WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton seemed to be dropping hints Tuesday about making another run for the White House.
For the second time in as many days, Clinton talked of her interest in possibly running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2016. She lost a hard-fought primary battle in 2008 to Barack Obama, and later agreed to be his secretary of state.
In an interview on the day her book “Hard Choices” was being released, Clinton told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she wants “to use the talent and resources that I have to make sure” others have the same opportunities.
Earlier, Clinton said that Republican inquiries into her handling of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, gave her more of an incentive to run. While she said she’s still undecided about her political future, Clinton cited the Benghazi probe as an example of a dysfunctional Congress.
“It’s more of a reason to run, because I do not believe our great country should be playing minor league ball. We ought to be in the majors,” Clinton said emphatically, leaning forward in her chair during an interview aired Monday with ABC’s Diane Sawyer. “I view this as really apart from, even a diversion from, the hard work that the Congress should be doing about the problems facing our country and the world.”
On Benghazi, Clinton said Tuesday she believed “there were some systemic problems within the State Department. And if we had known that earlier, perhaps we could have done some changes.”
But she also said, “You can’t always sit in an office in Washington and say this and that will happen.”
Clinton also sought to refine remarks she made about how she and former President Bill Clinton were “dead broke” when they left the White House, which Republicans have seized on to cast her as out of touch with regular Americans.
Clinton said Tuesday that she and her husband “fully appreciate how hard life is for so many Americans,” and have “gone through some of the same challenges that many people have” and that they “understand what that struggle is.”
The former first lady said the Clintons left the White House roughly $12 million in debt at the end of Bill Clinton’s second term in early 2001 and were burdened with legal bills that dwarfed their income.
Clinton said Monday that at the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency her family “came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt. We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.”
Republicans quickly condemned the comment, two years after their presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, was dogged by accusations of being out of touch because of his wealth. Republican officials pointed out that Hillary Clinton received an $8 million book advance for her 2003 memoir and said it showed she would have trouble relating to average Americans.
In another interview, Clinton revealed that shortly after her loss and Sarah Palin’s nomination as the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate, the Obama campaign proposed that Clinton go on the attack against her. Clinton said she refused.
“The Obama campaign did contact me and asked me if I would attack her,” Clinton told NBC in an interview that aired Tuesday. “I said, ‘Attack her for what, for being a woman? Attack her for being on a ticket that’s … trying to draw attention?”’
Clinton said she told the campaign, “There’ll be plenty of time to do what I think you should do in politics, which is draw distinctions.”