“I’m very disappointed in those comments and I feel very bad, and very disappointed with him and with the Republican party for not responding immediately and saying, ‘Enough! Stop It!’,” Hillary Clinton told CNN’s senior political correspondent Brianna Keilar in Clinton’s first nationally televised interview since officially announcing her candidacy.
“But they are all in the same general area on immigration,” Clinton continued. “They don’t want to provide a path to citizenship” she said of all the GOP White House hopefuls, describing them as ranging across a spectrum on the subject that ranges only from hostility to “grudging welcome” whereas she said “I’m going to talk about comprehensive immigration reform.”
Keilar had the sense to ask about candidate Jeb Bush’s “approach to that” and Clinton said, without missing a beat, “He doesn’t believe in a path to citizenship – if he did, he no longer does” and repeated her “spectrum of hostility” line, calling that spectrum “regrettable in a nation of immigrants like ours.
“I think that is a mistake” Clinton said of the GOP “spectrum of hostility” on the immigration issue. “We know we’re not going to deport 11 or 12 million people” she said, calling immigration reform “good for us economically…for the taxes that will be legally collected…for the children. I am 100 percent behind comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.”
It was left to CNN’s Jake Tapper to note, in a chat with Keilar after the interview was conducted, but before it airs tonight in its entirety, that Jeb Bush is married to an Hispanic immigrant. If Keilar asked Clinton about that, it was not seen in the previous clips used to tease tonight’s full interview.
Keilar did, however, ask Clinton about current GOP frontrunner Bush, to wonder if Clinton “can believe, a quarter of a century after your husband was elected, that there could be another Bush/Clinton race.”
“We’ll see,” Clinton said, dodging the question. She did commit to saying we would have to see who is nominated on the GOP side, and then who is nominated by Democrats, adding, “Whoever is nominated by their respective party will be the nominee, and then we’ll see who is on the other side.”
After it was announced yesterday Clinton had picked Keilar for her first nationally televised interview since officially announcing her candidacy, word got out Keilar had recently attended the wedding of Clinton’s grassroots director, and wondered if the CNN correspondent would disclose that fact during today’s sit down.
Clinton’s first national interview will air Tuesday on The Situation Room at 5 PM ET and repeat on Anderson Cooper 360 at 8 PM.
The interview comes two days after Tapper, CNN State Of The Union host Jake Tapper snarked about Clinton and her Media “Veal Pen” marching in a New Hampshire parade on July 4. “I see a lot of Republicans loving it, because they hate us more than they hate her,” Tapper noted last Sunday. Among his panelists, conservative talking head S.E. Cupp called it “humiliating for reporters who have to abide by Hillary Clinton’s rules of journalism,” adding, “I don’t blame her, I blame reporters who put up with this. The second they decide we’re not doing this anymore, we’re not going to cover your glossy events the way you want it, then she’ll be forced to change this behavior.” Cupp called it Clinton’s “Tank Moment,” in re Michael Dukakis’ 1988 presidential campaign optical disaster.
The next day, Clinton’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri compounded the problem on MSNBC’s Morning Joe when she got asked about the Clinton campaign’s lassoing of reporters by calling it “a good time to talk about our theory on press access and the campaign,” Palmieri suggested. Then, when asked why Clinton’s handlers didn’t just ask the press to cover Clinton’s parade walk from the back of an open pickup truck, as previous campaigns had done, responding, with a straight face, “we don’t have all of the vehicles that you might have in the campaign at a later date.”
The Democratic frontrunner had not granted interviews to national outlets since officially announcing her candidacy in April.