Hillary Clinton Denies She Started Obama "Birther" Smear In 2008 Campaign

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[Elections 2016]


Transcript of Hillary Clinton's Interview on the Tom Joyner Morning Show September 23, 2015.

TOM JOYNER: How are you?
HILLARY CLINTON: Hi, I’m great, how are you all doing?

TOM JOYNER: I’m good, where you calling from?
HILLARY CLINTON: I’m calling from New York

TOM JOYNER: I thought you’d be in Washington D.C. for the Pope
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, he’s coming to New York tomorrow and Friday so I think I’ll let the folks in Washington see him

TOM JOYNER: Okay. Sybil is here. J. Anthony Brown is here, along with Don Lemon and Rolland Martin and Jacque Reid.
HILLARY CLINTON: You have an all-star lineup today, don’t you?

TOM JOYNER: That’s right, that’s right. Alright, alright my first question is HBCUs. I love HBCUs as you know. Okay, what are you going to do for my beloved and troubled HBCUs?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I was on the campus of one just the other day, Little Rock, Philander Smith College, and I was talking to the new President there because I know, as you all do, how important the HBCUs are in our higher education system. They have closed the opportunity gap for hundreds of thousands of students each year. And have been really in the front lines of producing leaders, so under my new college compact we’re going to support, encourage, and reward HBCUs that help our students succeed. So students can complete college without cost being a barrier or debt holding them back.

I believe that for all of the HBCUs that are trying to do this important work, we’re going to have federal funds investing more in the public HBCUs, we’re going to do more to provide them the support and ensuring that the Pell Grants can be used to fund living expenses. And for private HBCUs we’re going to have a dedicated $25 billion dollar fund to provide support to them. So, I guess my bottom line is I, like you, admire and respect the role that HBCUs play, I have a lot of friends and former and present colleagues who are products of HBCUs, and you know we’re going to help kids get into school, stay in school, and we’re going to cut the interest rates on the loans that they have to take them out. Generally, we’re going to make sure that we have extra opportunities for HBCUs because I think the role they play is indispensable.

TOM JOYNER: Alright, Rolland Martin…
HILARY CLINTON: Hey, Rolland, how are you doing?

ROLLAND MARTIN: I’m doing great, great to see you Saturday night at the Congressional Black Caucus Dinner.
HILLARY CLINTON: Wasn’t that amazing? It was a wonderful night.

ROLLAND MARTIN: It was a huge night, and certainly there were critical issues that were raised. One of those that I want to focus on is this, in 2013, $23 billion in small business loans were handed out, African-Americans only got 1.7%. In the last year of President Bush, African-Americans got 8.2%. There are different factors including the housing crisis. Black women start businesses at a faster rate than any other group in America. What will you do specifically to address the issue of black businesses being able to have access to capital?
HILLARY CLINTON: Great question, you know I’ve said all over the country that I want to be the small business President and I particularly want to be the small business President for women and minority owned businesses because I think, and for a variety of reasons, a lot of it is related to the financial crisis.
We have not been keeping up with the pent-up demand that is out there. And particularly for African-American women, that’s true, I know from travelling around the country they can’t get access to capital, they can’t get the mentoring and support they often need to be able to go to the next stage. So here’s what I want to do, I want to make the Small Business Administration once again a really aggressive and vigorous agency. Reaching out for people, not just waiting for folks to come to them, I want to do more networking so that literally we have a team of people who are available 24/7 to council and support and send on their way people with good ideas.
I had an African-American woman say to me one time that more good ideas die in the parking lots of banks than anywhere in America. What we’ve got to do is reverse that and there’s a lot of programs that are already in place but they’re not being given the emphasis or the funding or support that they need and then I think we need to look at what are the niches we have to fill so that more people can find the help that they specifically need. I’m excited by this. Most new jobs in America are started by small businesses as they grow, and we have got to get back into the job creation business. And you can’t do that if you don’t support small businesses.

TOM JOYNER: Alright, more questions coming up for Mrs. Clinton. They come from Don Lemon, Jackie Reed, Sybil Wilkes after the break.
TOM JOYNER: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Don Lemon, Good Morning.
DON LEMON: Good Morning Secretary Clinton, how are you doing?
HILLARY CLINTON: Good Morning. Hi Don, how are you doing?

DON LEMON: Great. I am great. Are you getting any sleep? That is not my question, but I am just wondering. I have to ask.
HILLARY CLINTON: I sometimes watch you when you are on the overnight loop too.

