Hillary Clinton reportedly struck a friendly and "gushy" tone when speaking to guests of her private paid speeches to Wall Street institutions.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
Most of Mrs. Clinton’s comments steered clear of anything that could become controversial in her fight for the Democratic nomination, say people who attended some of these events or were briefed on them. She didn’t often talk about the financial crisis, but when she did, she almost always struck an amicable tone, according to these people. In some cases, she thanked the audience for what they had done for the country, the people said. One attendee said the warmth with which Mrs. Clinton greeted guests bordered on "gushy."
Clinton has recently received increased criticism for her paid speeches to financial institutions, and particularly for three alone, paid for by Goldman Sachs, that netted the former secretary of state $675,000. Earlier this week, Politico reported that an individual present at one of the speeches to Goldman Sachs executives recalled that Clinton’s remarks were "glowing" about the company.
"It was pretty glowing about us," the attendee recalled. "It’s so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now. It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director."
According to the Associated Press, Clinton netted $9 million from speeches paid for by banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, and real estate companies before launching her presidential bid.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Clinton’s competitor for the Democratic nomination for president, has attacked her for her ties to Wall Street, arguing that the campaign cash she has received from the financial services industry shows that Clinton is too beholden to Wall Street.
During the Democratic debate in Milwaukee Thursday night, Sanders repeated his criticism, saying that Clinton’s Super PAC has received $15 million in contributions from Wall Street. Clinton responded by arguing that Obama "stood up" to Wall Street even though he received campaign money from individuals in the financial services industry.
"Let’s not insult the intelligence of the American people," Sanders replied. "People aren’t dumb. Why in God’s name does Wall Street make huge campaign contributions? I guess just for the fun of it."
Clinton has been pressed to release the transcripts of her paid Goldman Sachs speeches, saying last week that she would "look into it." Clinton often required a stenographer to transcribe her paid speeches for her records.
Individuals close to Clinton told the Journal that aides are reviewing dozens of transcripts to determine any negative impact of releasing them.