Clinton on her trustworthiness “I think there's an underlying question that maybe is really in the back of people's minds.  And that is, you know, is she in it for us or is she in it for herself?”
February 21st, 2016
12:57 PM ET

Clinton on her trustworthiness “I think there's an underlying question that maybe is really in the back of people's minds. And that is, you know, is she in it for us or is she in it for herself?”

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Former Secretary of State and Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, joined anchor, Jake Tapper.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

Contacts: Lauren Pratapas — Lauren.Pratapas@turner.com; 202.465.6666; Zachary Lilly – Zachary.Lilly@turner.com

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Hillary Clinton: 'I understand voters have questions'

CNN ARTICLE: Clinton on trustworthiness: 'I understand voters have questions'

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS:

Clinton on Latino voter support: TAPPER:  [Tapper]“So, I do want to look at some areas - let's call them areas for possible improvement.  One of them is that Bernie Sanders did better with Latino voters, and you not as well with Latino voters, at least according to our entrance poll, as many people anticipated.  This is a constituency you have worked very hard to cultivate.  What do you think happened, and how can you fix it, how can you improve your standings with Latino voters?  [CLINTON]:  You know, that's just not what our analysis shows, number one.  We don't believe that the so-called entry polls were particularly accurate.  If you look at the precincts, you look at where we dominated, there's a lot of evidence we did very, very well with every group of voter.  We did well and better than we thought in rural areas, which I was very happy to hear.  We held our own up in Reno.  So, it was a broad-based turnout.  And we dominated, of course, in Clark County, where Las Vegas is.  So, you know, we look at all of this.  We obviously are guided by the information we have.  We think that it shows that we always have to work hard for every single voter.  And we intend to do that in every place.  I'm in Texas right now.  I'm in Houston, about to address a large crowd that's gathered here late at night.  We're reaching out to everybody.  And we want to do as well as we can with everyone

Clinton on her trustworthiness: [TAPPER] “An area of improvement, I think you will grant me, even if you don't believe the entrance polls on Latino voters, is potentially independent voters.  And I know that you have blamed the whole trust issue with independent voters on decades of unfair attacks by Republicans, smears against you by Republicans.  But how do you fix it going forward?  If you do become the nominee, you're going to need independent voters.  [CLINTON]:  “Absolutely.  And I'm going to do what I have always done.  I'm going to keep, you know, reaching out to voters.  I understand that voters have questions.  I'm going to do my very best to answer those questions.  I think there's an underlying question that maybe is really in the back of people's minds.  And that is, you know, is she in it for us or is she in it for herself?  I think that's, you know, a question that people are trying to sort through.  And I'm going to demonstrate that I have always been the same person, fighting for the same values, fighting to make a real difference in people's lives long before I was ever in elected office, even before my husband was in the presidency.  So, I know that I have to, you know, make my case.  I have to demonstrate what I have achieved.  I have to really make clear that, look, we want a - we want to make progress in our country.  We want to make a real difference in people's lives.  That's what I have always been about.  That's what I would do as president.  So, I'm very hopeful.  And we will continue to work hard to make that case and to win over as many voters as possible to get the nomination.  And then we will see who the Republicans nominate, and we will go from there.”

Clinton on if democrats are underestimating Trump: [TAPPER] “…Donald Trump won handily, his second victory.  You have said that a race against Mr. Trump would be quite a showdown.  Is there a chance the Democrats are underestimating him?”  [CLINTON]:  “Well, I don't - I don't know, Jake.  I'm not thinking about that far ahead.  They have to finish their nominating process.  We have to finish ours.

But I do believe that the message that we want to take to the American people, that we can do better together, we can build those ladders of opportunity again, we can have broad-based prosperity, rising incomes, knock down the barriers that hold people back, I think that's a winning message, because I think that's what the American people are looking for.  You know, that great recession was such terrible blow to so many people.  And the repercussions are still working its way through the economy and through the political system.  So, I'm very committed to making the argument that I think is the winning argument about what we can do together.  I want to find common ground wherever I can.  But I want to move this economy.  I want to fix our political system.  I want to make government work better for people.  And I want to knock down those barriers of discrimination and debt and feeling like the deck is stacked against you that too many Americans, you know, now are worried may be the case.”

