Exclusive Interview With Sen. Hillary Clinton

You know, we don't have enough conversation about agriculture and the importance of it. And it's one of these issues that I am trying to raise to higher visibility because, number one, we have a food crisis, right now, around the world. People are rioting because they are hungry in places like Haiti. It is projected that people will be starving if we don't figure out how we're going to get food to those who are in need.

And the United States has to play a leadership role in this. And I would urge the president to do whatever we can to help the U.N. food program be able to deliver more food.

And here in our own hemisphere, we should try to help Haiti, which is, you know, really just in such desperate straits when it comes to food.

But what Larry does is raise the larger question. Number one, we've got to support agriculture, here at home and around the world. I believe we've got to put more emphasis on our food supply and its security in a very unstable world.

We also have to move toward biofuels. But we've got to do it in a way that doesn't contribute to boosting the prices at the grocery store.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn't that the problem?

CLINTON: Well, it's part of the problem. It's not the only problem. You know, with corn-based ethanol and, to a lesser extent, soybean-based biodiesel, there has been a real pressure on cost. Because we've taken large parts of our agricultural productive land out of producing food to produce fuel.

What we need to do is accelerate the research into farm waste and into other cellulosic plant materials. Because, I think, instead of using the corn, let's figure out if we can use the corn cob. Let's figure out if we can use the corn stalk. Let's figure out what other kind of food, you know, waste we can use.

CLINTON: In the short run, we've got to work with our farmers and with like-minded people around the world to figure out how this increasing use in biofuels, which is part of our answer to our dependence on foreign oil, does not undermine food production and really accelerate the prices.

And again, if you go to my website, Larry, I lay out some plans and ideas about how to do that. But I want to be a good partner for agriculture, because if we don't have strong family farms and good agricultural production here at home, we can't deal with either the fuel or the food crisis around the world.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to have to take another quick break. We'll be right back with more with Senator Clinton.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are back with Senator Hillary Clinton. I want to get right to another voter question. Michelle Skinner [phonetic spelling], are you there? Michelle attends Butler University. She's a Republican, who's voting in the Democratic primary and is supporting Barack Obama.

VOTER: That's right.

Sen. Clinton, my question is do you think that the discourse that's going on, the controversy with Reverend Wright, do you think this is relevant to Obama and his policy? Do you think this has accomplished anything? Or should we just -- should we drop it, should we move on?

CLINTON: Well, we should definitely move on. And we should move on because there's so many important issues facing our country that we have to attend to.

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