It has been 24 days since Hillary Rodham Clinton entered the presidential race, but she has yet to do a sit-down interview with national media, as Breitbart News first reported. Clinton has only answered seven questions, according to the National Journal.
Political reporter Andrea Mitchell, a veteran journalist with MSNBC, said Clinton has been less available this time around than during her first run for president in 2008 and even less accessible than any other Democrats in earlier elections.
“To think that a presidential candidate can be driving around a primary or caucus state without anyone knowing where they’re going but have us waiting for hours for a very controlled conversation with pre-selected voters, it’s just inviting media criticism,” Mitchell said.
The National Journal detailed the seven questions with Clinton’s answers:
Question 1: “Secretary Clinton, your reaction please to these book allegations? Did foreign entities receive any special treatment for making any kind of donations to the foundation or your husband?”—ABC in Keene, New Hampshire, April 20
Clinton: “Well, we’re back into the political season, and therefore we will be subjected to all kinds of distraction and attacks. And I’m ready for that. I know that that comes unfortunately with the territory. It is, I think, worth noting that the Republicans seem to be talking only about me. I don’t know what they’d talk about if I weren’t in the race. But I am in the race, and hopefully we’ll get on to the issues, and I look forward to that.”
Question 2: “…Regarding the play for pay allegations in the latest book, emails back in 2012.”— WMUR, a local ABC affiliate in New Hampshire
Clinton: “You know, those issues are, in my view, distractions from what this campaign should be about, what I’m going to make this campaign about, and I’ll let other people decide what they want to talk about. I’m going to talk about what’s happening in the lives of the people of New Hampshire and across America. Thank you, all.”
Question 3: WMUR also asked Clinton about her early preference for small-group meetings.
Clinton: WMUR reported that she responded: “I wasn’t aware of the depth of feeling people had about the substance abuse issues. So here again I heard it in New Hampshire. So I want people to know that I’m listening, and I’m accessible, and I’m running a campaign that is about now, that is about the needs of the people of New Hampshire. That’s the kind of campaign I want to run. And I’m excited to be back here.”
Question 4: An MSNBC reporter asked Clinton on April 21 whether she had concerns about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement the Obama administration is in the process of negotiating.
Clinton: According to CBS: “Any trade deal has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security. We have to do our part in making sure we have the capabilities and the skills to be competitive. … It’s got to be really a partnership between our business, our government, our workforce, the intellectual property that comes out of our universities, and we have to get back to a much more focused effort in my opinion to try to produce those capacities here at home so that we can be competitive in a global economy.”
Question 5: In an interview for print (no transcript has been made available), The Washington Post apparently asked a question about “her campaign finance agenda” April 14.
Clinton: “We do have a plan. We have a plan for my plan. … I’m going to be rolling out a lot of my policies. … Stay tuned.”
Question 6: Also from the Post, when asked about the role of Priorities USA Action will play in the 2016 election:
Clinton: “I don’t know.”
Question 7: “Secretary Clinton, … hi, how are you, I’m Kristen with NBC News. You lost Iowa in 2008. How do you win this time? What’s your strategy?” — NBC in LeClaire, Iowa, on April 14.
Clinton: “I’m having a great time, can’t look forward any more than I am.”
According to the National Journal, other reporters questioned Clinton and she responded, “We’ll have lots of time to talk later.”