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Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on MSNBC’s ReidOut show(11/01/22) to discuss among other things, the violent attack on Paul Pelosi, the 82 year old husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at their San Francisco home. As host Joy Reid correctly pointed out, Hillary Clinton, like Nancy Pelosi, is a high-flying female political figure, who has also been the subject of numerous threats of violence from rightwingers, so she was the perfect guest to opine on this topic.
Asked how the attack on Paul Pelosi personally struck her, and whether this spoke to a larger general animus in America towards powerful women, Hillary Clinton responded(3:30): “There’s always been a streak of violence, of racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism…but I think what we’re seeing today, and it has certainly been thrown into very high relief by the horrific attack on Paul Pelosi, is not just an aberration where one or two people, or a small group engage in that kind of violent rhetoric, and urge people to take action against political figures like her, like me, like others, we’re seeing a whole political party, and those who support it, those who enable it, those who run under its banner, engaging in behavior that is so dangerous, and I find frankly, disqualifying for people who are running for office.”
Clinton then slammed Republicans, a lot of who are running on a “tough on crime” message this midterm election cycle, saying, “They don’t seem to be too bothered” by an 82 year old man being attacked in his own home by an intruder, because “that person is married to the Speaker of the House who’s of a different political party.”
Clinton then went all the way there, telling host Joy Reid that the kind of violent rhetoric we are currently witnessing from Republicans, is what leads to authoritarian regimes. She specifically said(4:54): “I just want your viewers, and really, I would like every American just to stop and think about that. This is the kind of violent rhetoric that leads to violent action, that props up authoritarians, and that’s unfortunately what we see the Republican Party today supporting.” She went on to single out Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene’s violent rhetoric directed at Speaker Pelosi as one example, adding(8:39), “This is a real threat to the heart of our democracy.”
The interview then shifted to the upcoming midterm elections, where Hillary Clinton urged voters to believe Republicans when they say they will gut social security and other entitlement programs. She specifically said(10:43): “Sometimes when I tell people that, they say. ‘Oh, they would never do that.’ Well, they told us for 50 years they were going to get rid of Roe v Wade, and turn abortion over to the states, where state legislators, local political officials could decide what your healthcare would be, why won’t you believe them, that they are going to go after social security and Medicare? I believe them, I take them at their word.”
A very interesting part of the interview came when host Joy Reid showed an old picture of then Senator Clinton with the late Senator John McCain(R-AZ), Senator Susan Collins(R-ME) and Senator Lindsey Graham(R-SC) during a foreign trip they had taken related to climate change. Host Joy Reid asked Clinton to compare and contrast the Lindsey Graham she knew back then, with the full blown Trumper he has since become.
Clinton said when they took the trip, Sen Graham was a believer in climate change, and that he continued to believe in it up until Senator McCain’s sad death. After that, he totally changed. Clinton(15:58): “There was no doubt that everybody, including Senator Graham, understood and believed in climate change, and while John McCain was still alive, he seemed to believe that. After Senator McCain’s very sad passing, Lindsey was unmoored, I don’t know how else to say it. In 2016 he was still somewhat of himself…and then when Trump ended up getting elected, Senator Graham threw his lot in with him…I find it bewildering that somebody who was always on the conservative side, don’t get me wrong, has so thrown his lot in with the cult that goes along with the big lie, and seems to be moving us in a direction that I think anyone with half a sense of American history knows, is going to hurt us.”
Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of State, was then asked to opine on the current volatile situation in Brazil after President Jair Bolsonaro, dubbed the “Brazilian Trump”, lost his quest for reelection. Clinton said(23:48): “I think what he did today sends a quite positive message…I think that he basically couldn’t bring himself to say that he lost, and so it wasn’t a formal concession, but he said he would follow the constitution, and he apparently gave the okay to his team to say they would start the transition. So we didn’t hear ‘big steal’, we didn’t hear, you know, ‘it was rigged’, ‘I didn’t really lose’, we didn’t hear any of that from him, like we heard from, and still hear today, from Trump, so I’m cautiously optimistic that Brazil will make this transition. I think it’s going to be quite difficult for Lula because the election was so close…but he has made it clear, again something we didn’t hear from Trump at his inauguration…he wants to be the president for all Brazilians, those who voted for him, those who did not vote for him, so as I said, I’m cautiously optimistic that he will be able to govern the country effectively and begin to deal with some of the very big problems that face Brazil.”
Asked about the Russia-Ukraine war, Clinton spoke very highly of President Zelensky and his “very impressive” administration, saying they are holding up very well under the circumstances, and that Ukraine will ultimately prevail if the West continues providing them with military assistance. She added(26:55): “I personally view their fight as our fight. They are fighting for democracy, they are fighting for freedom, they are fighting for their rights to make their own futures, and not be subjected to Putin’s whims and his imaginary history that they’ve never existed…”
Asked at the very end of the interview, about the return of Bibi Netanyahu as Israel’s Prime Minister, and specifically, how Iran’s cooperation with Putin as he attacks Ukraine, might affect his relationship with Putin(they seemed to get along fine while he was PM and Trump President), Clinton said(27:46): “Netanyahu is a very experienced politician, and he certainly has always paid attention to the threat from Iran. I hope he pays attention to it now because this partnership that Iran has with Russia should be of deep concern to Israel.”
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