Clinton responds to republican candidates on Israel and Palestine: [TAPPER] “Donald Trump was asked this week about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and he said - quote - "Let me be sort of a neutral guy.  I don't want to say whose fault it is.  I don't think it helps. “Now, Senator Ted Cruz, on the other hand, said - quote - "I have no intention of being neutral."  He would be standing by Israel.  You're a former secretary of state.  What do you think about those answers?  Where would you be?  [CLINTON]:  “Well, I think both of them missed the mark.  First of all, Israel is our partner, our ally.  We have longstanding and important ties with Israelis going back to the formation of the state of Israel.  I will defend and do everything I can to support Israel, particularly as the neighborhood around it seems to become more dangerous and difficult.  I also believe the Palestinians deserve to have a state of their own.  That's why I support a two-state solution.  That's what I have worked on.  That's what I tried to move forward when I was secretary, and holding three very intense conversations between the prime minister of Israel and the president of the Palestinian Authority.  Those are not mutually exclusive.  I happen to think that moving toward a two-state solution, trying to provide more support for the aspirations of the Palestinian people is in the long-term best interests of Israel, as well as the region, and, of course, the people themselves.  So, I don't think either of the answers you just relayed to me really grapple with the challenges that we have to continue to work to overcome.

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST:Let's turn now to the Democratic race, where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got a big win at a time that she really needed one.  Victories are important, but sometimes stopping a rival's momentum is even more crucial.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The truth is, we aren't a single-issue country.

 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

 

CLINTON:  We need - we need more than a plan for the big banks.  The middle class needs a raise.

 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

 

CLINTON:  And we need more jobs.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

TAPPER:  Clinton's 52 percent to 47 percent victory over Sanders was aided by overwhelming support from African-Americans, a constituency she hopes to carry her to victory in the next primary next weekend in South Carolina.

 

And former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joins me now.

 

Madam Secretary, congratulations on your victory in Nevada.

 

CLINTON:  Thank you so much, Jake.

 

It was hard-fought.  And I just can't say enough about the team on the ground, who have been there for months, and the thousands and thousands of volunteers, who really got to work.  We saw so much great activity the last week.  And it turned out to be more than enough.  And I'm really happy about that.

 

TAPPER:  You really went into overdrive just the last 48 hours, really working until early, early in the morning and rallying your supporters.

 

How exactly do you think you did what you needed to do to get over the finish line with this victory?

 

CLINTON:  I think it was a lot of things.

 

First of all, we have been on the ground there for months.  So, we were building an organization, developing the relationships, really getting to know people in every community across the state, so that, as we built that, we were able to understand more about what was on people's minds, how best to connect with them, to make my case to them.

 

And we had, as I say, thousands of people who were engaged, from Las Vegas to the smallest rural town.  And I just felt like the people who were working on behalf of our campaign were really committed and dedicated.  They did not get in any way knocked off course.

 

They never doubted we could do this.  And they turned out to be right.  And I am so grateful to each and every one of them.

 

TAPPER:  In your victory speech, you said the United States is not a single-issue country.

 

Supporters of Bernie Sanders in his room, in his - where - it wasn't his victory room, but wherever that room was - they booed when you said that on TV.

 

Now, I know Senator Sanders called you to concede.  I presume he was more gracious than the booers.

 

CLINTON:  Well, he did call me before I made my speech.  And I appreciated that very much.

 

But, look, I don't think we are a single-issue country.  And I am certainly not a single-issue candidate.  I want to knock down all the barriers that are holding people back.  We spent a lot of time talking with the voters in the last week about the barriers they felt did impede their getting ahead.

