Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffeFive issues that will define the months until the midterms  Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season BBB threatens the role of parents in raising — and educating — children MORE (D) on Sunday defended Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE's claims that she and her husband faced serious financial hardships when they left the White House in early 2001.

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"I don't want to spend too much time going back to the late '90s and 2000, but I was with her, I was a personal friend, I've been friends with them since 1980," McAuliffe said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I cannot tell you the distress in that family at that time, with all the issues and all the legal fees, banks refusing to even give them a mortgage. So listen, people go through tough financial times," he said.

McAuliffe's comments came when asked about remarks from Clinton quoted in his book depicting the former first lady saying "we own nothing" and "it was really horrible" when leaving the White House.

"They had nothing compared to a lot of rich friends," host Chuck Todd pressed.

Clinton faced strong criticism last year when she said she and former President Bill Clinton were "dead broke" when they left the White House after his term ended, despite getting a nearly $2 million bank loan to purchase a home in December, 2000 and within months Bill Clinton grabbing high speaking fees.

Hillary Clinton later said the comment was "accurate" but acknowledged the couple had been "blessed by the success we've had."

McAuliffe pointed to Clinton's upbringing in an attempt to cast the presumed Democratic presidential frontrunner as someone who knows hardship, noting her "middle-class roots" and that her mother was abandoned.