Hillary Clinton defended her shift on the capital gains tax, slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, claimed a love of any and all pantsuits and said that “black lives matter” during the first Facebook chat of her presidential campaign.
The Democratic presidential candidate took to the social media site on Monday and answered only a handful of questions, mostly from supporters and reporters from the mainstream media.
Perhaps the toughest question Clinton chose to answer came from CNN’s Dan Merica. He asked about Clinton’s obvious policy shift on capital gains. While Clinton said in 2008 that she would likely not raise capital gains taxes but that if she did, the rate wouldn’t exceed 20 percent. Merica pointed out that Clinton is evaluating a proposal to increase short-term capital gains taxes from 24 percent to 28 percent in order to promote long-term investment over what’s she’s called “short-termism.”
Clinton defended the shift by claiming that the economic environment has changed in the past seven years.
“The increase in short-termism has grown in urgency since 2008, and the urgency of our solutions has to match it,” Clinton said, adding that she will be outlining proposals for capital gains reform to promote long-term investment later this week.
Clinton also reiterated her support for a path to citizenship for illegal aliens while also grouping Republican contenders Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio together.
“This is a big difference I have with most of the Republican candidates,” she wrote. “Donald Trump in particular is getting a lot of attention for some hateful rhetoric, but Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio actually agree with him on denying a pathway to citizenship and consigning hardworking immigrants to second class status.”
Rubio and Bush are considered the two most liberal Republicans in the field on immigration issues. Trump has gotten into trouble for his comments criticizing Mexican immigrants.
Clinton also answered a question from Washington Post race and justice reporter Wesley Lowery. He asked about the progressive Netroots Nation event held this weekend. Clinton skipped the event, but her two top competitors, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders attended. The event proved unsuccessful though as they were interrupted by “Black Lives Matter” protesters.
Asked by Lowery what she would have said if she had attended the conference, Clinton began: “Black lives matter.”
The response was predictable and safe given Saturday’s events. O’Malley was forced to apologize following his Netroots speech for saying “all lives matter.” Clinton faced similar criticism last month when she told a group at a black church in Missouri that “all lives matter.” Many racial justice activists have adopted the “Black lives matter” motto claiming that the phrase “all lives matter” diminishes blacks.
In addressing what policy issues she would propose to improve racial inequality, Clinton provided only a glossy overview.
“We need to acknowledge some hard truths about race and justice in this country, and one of those hard truths is that that racial inequality is not merely a symptom of economic inequality,” she wrote, repeating her past calls for universal body cameras at all U.S. police departments, for early childhood education and for “universal voter registration.”
Clinton also weighed in on the so-called “gender gap” when she was asked by Huffington Post reporter Laura Bassett about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comment on Monday that “the gender card alone isn’t enough.”
“Wow,” Clinton responded. “If that’s what he said, Mitch McConnell really doesn’t get it. There is a gender card being played in this campaign. It’s played every time Republicans vote against giving women equal pay, deny families access to affordable child care or family leave, refuse to let women make decisions about their health or have access to free contraception.”
In response to other questions, Clinton said she plans to continue supporting Dodd-Frank, the massive financial regulatory bill enacted in 2010. She also said she will soon be putting forth proposals to help college graduates refinance debt. The proposal will seek to “encourage more people to use income contingency repayment program so you are paying back as a percentage of what you actually earn.”
Clinton ignored hundreds of tougher questions. She did not answer The Daily Caller’s inquiry about whether she believes that “All lives matter” is a problematic statement. She also did not answer when asked for the specific date that she decided to scrub her personal email server.
Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski asked Clinton whether she felt responsible for the outcome in Libya and whether she would commit to releasing 30 years of income records, as Jeb Bush has.
She did not respond to those questions but did answer a few lighter questions. Asked what kind of pantsuit she prefers, Clinton said, “I never met a pantsuit I didn’t love” and linked to the merchandise section of her campaign website.
One woman expressed frustration at what she called the “hair and makeup tax.” It takes her an additional 30 minutes to get ready for work compared to her boyfriend, the woman complained.
“Amen, sister – you’re preaching to the choir,” Clinton responded. “It’s a daily challenge. I do the best I can — and as you may have noticed, some days are better than others!”
Clinton concluded the short-lived exchange and posted an animated gif from a recent “Saturday Night Live” skit.