One of Hillary Clinton’s favorite lines of attack in the Democratic primary was to claim that “when a woman speaks out, some people think it’s shouting.”
The former secretary of state repeatedly used the construction to attack Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley in the weeks after the first Democratic debate, yet a new email published by WikiLeaks on Friday shows that Clinton’s own campaign realized the attacks were not entirely fair.
On October 28, 2105, speechwriter Megan Rooney sent key campaign staff Clinton’s prepared remarks to be delivered at the Grover Cleveland Dinner in Bartlett, New Hampshire that evening.
Rooney drew everyone’s attention to a “riff” (below) she had added and asked them, almost ironically, to “holler if you want any changes.”
I know the issue of gun violence is controversial. But I don’t care how hard the politics are. You and your kids should *feel* safe and *be* safe when you go to the school, to the movies, to church. That’s why I’m proposing commonsense gun safety measures like universal background checks, closing the loopholes that let guns fall into the wrong hands, and repealing that law that shields gun makers and sellers from accountability. I’ve been told to stop shouting about ending gun violence. Some are even threatening to run negative ads against me for speaking out on this issue. But I won’t be silenced, and I hope you won’t be either. How many more people have to die before we take action? [sic]
“Just want to be sure what quote in Bloomberg story we will attribute this to,” responded private media consultant Mandy Grunwald.
“Good point,” responded Rooney before pointing to a quote Sanders aide Tad Devine gave Bloomberg that morning. “This is the quote so maybe we should change the speech to read ‘I’ve been told to stop shouting about ending gun violence. Some are threatening to go after me for speaking out on this issue. But I won’t be silenced, and I hope you won’t be either.'”
Director of speech writing Dan Schwerin wanted further clarification from Grunwald.
“Mandy, are you saying back off or just that we need to be ready?”
At this point, campaign manager Robby Mook added his two cents.
“I would be comfortable being explicit ‘people have said they will run attack ads against me,'” he wrote before pointing to a separate quote from Devine, this one criticizing Hillary for promising to stay out of Wall Street’s pockets.
“This is the quote in working from,” Mook explained. “If they keep up these attacks on Bernie as a sexist or as anti-gun control, or if they start going further down that negative road, I think we’re going to start looking at whether or not she can really tell the big banks to reform when so much of her money comes from Wall Street… That would be step one. Step two would be, you go to Goldman Sachs and give a speech for an hour and get $200,000 – and you are going to be able to stand up to the banks?”