MSNBC: Bill Clinton Not Doing Hillary Favors With Comments Similar to ‘Dead Broke’ Gaffe

• May 4, 2015 2:03 pm


When the Clintons left the White House, Hillary Clinton said her family was "dead broke."  Former President Bill Clinton recently made a similar comment that he gives high-priced speeches to "pay the bills."

Bill Clinton made the comment during a NBC interview in which he was questioned about the million-dollar speaking fees.  After each speech, Clinton was paid more than $500,000.

Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza and The Atlantic’s Molly Ball criticized Clinton’s comments Monday on Andrea Mitchell Reports.

"Remember this fact, Andrea, from 2001 to 2013, Bill Clinton made $105 million only on speech-giving. So yes, they have bills, but this is not like they're going to shut off the electricity if we don't pay the bills.  It's of a piece when Hillary Clinton said they were quote-unquote, ‘dead broke’ when they left the White House," Cillizza said.

Bill Clinton was also asked whether he would step down from the Clinton Foundation if his wife were elected president.  Clinton answered, "I might if I were asked to do something in the public interest if I had an obligation to do."

Ball said that Bill’s comment doesn’t do any favors for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and that they will have difficulty in addressing the controversy around her family’s and Clinton Foundation’s finances.

"I don't think Bill is doing Hillary favors with comments like these.  I think the larger question for Hillary's campaign is it's not clear that they have a strategy for this ongoing story line," Ball said.  "There's the constant drip of stories."

"When you make $100 million giving speeches, that's a whole lot of people, with whom you're financially entangled in one way or another," Ball said. "This is going to keep coming out.  There hasn’t been an effective defense.  If were saying ‘I gotta pay the bills’ is not a particularly good defense. There hasn’t been a good way to shut the door on this. The best scenario for Hillary is that there's so much of this stuff people become numb to it."