Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was forced to explain — and recast — what she meant when she complained of her family’s financial struggles after leaving the White House.
The subject was broached on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” when host Robin Roberts asked Mrs. Clinton if she could understand America’s head-scratching reaction to her claim that the Clintons were “dead broke” upon leaving the White House and needed to hit the lucative speaking circuit to build their bank accounts.
“Yes I can, but everything in life has to be put into context,” she said, The Hill reported. “As I recall, we were something like $12 million in debt.”
Mrs. Clinton then recalled how her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had been born into poverty and had to work hard for his money and career advancements, all the while paying off student loans, The Hill reported.
“We understand what that struggle is because we had student debts — both of us — we had to pay off, we had to work, I had a couple jobs in law school, he had lots of jobs,” Mrs. Clinton told ABC. “We have a life experience clearly different in very dramatic ways from every American, but we also have gone through a lot of the same challenges as many people have.”
On Monday night, to ABC News, she said: “We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt. We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.”
Her speaking fees sometimes hit the $200,000 level, while Bill Clinton routinely pockets $500,000 per 45-minute pep talk.