And we are seeing it all across the country. And that was true even before the current economic hardships that are stemming from the housing crisis. This is the first economic expansion that we just completed in which ordinary people's incomes actually went down when adjusted for inflation. At the same time, the costs of everything from health care to gas at the pump has skyrocketed. And so the point I was making was that when people feel like Washington's not listening to them, when they're promised year after year, decade after decade, that their economic situation is going to change and it doesn't, then, politically, they end up focusing on those things that are constant like religion.
They end up feeling this is a place where I can find some refuge. This is something I can count on. They end up being much more concerned about votes around things like guns, where traditions have been passed on from generation to generation. And those are incredibly important to them. And, yes, what is also true is that wedge issues, hot-button issues, end up taking prominence in our politics.
And part of the problem is that when those issues are exploited, we never get to solve the issues that people really have to get some relief on, whether it's health care or education or jobs.
So, this is something that I've said before. It is something that I will repeat again. And, yes, people are frustrated and angry about it.
But what we're seeing in this election is the opportunity to break through that frustration. And that's what our campaign has been about. Saying that if the American people get involved and engaged, then we are going to start seeing change. And that's what makes this election unique.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Clinton?
CLINTON: Well, I am the granddaughter of a factory worker from Scranton who went to work in the Scranton lace mills when he was 11- years-old. Worked his entire life there, mostly six to eight weeks. He was also very active in the Court Street Methodist Church. And he raised three sons and was very proud that he sent all of them to college.
I don't believe that my grandfather or my father or the many people whom I have had the privilege of knowing and meeting across Pennsylvania over many years cling to religion when Washington is not listening to them.
I think that is a fundamental sort of misunderstanding of the role of religion and faith in times that are good and times that are bad.
And I similarly don't think that people cling to their traditions, like hunting and guns, either, when they are frustrated with the government. I just don't believe that's how people live their lives.
Now, that doesn't mean that people are not frustrated with the government. We have every reason to be frustrated, particularly with this administration.
But I can see why people would be taken aback and offended by the remarks. And I think what's important is that we all listen to one another, and we respect one another, and we understand the different decisions that people make in life, because we're a stronger country because of that.