 

Of course, a lot of it is economic, and it needs to be addressed.  That's why I'm not only against bad things and I want to stop them.  I want to start some good things, more good-paying jobs with rising incomes again, once and for all making sure women get equal pay for the work we do, doing more to help small business, going after clean, renewable energy, especially in a state like Nevada, where it should be the solar capital of the West.

 

So, we had a lot of opportunity to talk about bigotry and discrimination, student debt, the deck being stacked against people, the whole range of concerns that were brought directly to me.  And, of course, being - being there, we heard a lot about people feeling that the great recession in Nevada just knocked them down.  It was one of the worst-affected states in our whole country, and what more could we do to keep the economy growing and creating more good jobs.

 

Heard a lot about the fears that hardworking immigrants have over deportation, raids and roundups, which I oppose.  And we heard a lot from the African-American community in particular about how they still felt that systemic racism was an issue in their lives.

 

So, there are a lot of concerns, from health care to education, all of which were raised with me.  So, when I say, look, we're not a single-issue country, I say that from a lot of experience, because are these other issues that we're talking about, economic inequality, political finance issues, what to do to make sure Wall Street never wrecks Main Street again, are they important?

 

Absolutely.  That's why I have taken positions on them.  I have spoken out against them.  I was actually doing that before the great recession.  But we're going to talk about the issues that are on the minds of Americans.  And that's a broad number, because we have to address all of them.

 

TAPPER:  Obviously, you did well.  You won.

 

But, looking ahead, you still have 47 other states to go, plus the District of Columbia and some territories.

 

CLINTON:  That's true.

 

TAPPER:  So, I do want to look at some areas - let's call them areas for possible improvement.

 

One of them is that Bernie Sanders did better with Latino voters, and you not as well with Latino voters, at least according to our entrance poll, as many people anticipated.  This is a constituency you have worked very hard to cultivate.

 

What do you think happened, and how can you fix it, how can you improve your standings with Latino voters?

 

CLINTON:  You know, that's just not what our analysis shows, number one.

 

We don't believe that the so-called entry polls were particularly accurate.  If you look at the precincts, you look at where we dominated, there's a lot of evidence we did very, very well with every group of voter.  We did well and better than we thought in rural areas, which I was very happy to hear.  We held our own up in Reno.

 

So, it was a broad-based turnout.  And we dominated, of course, in Clark County, where Las Vegas is.  So, you know, we look at all of this.  We obviously are guided by the information we have.  We think that it shows that we always have to work hard for every single voter.  And we intend to do that in every place.

 

I'm in Texas right now.  I'm in Houston, about to address a large crowd that's gathered here late at night.  We're reaching out to everybody.  And we want to do as well as we can with everyone.

 

TAPPER:  So, I do want to look at some areas - let's call them areas for possible improvement.

 

One of them is that Bernie Sanders did better with Latino voters, and you not as well with Latino voters, at least according to our entrance poll, as many people anticipated.  This is a constituency you have worked very hard to cultivate.

 

What do you think happened, and how can you fix it, how can you improve your standings with Latino voters?

CLINTON:  You know, that's just not what our analysis shows, number one.

 

We don't believe that the so-called entry polls were particularly accurate.  If you look at the precincts, you look at where we dominated, there's a lot of evidence we did very, very well with every group of voter.  We did well and better than we thought in rural areas, which I was very happy to hear.  We held our own up in Reno.

 

So, it was a broad-based turnout.  And we dominated, of course, in Clark County, where Las Vegas is.  So, you know, we look at all of this.  We obviously are guided by the information we have.  We think that it shows that we always have to work hard for every single voter.  And we intend to do that in every place.

 

I'm in Texas right now.  I'm in Houston, about to address a large crowd that's gathered here late at night.  We're reaching out to everybody.  And we want to do as well as we can with everyone.

 

TAPPER:  An area of improvement, I think you will grant me, even if you don't believe the entrance polls on Latino voters, is potentially independent voters.

