Clinton: 'Collective amnesia' surrounds past GOP administrations
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Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Trump fights for battleground Arizona Biden leads Trump by 12 in new national poll MORE is warning Americans in an interview published Monday that her Republican rivals are benefitting from a “collective amnesia” surrounding past GOP administrations.


“I am going to do all I can to pierce the collective amnesia that the Republicans are trying to impose on people. We're not supposed to remember that the 12 years preceding Bill Clinton quadrupled the debt of our country?“ Clinton asked during an interview with The Des Moines Register.

“We're not supposed to remember that when he left office we had a balanced budget with a surplus? And if it had been continued would've paid off the national debt?”

She also praised President Obama for how he dealt with the 2008 recession that closed out President George W. Bush’s administration.

“We're not supposed to remember that Barack Obama inherited the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression and had to pull us out of the ditch? And did a better job than he gets credit for?“ she asked.

“And we're not supposed to remember that finally after five presidents trying all the way back to Truman, we got an Affordable Care Act?"

Clinton sports deep ties to the two most recent Democratic presidents, and she had been involved in some of their biggest decisions.

But while she heaped praise on the two former presidents, she disputed the idea that she’s running for a third term for either.

“I'm running for my first term. I will have my own proposals," she said.

Clinton’s comments came in a sit-down interview one day after she held her first major stump speech of her 2016 campaign. She’s rarely interacted with the media since first announcing her bid in April, prioritizing small-scale meetings with swing-state voters and leaving reporters without substantial opportunities to question Clinton.

That’s been a major point of contention between the candidate and the press, one that Clinton’s aides have promised would subside thanks to increased availability in the new phase of her campaign.

The former secretary of State and senator told the Register that the country is more than ready for its first female president. Her 2008 campaign struggled with how to use the historic nature of her bid to its advantage and didn’t make her gender a primary piece of the campaign.

But in the first two months, Clinton already seems more willing to address it and its expected to be a more prominent piece of her new campaign.

“There is an eagerness that I sense coming at me from people in my audiences, in my conversations, to engage with me about that more than I felt in '08," she said.

"It's probably more importantly a message about aspiration and ambition and perseverance and acceptance that women and men have what it takes to pursue their own path in life and should be supported in doing so."

Clinton added that while she hopes to be “judged on my merits,” the “historic nature of my candidacy is one of the merits that I hope people take into account.”