Hillary Clinton says she appreciates the struggles of the working class in America and acknowledges she and her family have been blessed.
After she and Bill left the White House, she says they were “dead broke” and struggled to pay mortgages on their two multi-million dollar homes.
Her comments were aired on ABC Monday night at the start of her national book tour, “Hard Choices.” Republicans have since used her remarks to show the former secretary of state is out-of-touch with mainstream America to which Clinton says,
“Let me just clarify that I fully appreciate how hard life is for so many Americans today,” Clinton told “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts. “It’s an issue that I’ve worked on and cared about my entire adult life. Bill and I were obviously blessed, we worked hard for everything we got in our lives and we have continued to work hard.”
She went on to explain she and Bill had amassed several million dollars in legal fees by the time they left the White House in 2001 saying,
“We 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 piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.”
“For me, it’s just a reality. What we faced when he got out of the White House meant that we had to just keep working really hard,” Clinton said in the Roberts interview to promote her memoir, “Hard Choices.”
She added, “I want to use the talents and resources I have to make sure other people get the same chances.”
Hillary says she and her husband worked while in law school to pay off student debt. And,
“We have a life experience that is clearly different in very dramatic ways from many Americans,” she said. “But we also have gone through some of the same challenges as many people have.”
Since leaving the White House, it is reported the Clinton’s earned more than $100 million over the past 14 years.
Hillary earns around $200,000 for speaking engagement and received an $8 million dollar advance for her first memoir, “Living History.”
Bill Clinton reportedly received $15 million for his memoir, “My Life,” and also earns millions from lucrative speaking engagements.
When Sawyer followed up by noting that Clinton’s typical speaking fee of about $200,000 was about five times the country’s median income, Clinton defended her paid speechmaking.
“I thought making speeches for money was a much better thing than getting connected with any one group or company, as so many people who leave public life do.”