WASHINGTON — President Obama defended Hillary Clinton in the face of criticism recently that she is out of touch with average Americans, based on her comments about the Clintons’ financial security.
“She is in public service because she cares about the same folks that I talked to here today,” Obama said from Minneapolis, where he held a town hall meeting. The interview, taped Thursday during the president’s trip, aired on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning.
As Clinton has traveled the country to promote her memoir, “Hard Choices,” she has discussed life post-White House and said her family was “dead broke” after her husband left the Oval Office in 2001.
Conservative groups, which see Clinton as one of the biggest potential threats in the 2016 presidential race, have highlighted her comments as evidence that she is out of touch with the daily concerns of Americans.
Although the Clintons did leave the White House in debt due to enormous legal fees, they also walked away with a sizable government pension and the promise of massive book advances and speaking gigs worth millions.
Obama said all the hubbub is to be expected.
“As soon as you jump back into the spotlight – in a more explicitly political way – you’re going to be flyspecked like this,” the President said. “She’s accustomed to it. Over time I don’t think it’s going to make a big difference.”
With the presidential election still a couple of years away, Obama brushed off concerns that Clinton’s stumble could hurt her chances.
“I think that Hillary has been to this rodeo a bunch of times.”