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Hillary Rodham Clinton Discusses Lazio's Campaign Finance ProposalAired September 20, 2000 - 3:17 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to Albany, New York. Hillary Rodham Clinton is meeting with the Associated Press Association and answering questions about herself and her campaign.
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HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), N.Y. SENATE CANDIDATE: I am prepared to do that, and I was very encouraged by what I heard. I obviously didn't hear about it until I landed here in Albany, and I'm going to ask my campaign immediately to meet with his and figure out if what he's offered is compatible with the requests that I've been making for months, and we'll get to work on that right away.
CLINTON: Well, Bob, we're going to have to, you know, look at everything. But certainly, if we make an agreement to, you know, do away with soft money, I assume it'll include everything. Now, obviously, there are groups that you have no direct control over that you will have to ask to abide by whatever agreement you reach, but you know, we'll look at the whole range of issues that are raised by this.
QUESTION: When -- I'm sure you're aware that today the independent counsel Robert Ray wrapped up his -- your investigation in Whitewater without charging you and the president with any wrongdoing. Comment on that?
CLINTON: Well, I am just glad that this is finally over, and I think that most New Yorkers and Americans had made up their mind a long time ago about this. And, you know, I think now everybody can just move on and be focused on issues like the upstate economy and what we can do to improve education and provide quality, affordable health care.
QUESTION: Mrs. Clinton, Senator Moynihan wanted to ban partial birth abortion, which he compared to infanticide. I wonder if you could tell us if you disagree with him, and if so, why.
CLINTON: Well, you know, I have said for a very long time -- and I think I said it again in Buffalo in some months ago in a town hall meeting -- that I would support a ban on partial birth abortions that was constitutional and provided for the health and life of the mother. And as I understand the Supreme Court's recent ruling, that is what the court implied would be constitutional and acceptable.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) said that he would like to have an answer on this (OFF-MIKE) I was just wondering if you're prepared to meet that requirement or if that (OFF-MIKE)
CLINTON: We certainly will. We'll get to work on it right away.
QUESTION: Do you have some (OFF-MIKE) yet?
CLINTON: I just heard about it, so I don't know.
QUESTION: Polls, for quite a while, have shown that one important (inaudible) you've been trailing, and it has been pretty much the same all the way through. (inaudible) any reason why you feel that that's the case, (inaudible) has traditionally favored the Democratic candidate in New York State, why you feel that's the case and what you feel you can do it about it in the last weeks of the campaign?
CLINTON: Well, I think I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing, which is to talk about where I stand on the issues and to talk about the experience that I bring to this campaign and the kind of senator that I would be. Because I believe that most New Yorkers, not just women but men as well, actually agree with me more on the issues, and the more they learn about my opponent's actual voting record, as opposed to what he claims for it, the more that they know that they couldn't count on him to be a strong advocate on behalf of a lot of these issues.
For example, today I was very honored to receive the endorsement of Jim and Sarah Brady and the Handgun Control group, in part because they believe that I would be a much stronger force and a leader on behalf of gun safety measures.
So I think on the issues that count to women -- on choice, on gun violence, on education, on health care, on the economy, on the environment -- the more people know about where I stand and what I do, I'm very confident the bigger my vote will become.
WATERS: Hillary Rodham Clinton before the Associated Press Association of New York State, answering questions. And to our knowledge, the first on-camera reaction to the release of the Whitewater report by independent counsel Robert Ray today, stating that neither President Clinton nor Hillary Rodham Clinton will face any criminal charges. She simply said, in reaction to that: "I'm glad it's finally over."
The other important point: About an hour ago, Rick Lazio, her opponent for the Senate seat, being vacated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, continued with his rather aggressive insistence on a pledge by the Clinton campaign to ban so-called soft money, those campaign contributions from outside groups. Lazio said keep the outside groups out of this race. At that news conference before the same group, about an hour ago, Rick Lazio held up a sheet of paper saying he had the signatures that Hillary Rodham Clinton. in their debate last week, had called for when Lazio approached her on stage and presented the pledge to her in the middle of the debate. Lazio underwent some criticism for that, because of the televised debate and the way he went about. It was seen as overly aggressive.
Hillary Clinton reacted by saying, she knew she was going to share the stage, but didn't think she was going to have to share the podium. There was -- there had been some issue in the campaign about his aggression. He said a man being aggressive is being rated differently than a woman being aggressive. He is continue to insist, however, that soft money be banned from the campaign.
So Hillary Rodham Clinton's reaction to all of this, that she just heard about it an hour ago. But the campaigns will meet. And they will work to resolve this matter, to ban soft money. Hillary did add a caveat, saying that there are groups that you have no control over. But Rick Lazio stance remains: Keep the outside groups out of this New York Senate race. We'll see how it all turns out. We'll keep you posted.
CNN will take a break. "TALKBACK LIVE" after the break.
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