A Democratic strategist and former adviser to the Clintons provided little help in defending Hillary Clinton, who has come under fire for saying that she and husband Bill were “dead broke” after leaving the White House in 2001.
The strategist, Kiki McLean, answered questions Tuesday on CNN in response to comments Clinton made in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, which aired Monday.
“I suppose when you heard that comment you knew full well that that was going to be fodder for the Republicans,” CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield told McLean.
“Mrs. Clinton used the word ‘houses’ – the plural version, which many Americans would hear and sort of think, Ugh, holy moly. Isn’t it fair that perhaps that’s the criticism that comes out of it? That that’s somebody who perhaps isn’t in touch with Americans in general?”
Clinton’s remarks were in response to a question from Sawyer about the former First Lady’s lucrative speaking career. She reportedly draws an average of $200,000 from each gig.
Clinton sloughed off the criticism, saying that it was necessary given the couples’ financial problems, which were a result of a number of legal issues during their White House stay.
“We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt,” Clinton said in Monday’s interview.
“We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education,” she said.
McLean found little wrong with that comment, yet ended up casting Clinton as out of touch in another way.
“There’s nothing fair with anybody who would insinuate that Hillary Clinton doesn’t understand the struggle of a middle class family,” McLean said. (RELATED: Hillary Says She And Bill Were ‘Dead Broke’ After Leaving White House)
“She certainly grew up with one. And she gave a statement of fact when President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton left the White House, they were dead broke. Now, they have a life and a set of expectations that are different, and they’ve been fortunate to make some money.”
Being perceived as having a different “set of expectations” from regular Americans is unlikely to help Clinton should she embark on a 2016 presidential bid.
Since leaving the White House, the power couple has gone on to amass a fortune of between $100 million and $200 million.