In private, Hillary Clinton said she was “proud” of her relationship with her “life partner” Bill Clinton when she was asked about her “open marriage” during an event.
The private transcript of Clintons Q-and-A exchange with a parent was included in the Wikileaks release of emails from campaign chief John Podesta’s private email account.
The person asking Clinton the question noted that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was bad on women’s issues, but that Clinton was perhaps setting a bad example for children by sticking with her husband despite his marital affairs.
“You stay married, people call it an open marriage,” the person asked. “Good example, bad example? Am I totally off base?”
Clinton argued that Republicans had failed by attacking her marriage, and that voters cared about the issues more than her relationship with her husband.
“I feel like this is something that was dealt with in the nineties, and I am more than willing to have people draw their own conclusions,” she said. “But, I’ve been married now for a very long time and I’m very proud of that marriage.”
Clinton explained that staying with Bill Clinton was the result of her “values,” and that she was proud of her daughter Chelsea and her two grandchildren.
“I’m going to continue to live my life in accordance with my values and I’m very happy to have a life partner that I’ve been with for many, many years,” she concluded.
The transcript was emailed by Hillary Clinton’s research director Tony Carrk to former Clinton adviser Karen Dunn, who was helping the campaign with debate preparations in January 2015.
“This transcript is NOT public, but for reference for the answer,” Carrk wrote, apparently discussing how Hillary Clinton would respond to debate questions about her relationship with Bill Clinton.
Full transcript below:
QUESTION: Even before Donald Trump started putting his foot in his mouth in regards to women’s issues, you were asked recently about your relationship with your husband, his relationships with [inaudible] women. One of my sons is a twenty-three year old independent, and I asked him about this last night and to put it succinctly, he called back a weakness that having watched my generation grow up, in the last twenty years, women have been freed from feeling like they’ve had to stay married to those relationships that they didn’t have to stick around, so to speak. They didn’t have to stay by their man. Your relationship with your husband and his extracurricular activities have been an issue. For me, they set an example for my children who [inaudible] stay married legitimately for four years. You stay married, people call it an open marriage. Good example, bad example? Am I totally off base?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, putting aside the Republican political attacks that they’ve been making about us on a range of issues for many years. They haven’t worked, and I think the American public is interested in what the next President is going to do for them, for their families, and their country. And in an election you can [inaudible] for you or against you, based on whatever factors they believe are relevant. So that’s something that I respect. I feel like this is something that was dealt with in the nineties, and I am more than willing to have people draw their own conclusions. But, I’ve been married now for a very long time and I’m very proud of that marriage. I’m very proud of the daughter we’ve raised, I’m very proud of the grandchild we have and the one yet to come. And I think you judge a person on the totality of his or her life. So I’m going to continue to live my life in accordance with my values and I’m very happy to have a life partner that I’ve been with for many, many years.