fly zone--which of course would be in a coalition-- be put on the table is because I'm trying to figure out what leverage we have to get Russia to the table. You know, diplomacy is not about getting to the perfect solution. It's about how you balance the risks.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Oct 13, 2015

The above quotations are from CNN Democratic primary debate
Five candidates in Las Vegas, October 13, 2015.
Click here for main summary page.
Click here for a profile of Hillary Clinton.
Click here for Hillary Clinton on all issues.
Hillary Clinton on other issues:
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
Technology/Infrastructure
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)
Search for...





Page last updated: Nov 01, 2015