George Stephanopoulos' Exclusive Interview with Sen. Hillary Clinton

CLINTON: Oh, well...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even in the basement.

CLINTON: ... well, you know, this is kind of -- it's kind of getting ahead of ourselves. We haven't even had the first people show up at the caucuses in Iowa.

I'm going to rely on him. I would expect that people in my administration will turn to him and rely on him, as we do with many people who have experience.

I happen to think using former presidents makes a lot of sense. So, I expect to ask him to do many things for our country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Both Barack Obama and John Edwards this week -- you're talking about experience. They're talking about change.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And they both say that someone so intimately involved with a broken system, as they put it, can't bring change.

CLINTON: Well, I don't think there is this distinction between change and experience. I know that's what they've tried to make this campaign about. It is not an either-or choice.

That's a false choice for the people of America. I believe I have the experience to bring change. I think you can look at my record in the Senate and all of the bipartisan accomplishments that I've been able to achieve, working across the aisle. I know how to find common ground. I know how to stand my ground. And I think it does take some experience to know how to bring about change in our system.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But John Edwards says...

CLINTON: You know, some people think you can bring change by demanding it. And some people think you can bring change...

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's John Edwards, right?

CLINTON: ... by hoping for it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's Barack Obama, right?

CLINTON: I think you bring change by working really hard for it. And that's what I've done my entire life.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that is the frame you've set up. But their point is, you know, you take money from the system as it is right now. You take money from lobbyists. You've heard that argument all through this campaign.

And because you're so wedded to it, it's just not possible.

CLINTON: Well, I think those are artificial distinctions. You know, they take money from people who employ lobbyists, who are married to lobbyists, who are the children of lobbyists.

We need public financing. You know, we need a total overhaul of how we fund our campaigns. I'm in total agreement with that.

But I think it would be hard to find anybody who has incurred the wrath of the special interests more than I have: the drug companies, the health-insurance companies, the oil companies. You just go down the list.

I don't think they waste their time or effort targeting someone that they think is already in agreement with them. They know I mean what I say. They know I have a track record of bringing success.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're in the Quad Cities here. The Quad City Times this morning, "Five Days Left, Caucus Races Tight, Edwards, Obama 29-29, Clinton 28."

You are world famous here. Biggest organization in the Democratic Party. Why is it so close here?

CLINTON: Oh, it's supposed to be close. I mean, this is a great contest. We don't have any heir apparent in the Democratic Party. I'm out there fighting for every single caucus-goer. I'm out making my case to everybody that I can reach.

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