Video: Hillary Clinton’s Town Hall on This Week (5/4/08)

Hillary Clinton appeared on This Week with George Stephanopoulos for a “Town Hall” style event. She took live questions from voters in Indiana and North Carolina for just about the full hour.

Here is the entire video of the event in 5 parts on YouTube:

A report on the session from the Associated Press:

Clinton, for her part, turned in a feisty performance on “This Week” — at turns funny, combative and wonky. In contrast with Obama’s coolheaded demeanor, Clinton was at times almost overeager — wide-eyed and smiling, rejecting an on-set armchair in favor of standing and gesturing to the audience.

Taking advantage of Obama’s vulnerabilities among working-class voters, the New York senator has fashioned herself a champion of their concerns — in part by criticizing trade deals and sticking by her much-criticized proposal to lift the federal gas tax this summer.

“I think we’ve been for the last seven years seeing a tremendous amount of government power and elite opinion basically behind policies that haven’t worked well for the middle class and hardworking Americans,” Clinton said when pressed on why no prominent economists support the gas-tax holiday. “I’ll tell you what, I’m not going to put my lot in with economists.”

She stuck to her guns even as an audience member said she felt she was being “pandered to” by the gas-tax holiday plan.

Clinton insisted she had opposed NAFTA during her husband’s presidency, although there is little evidence to suggest she worked against it at the time. She even conscripted Stephanopoulos into service to support her story.

“Now, you remember this, because George did work in that ’92 campaign, and George and I actually were against NAFTA,” Clinton said. “I’m talking about him in his previous life, before he was an objective journalist and didn’t have opinions about such matters.”

She also joked about Rush Limbaugh, saying the conservative radio host “always had a crush on me.”

It was interesting, I think this helped her considering she took questions from voters, not from Tim Russert as Obama did this morning. She’s certainly trying to drive home the message she’s more in tune with the average citizen.

How’d she do? Sound off below.

  • Michel

    Wait a minute. She’s not “going to put my lot in with economists”? What? What does that means, that we should listen to her instead and not believe in vast amount of experts that know more of economy than her?

    I consider myself part of the average audience, and that woman has just insulted my intelligence.

  • Mike

    I think she did quite well. She handled the issues in the way she normally does, acknowledging the problems and providing a nice, detailed solution for them. She even helped clear up some misconceptions about her, which was good. Ultimately, I doubt Obama supporters would switch their position because of this interview, but some undecideds might.

  • C. Neiman

    Stefanopoulous finally asked her serious questions about the flaws in her “arguments.” She deflected them with WORDS, WORDS, WORDS, talking out of the side of her mouth, masking the contradictions in her thinking that she hasn’t taken account of. She just TALKED AND TALKED AND TALKED, so much that you couldn’t even follow her any longer. Her wonky know-it-all nonstop talk — her style — took over her “substance.” The contrast between her presentation at this forum and Obama’s appearance on Tim Russert today, in real conversation, making much more coherent and clear arguments, was striking. I think this forum was actually a disaster for her.

  • Dreadsen

    Man i’m on the 3rd video and i don’t think i can watch anymore.
    She rambled so much and tap danced around so many questions. Up to this point i haven’t learned much at all. On the question about what she can do for the black community she talked so long about things which were not leading to any plan that i had forgot what the original question was and had to rewind it! Most of her answers were just like this.

    Her Bill O’Reily interview was sooo much better. She was much more clear and to the point. This one reminds me of that guy from King of the Hill who does all the mumbling when he talks then you hear one word and have to attempt to put it all in context.

  • Craig

    Hillary is my choice. I think she’ll be a strong president for us.

  • Michel

    She would be a strong president, of course. But I don’t know if she would be a GOOD president.

    She has been going down lately in a spiral of populism to work on the perception that she’s more in touch with the working class and the underprivileged. I don’t buy it. She has been deriding the economy experts for not supporting her gas tax policies, pidgeonholing them as elitist or opportunists. She has been driving the hates of many voters towards the more priviliged people, who also happen to be most of her donors. She’s exaggerating so much that it comes off as what it is….. hypocrisy.

    And she can’t even do it right. Look at this…

    “Sen. Hillary Clinton’s mailing attacking Sen. Barack Obama’s record on guns appears to include a striking visual gaffe: The image of the gun pictured on the face of the mailing is reversed, making it a nonexistent left-handed model of the Mauser 66 rifle.

    To make matters worse, a prominent gun dealer said, it’s an expensive German gun with customized features that make it clearly European.

    “The gun in the photo does not exist,” said Val Forgett III, president of Navy Arms in Martinsburg, W.Va. Forgett’s company was Mauser’s agent in the United States when the gun was released, and it sold Mauser guns here again in the 1990s. “The bolt is facing to the left side of the receiver, making it a left-handed bolt action rifle, indicating whoever constructed and approved the mailer did not recognize the image has been reversed.”

    Forgett said the error would be obvious to sportsmen.

    “I find it laughable on its face,” he said. “It’s like a picture of Babe Ruth hitting right-handed.”

    The gun’s image in Clinton’s mailing is above; a correct image of the gun is below.

    Other rifle enthusiasts e-mailed Politico after an image of Clinton’s mailing was posted to this blog.

    “I bet the Clinton folks did a mirror flip on the stock image to make it look more ‘aesthetic,’” wrote one, David Phillips. “What a latte-sipping, Gucci-wearing thing to do.”

    The Mauser 66, released in 1966 and no longer manufactured, is a high-end hunting rifle that found military use as a sniper rifle. In Clinton’s mailing, it’s pictured with a double-set trigger, a customization that’s popular in Europe but “almost unheard of in the United States,” Forgett said.

    “It’s a $2,200 German import — it’s hardly typical of what the average workingman in Indiana uses,” he said.”

  • Michael

    An interesting attempt to recreate the avenue of a debate prior to the North Carolina and Indiana polls. I doubt it will do much, but she is getting coverage from it.

    One tidbit I just learned from an economist: Both the Bush administration and Clinton administration avoided pulling out the subsidies for oil companies. In light of CG’s recent economic inquiry, one thing that is fundamental to national economic policies, is that you are supposed to tax the things you don’t want, and subsidize the things you do (so, tax liquor and cigarettes, subsidize fruits and vegetables).

    I’m against placing a windfall tax on the oil companies. The point isn’t about taxing, it is about removing the subsidies… and neither the Clinton nor Bush administration has taken steps to do that. And I haven’t heard much from H. Clinton to hear anything differently….

  • Grainne

    Hillary never acknowledges when she is wrong. Her claim that she would \