A Clinton has spent some significant time answering questions from the media on camera over the past few weeks – it just hasn’t been Hillary.
While Hillary Clinton has been criticized for failing to field formal questions from the press since launching her 2016 campaign, her husband Bill Clinton has done three televised interviews – with CNN, NBC News and (yes, less substantively) with David Letterman.
A count of queries posed to the former president shows that he’s taken more than 30 questions over the course of the three interviews. That’s about three times the amount answered by his wife, who by the most generous count has responded to 13 questions from reporters in the last month.
Clinton’s campaign team insists that the focus of Hillary Clinton’s “ramp up” period is talking to “everyday Americans,” and they note that the candidate has answered questions from plenty of regular people – just not folks with press passes.
But Bill Clinton has participated in far more formal exchanges with the media. Questions answered by the former president have included those about whether he’ll continue giving paid speeches (yes), whether he’ll step down from the Clinton Foundation if Hillary becomes president (maybe), whether donations to the Clinton Foundation ever affected the secretary of state’s policies (“No. She didn’t know about a lot of them,”) and whether he will campaign for his wife (“I’ll probably be totally wasted in the political sense, because you’ve got to be mad all the time,” he joked.)
He’s also fielded queries on Barack Obama’s Iran policy, how he and his wife can relate to the middle class and whether he will live in the White House if his wife is elected.
Of course, Clinton’s appearance on Letterman focused on his sax-playing days and his relationship with his infant granddaughter, hardly the hard-hitting questions about transparency and policy the press is clamoring for. But in terms of exposure to media questions, the man dubbed “the big dog” is taking the lead so far.