Hillary Clinton Finally Takes Questions from the Press

Hillary Clinton takes questions from the press after hosting a small business forum with members of the business and lending communities at Bike Tech bicycle shop in Cedar Falls, Iowa. (PHOTO CREDIT: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton takes questions from the press after hosting a small business forum with members of the business and lending communities at Bike Tech bicycle shop in Cedar Falls, Iowa. (PHOTO CREDIT: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton found out Tuesday what happens when a presidential candidate goes almost a month without taking questions from the press: a feeding frenzy of reporters.

The former secretary of State faced a barrage of questions after a campaign event in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and answered questions on topics ranging from Iraq to the Clinton Foundation to her family’s wealth.

The brief Q&A came after reporters have focused on their lack of access to Clinton in recent weeks—before Tuesday, Clinton had answered just 13 questions during the campaign, by NPR’s count. That relative silence from Clinton has allowed a spate of news stories, ranging from questions about the Foundation’s financial dealings to the release of her emails, to pass by without comment from the candidate herself.

That tension was apparent earlier Tuesday, when a reporter shouted out during the event to ask whether she would take questions afterward. “I might. I’ll have to ponder it,” Clinton replied, adding that it would only be “when I finish talking to the people here.”

Clinton also got a tough question during the event itself, when one of the roundtable participants asked her to clarify her position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Trade has divided the Democratic Party: President Obama supports the deal, but progressives—including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Clinton’s sole official primary opponent thus far—have vehemently opposed it. Clinton had previously commented on what it would take for her to support the deal, but had not taken a stance either way.

“I’ve been very clear on this,” Clinton said, reiterating her previous statements that any trade deal she supports must increase jobs and wages, increase the United States’ competitiveness globally, and be good for U.S. national security. But she expressed concern over several provisions in the potential deal, saying she will wait to decide until the proposed agreement has been finalized.

“I have said I want to judge the final agreement,” she said. “I have been for trade agreements, I have been against trade agreements. I’ve tried to make the evaluation depending upon what I thought they would produce, and that’s what I’m waiting to see.”

Here’s what she said in response to the five press questions she answered:

Clcik here to read more.

SOURCE: National Journal, Emily Schultheis

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