Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton spent a lot of time attacking Wall Street and “big banks” in Wednesday’s CNN town hall in New Hampshire, but one answer left the audience cold.
Asked about the three speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs, the multinational investment firm often singled out for attacks by progressives, for which Clinton was paid $675,000, and whether she had to take that much from them, Clinton glibly responded, “That’s what they offered.”
Moderator Anderson Cooper asked, “Was that a mistake? Was that a bad error in judgment?”
“Look, I made speeches to lots of groups. I told them what I thought. I answered questions,” Clinton replied.
“But did you have to be paid $675,000?” Cooper asked.
“Well, I don’t know. That’s what they offered, so um…” Clinton responded, causing audible laughter from the audience. “Every secretary of state that I know has done that.”
Cooper pressed Clinton on her claim that every former secretary of state has done the same thing, noting they did not have aspirations for the presidency. Clinton replied she wasn’t sure she was going to run for president when she took the money. “To be honest, I wasn’t committed to running. I didn’t know whether I would or not.”
When she left the State Department in 2013, Hillary Clinton signed with the Harry Walker Agency to represent her for speaking engagements. The exclusive agency represents her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and many other high profile speakers. The firm, in conjunction with the speakers, sets the fee rates.