NYT to Clinton: Release paid speaking transcripts

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The New York Times published an editorial Thursday arguing that Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonReport: Nearly 5K felons have registered to vote in Virginia GOP super-PAC ‘endorses’ Wasserman Schultz Reid: Trump's Vince Foster comments 'show how desperate he is' MORE must release transcripts of her paid speeches.

“’Everybody does it’ is an excuse expected from a mischievous child, not a presidential candidate,” the editorial said. "But that is Hillary Clinton’s latest defense for making closed-door, richly-paid speeches to big banks, which many middle-class Americans still blame for their economic pain, and then refusing to release the transcripts.

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“Voters have every right to know what Mrs. Clinton told these groups. Transcripts of speeches that have been leaked seem pretty innocuous. By refusing to release them all, especially the bank speeches, Mrs. Clinton fuels speculation about why she’s stonewalling.”

The New York Times also dismissed Clinton’s explanation that she is awaiting similar moves from other White House hopefuls from both political parties.

“Her conditioning her releases on what the Republicans what might do is mystifying,” the editorial said. "Republicans make no bones about their commitment to Wall Street deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Mrs. Clinton is laboring to convince struggling Americans that she will rein in big banks, despite taking their money.

“Besides, Mrs. Clinton is not running against a Republican in the Democratic primaries. She is running against [Sen.] Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP super-PAC ‘endorses’ Wasserman Schultz Sanders requests recanvass of Kentucky primary Sanders fundraising for state-level candidates MORE [I-Vt.], a decades-long critic of Wall Street excess who is hardly a hot ticket on the industry speaking circuit.”

The New York Times added that Clinton owes everyday Americans insight into what ties, if any, she has with wealthy special interests.

“Public interest in these speeches is legitimate, and it is the public — not the candidate — who decides how much disclosure is enough,” it said.

“By stonewalling on these transcripts Mrs. Clinton plays into the hands of those who say she’s not trustworthy and makes her own rules. Most important, she is damaging her credibility among Democrats who are begging her to show them she’s run an accountable and transparent White House.”

Sanders has repeatedly needled Clinton over her past paid speeches, suggesting her closeness with financial firms implies softness on Wall Street. Clinton countered late last Tuesday that she is held to standard different from other presidential contenders.

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