George Stephanopoulos' Exclusive Interview with Sen. Hillary Clinton

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, Peggy Noonan accepts the premise of your question this morning in The Wall Street Journal, but she goes on to say that's exactly the reason not to pick you. She says, "Mrs. Clinton is the most dramatically polarizing, the most instinctively distrusted political figure of my lifetime. Yes, I include Nixon."

CLINTON: (LAUGHTER) Oh, George, I mean, I'm not surprised. Are you?

Obviously, I'm running a campaign to try to keep focused on the big issues that the country faces. And I think that people in Iowa and around the country are resonating to that.


CLINTON: But obviously, there are people who disagree with me. They disagree with me ideologically, philosophically, on a partisan basis. That's not a surprise to me or to you.

And for those who now think they're against me, I look to New York, where a lot of people ended up voting for me who never thought they would.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But even our polling here in Iowa shows that this issue of trust is a hurdle for you with Democrats.

CLINTON: Well, that's not what I see. You know, I trust my touch and my feel more than I trust, with all due respect, the commentary that goes on. And whoever becomes the Democratic nominee will face a very high negative, because we know that's what the Republicans are better at, including the person that you quoted from, than anybody else.

STEPHANOPOULOS: On this issue of experience, Senator Dodd took off on you yesterday. He said your experience as first lady was basically not relevant. You were sitting on the sidelines.

And he said, "That's not experience, that's witnessing experience." How do you respond to Senator Dodd?

CLINTON: Well, I'm a big fan of his. I consider...


CLINTON: Oh, sure. Look, it's a campaign. We're getting down to the very end. I've been around long enough to know that people who are friends before and will be friends afterwards are obviously trying to make a political point.

But I think the reality and the evidence is far different. You know, I was intimately involved in so much that went on in the White House, here at home and around the world.

You know, just in the last few weeks, the new leaders of the Northern Ireland government, Dr. Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, made a special effort to see me. Why? Because I helped in that process, not just standing by and witnessing, but actually getting my hands into it, creating opportunities for people on both sides of the sectarian divide to come together.

When I went to Beijing, I wasn't a witness. I was a spokesperson and proud to be for the proposition that women's rights are human rights. And that cascaded across the world.

I was entrusted with a lot of missions in both paving the way and dealing with very specific challenges our country faced. And I believe since I've been in the Senate, especially serving on the Armed Services Committee, I've deepened and broadened my experience.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about in the White House? The New York Times wrote this week that you did not attend National Security Council meetings, you did not receive the president's daily briefing, didn't have a security clearance. And that calls your experience in the White House into question.

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