Hillary Clinton has backed away from one of her biggest applause lines of the Democratic debate, in which she declared Republicans–without differentiating between politicians and voters–her “enemy.”
Asked which enemy she was most proud of making during Tuesday night’s debate, Hillary replied, “Well, in addition to the NRA, the drug companies, the insurance companies, the Iranians, um, probably the Republicans.” This brought cheers from the audience and was lauded by Rachel Maddow as a solid approach.
In an interview with the Boston Globe Friday, Hillary backed away from her applause line saying it was “a little tongue in cheek” and promising that after the election she would “start trying to bring people together.”
The Globe‘s James Pindell noted the previous two Presidents came into office promising bipartisanship. He then referred to Hillary’s line in the debate, saying, “In the debate performance you talked about your enemies being Republicans. Are you going to have a different approach? Are you coming in ready for a fight?”
Clinton immediately backed away from her previous answer. “I am coming in, as I always am, ready to find common ground with anybody, anywhere, anytime,” she said, adding, “But also to stand my ground.”
“And when I’m in an office, as I was in the Senate for eight years or as I was the Secretary of State for four years, I work very well with Republicans. And if you go back and look at the very kind favorable things that they said about me, particularly while I was Secretary of State, I really appreciated that. And then as soon as I started running for President again it all ended and they began insulting and attacking and all of that. That’s politics, I get it. It was a little tongue in cheek when I said that in the debate because we are going to be in a very contested political campaign. And I’m going to do everything I can to win. But then, once the election is over, it’s time to start trying to bring people together to start governing.”