“Everybody does it,” is an excuse expected from a mischievous child, not a presidential candidate. But that is Hillary Clinton’s latest defense for making closed-door, richly-paid speeches to big banks, which many middle-class Americans still blame for their economic pain, and then refusing to release the transcripts.
A televised town hall on Tuesday was at least the fourth candidate forum in which Mrs. Clinton was asked about those speeches. Again, she gave a terrible answer, saying that she would release the transcripts “if everybody does it, and that includes the Republicans.”
In November, she implied that her paid talks for the Wall Street firms were part of helping them rebuild after the 9/11 attacks, which “was good for the economy and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists.”
In a debate with Bernie Sanders on Feb. 4, Mrs. Clinton was asked if she would release the transcripts, and she said she would “look into it.” Later in February, asked in a CNN town hall forum why she accepted $675,000 for speeches to Goldman Sachs, she got annoyed, shrugged, and said, “That’s what they offered,” adding that “every secretary of state that I know has done that.”
At another town hall, on Feb. 18, a man in the audience pleaded, “Please, just release those transcripts so that we know exactly where you stand.” Mrs. Clinton had told him, “I am happy to release anything I have when everybody else does the same, because every other candidate in this race has given speeches to private groups.”
On Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton further complained, “Why is there one standard for me, and not for everybody else?”
The only different standard here is the one Mrs. Clinton set for herself, by personally earning $11 million in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 for 51 speeches to banks and other groups and industries.
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SOURCE: The New York Times