 

And I know that you have blamed the whole trust issue with independent voters on decades of unfair attacks by Republicans, smears against you by Republicans.  But how do you fix it going forward?  If you do become the nominee, you're going to need independent voters.

 

CLINTON:  Absolutely.

 

And I'm going to do what I have always done.  I'm going to keep, you know, reaching out to voters.  I understand that voters have questions.  I'm going to do my very best to answer those questions.  I think there's an underlying question that maybe is really in the back of people's minds.  And that is, you know, is she in it for us or is she in it for herself?

 

I think that's, you know, a question that people are trying to sort through.  And I'm going to demonstrate that I have always been the same person, fighting for the same values, fighting to make a real difference in people's lives long before I was ever in elected office, even before my husband was in the presidency.

 

So, I know that I have to, you know, make my case.  I have to demonstrate what I have achieved.  I have to really make clear that, look, we want a - we want to make progress in our country.  We want to make a real difference in people's lives.  That's what I have always been about.  That's what I would do as president.

 

So, I'm very hopeful.  And we will continue to work hard to make that case and to win over as many voters as possible to get the nomination.  And then we will see who the Republicans nominate, and we will go from there.

 

TAPPER:  Well, let's talk about that.  You're heading to South Carolina, the South Carolina Democratic primary Saturday.  You're favored to win there.  You're polling strong there.  You have scored some key endorsements.

 

The Republicans held their contest.  Donald Trump won handily, his second victory.  You have said that a race against Mr. Trump would be quite a showdown.  Is there a chance the Democrats are underestimating him?

 

CLINTON:  Well, I don't - I don't know, Jake.  I'm not thinking about that far ahead.  They have to finish their nominating process.  We have to finish ours.

 

But I do believe that the message that we want to take to the American people, that we can do better together, we can build those ladders of opportunity again, we can have broad-based prosperity, rising incomes, knock down the barriers that hold people back, I think that's a winning message, because I think that's what the American people are looking for.

 

You know, that great recession was such terrible blow to so many people.  And the repercussions are still working its way through the economy and through the political system.  So, I'm very committed to making the argument that I think is the winning argument about what we can do together.

 

I want to find common ground wherever I can.  But I want to move this economy.  I want to fix our political system.  I want to make government work better for people.  And I want to knock down those barriers of discrimination and debt and feeling like the deck is stacked against you that too many Americans, you know, now are worried may be the case.

 

TAPPER:  As a former secretary of state, I really am interested in your views on the foreign policy issue that has emerged on the Republican side that I'm sure you have opinions about.

 

Donald Trump was asked this week about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and he said - quote - "Let me be sort of a neutral guy.  I don't want to say whose fault it is.  I don't think it helps."

 

Now, Senator Ted Cruz, on the other hand, said - quote - "I have no intention of being neutral."  He would be standing by Israel.

 

You're a former secretary of state.  What do you think about those answers?  Where would you be?

 

CLINTON:  Well, I think both of them missed the mark.

 

First of all, Israel is our partner, our ally.  We have longstanding and important ties with Israelis going back to the formation of the state of Israel.  I will defend and do everything I can to support Israel, particularly as the neighborhood around it seems to become more dangerous and difficult.

 

I also believe the Palestinians deserve to have a state of their own.  That's why I support a two-state solution.  That's what I have worked on.  That's what I tried to move forward when I was secretary, and holding three very intense conversations between the prime minister of Israel and the president of the Palestinian Authority.

 

Those are not mutually exclusive.  I happen to think that moving toward a two-state solution, trying to provide more support for the aspirations of the Palestinian people is in the long-term best interests of Israel, as well as the region, and, of course, the people themselves.

 

So, I don't think either of the answers you just relayed to me really grapple with the challenges that we have to continue to work to overcome.

 

TAPPER:  Madam Secretary, thanks so much for joining us.  Good luck in South Carolina.  We will see you on the campaign trail.

 

Congratulations again.

 

CLINTON:  Great.  Thanks a lot.  Thank you very much.

 

###END INTERVIEW###SOTU

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