WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — In a leaked recording from a February fundraiser, Hillary Clinton expressed empathy for young voters who sided with her then-primary opponent, Bernie Sanders.
The hacked recording of Clinton speaking at the fundraiser six months ago in McLean, Virginia was published by the Washington Free Beacon this week. During the event, Clinton said that many young people are “children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents’ basement. They feel that they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves.”
Clinton added that for people who don’t see any economic opportunities, the idea that “you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing.”
Young voters have been a stumbling block for Clinton. Many preferred Sanders, a Vermont senator who promised free tuition at public colleges and nationalized health care. At the fundraiser, Clinton said she had spoken with frustrated young millennials and understood where they were coming from.
Clinton questioned the idea of a political revolution, calling it a “false promise,” though she said that wasn’t the right message for “idealistic young people.” Clinton argued she was too was promising big ideas around health care, education and climate change.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump seized on a news report about Clinton’s comments, tweeting that “Crooked H is nasty to Sanders supporters behind closed doors. Owned by Wall St and Politicians, HRC is not with you.”
But Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin said that “as Hillary Clinton said in those remarks, she wants young people to be idealistic and set big goals.”
Throughout the primary, which she eventually won, Clinton stressed that she was offering a more pragmatic, achievable agenda than Sanders. She has wooed his young backers for months, adapting some of her policies — like on college affordability — to better appeal to his supporters.
At another point in the fundraiser, Clinton spoke about the extremes on both sides of the political aisle, noting a “populist, nationalist, xenophobic, discriminatory kind of approach” from many in the Republican field and then said that for many Democrats, there is a yearning for “free college, free healthcare,” and to “go as far as, you know, Scandinavia.”
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