Hillary Clinton: 'Civility Can Start Again' if Dems Win Back House, Senate

October 9, 2018

Twice-defeated presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that civility towards Republicans has to wait until after the November midterm elections.

"You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about," Clinton said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour. "That's why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that's when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength."

Clinton has criticized calls for civility in the past. In June, The Guardian asked her about civility in political discourse in the midst of controversy over children being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Oh, give me a break. Give me a break!" Clinton said. "What is more uncivil and cruel than taking children away? It should be met with resolve and strength. And if some of that comes across as a little uncivil, well, children’s lives are at stake; their futures are at stake. That is that ridiculous concept of bothsideism."

Clinton is not the first Democrat to challenge civility.

In June, Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) said, "If you see anybody from [Trump's] cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere."

Last month, Waters said she threatens Trump supporters "all the time," but insisted she does not advocate violence.

"I do not advocate violence. I do not believe you should hit, kick, shoot … We have to tell people the difference between violence and incivility and protesting," Waters said.

Around the time Waters made her initial comments, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant, protesters harassed Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen until she cut short dinner at a Mexican restaurant, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi left a movie with people yelling at her, among other incidents.

Two weeks ago, Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and his wife, Heidi, were heckled and harassed at a Washington, D.C. restaurant.