DON LEMON: That's right. So then you know what is going on. I have to ask you this question because I am sure it is something you think had been handled in 2007-2008, but with Donald Trump and with Ben Carson over and over again saying these things about Muslims about the President's birthplace. This week people have been saying on air and I have been reporting it on CNN and I have been reporting it here that you were the person behind the whole "birther" thing and that President, Senator at the time, actually confronted you about that. Do you care to respond? Did you or your campaign start the whole "birther" thing and did you have a confrontation with the President?
HILLARY CLINTON: No. That is so ludicrous, Don. Honestly, I just believe, first of all, it is totally untrue. Secondly, the President and I have never had any kind of confrontation like that. This is such a bad example of what is wrong with instantaneous reactions and Americans getting all worked up and people feeding prejudice and paranoia like Donald Trump.
And obviously all of us have to stand against it and I have been blamed for nearly everything. That was a new one to me, but I'll just keep going and talking about what I want to do to get incomes rising and making college affordable, and making all of the positive changes that we have to be worried about.

TOM JOYNER: Jackie Reed is on the phone.
JACKIE REED: Yes, yes. Secretary Clinton, for the Tom Joyner Morning show I cover women and women's issues, so I got to ask about Planned Parenthood. You called what Republicans are trying to do in Congress right now the height of irresponsibility and that is by defunding Planned Parenthood through avoiding a government shutdown. But I'd like for you to explain for this audience, which is predominantly African-American females, why saving Planned Parenthood is important to this nation, and particularly, to African-American women.

HILLARY CLINTON: That's such a great question. Well first of all, Planned Parenthood has been taking care of women for years, for so long. Millions of women have gotten basic healthcare there and what I really resent is that when these people go after Planned Parenthood, they are, in essence, saying they want to deprive millions of women from getting cancer screenings, finding out whether they have HIV, getting help on family planning and contraceptives. It is a mean spirited, partisan attack on an organization that has been there for women, often the only place that young women, lower income women, have been able to go and get treated with respect and get the kind of healthcare they deserve. What you see is the ongoing debate over abortion, and everybody can have their own opinion about that. It is legal and therefore, in those facilities, which are a minority of the facilities of Planned Parenthood, where abortion is provided, and not using one Federal dollar to do it, the Republicans want to basically destroy the entire program that Planned Parenthood stands for. I am adamantly opposed to that.
I am going to be fighting that and I imagine that if the people listening, particularly the women listening, are anything like the vast majority of women in this country, either they or someone they know has gotten healthcare. You know 500,000 breast cancer screenings every year. And when these Republicans start talking about defunding Planned Parenthood or when Jeb Bush says we don't need 500 million dollars in the federal budget to help support the healthcare from Planned Parenthood. I don't know who they are talking to. They sure are not talking to the people who grab my hand as I travel around the country, talk to me on a rope line, or stop me on the street to tell me that is where they found out they had breast cancer. That is where they got the family planning help they needed. So this gets me really riled up because it's an unfair set of accusations and political attacks that would really hurt a lot of women.

TOM JOYNER: Sybil Wilkes.
SYBIL WILKES: Madam Secretary, we have a big situation here in terms of social justice reform as well as black lives matters and that sort of thing. I would like to know your social justice plan as we are also acknowledging the black leaders that are now coming on board the Hillary Clinton campaign such as the endorsement of Andy Young.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well first on that last point, I am really honored to have to Andy Young's support. He is somebody I have known for a long time and I have admired and I have to tell you. He said something to me years ago that I really think about a lot. You know, back in the late 50s when the south was roiled by civil rights challenges and conflicts and, you know, places that were trying to change and other places that were resisting change. He told me that Atlanta adopted the slogan, the city too busy to hate. I wish we would get back to saying America is too busy to hate. You know, we need to get working together and having each other's backs. And that goes for, you know, criminal justice reform ending the era of mass incarceration, getting rid of the, you know, privatization of prisons that have turned, you know, incarceration for-profit industry.
We ought to be looking at what we are going to do to lead on social justice by admitting and taking on the systemic racism that we still face in America. Just look at, you know, how President Obama has led us through difficult times and every step of the way, faced unrelenting opposition and obstruction and once again, here in this campaign, we are seeing a lot of those same voices and forces coming up and trying to, you know, turn the clock back. So what I hope we can do is come together around reforming criminal justice, but not just reforming the inequities that exist, the disparities that unfortunately persist, but looking at how we are going to close the opportunity gap and in particular, how we are going to help young people, and predominantly, you know, young men, have different choices because they have different opportunities so, this is a big issue for me and I want the folks to know that they can count on me to address it and they can count on me to work hard with the communities that are really focused on this to make a difference.

TOM JOYNER: Well, thank you. Thank you Secretary Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate, thank you so much.
SYBIL WILKES: Will you do this again with us soon?
TOM JOYNER: Don't be a stranger.
HILLARY CLINTON: Yes, I certainly will. Let's do it again soon.

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