Exclusive Interview With Sen. Hillary Clinton

You know, for months now, I've been saying we need a moratorium on home foreclosures and we need to freeze interest rates. I think that would help us stem what's happening in not just the housing market, but the general decline in the economy. Well, we can't get that through the Congress either. And on health care, on so many of these issues where costs have gone up, where people are really feeling squeezed, there just doesn't seem to be an understanding about what people are going through.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me go to one of the voters who's feeling squeezed. Kara Glennan [phonetic spelling] is here. Kara is a Democrat. She's supporting Obama. I think you've contributed $25 to him. What's your question on the gas tax?

VOTER QUESTION: I have -- Sen. Clinton, I actually make less than $25,000 a year, so talking about gas prices is not academic for me. I really do feel pain at the pump.

However, I do feel pandered to when you talk about suspending the gas tax. I don't think that it's really a reasonable plan, and call me crazy, but I actually listen to economists, because I think that they know what they studied.

You say that you have both a short- and a long-term plan for our energy consumption. However, since the suspension of the gas tax would encourage continued overconsumption, which could possibly cancel out any price savings and also undermine our efforts to curb global warming, and your long-term plan includes trying to, say, curb global warming, don't you feel that these two plans are in conflict?

CLINTON: No. And let me stand up, because I can see you better from this angle.

You know, actually, I'm glad you asked this question, because I want to make it very clear that we're talking about short-term relief and a long-term plan. And I have a very comprehensive, long-term plan to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, increase the mileage of our automobiles, and to do it in a way that will push us forward as a leader in the world again, which we have not been, on the issue of global warming. And I invite everyone to go to my Web site, HillaryClinton.com, and read about it.

But if you are driving on average in America this summer, you'll save -- according to Department of Energy figures -- about $70. If you are a long-distance commuter, and a lot of people in Indiana and North Carolina are, if you are a truck driver who depends upon your truck for your living, you're going to save a lot more. In fact, truckers will save about $2 billion in fuel costs.

You see, I really believe we've got to start right now demonstrating a willingness to take on these oil companies. I voted against the big oil giveaway in the 2005 energy bill. My opponent voted for it. I'm on record as taking on the oil companies. And I think having a good debate, like we're having right now in this campaign, helps to lay the groundwork for what we're going to need to do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Sen. Clinton, let me bring this back to Sen. Obama and what he said there. He said you weren't being truthful. And that seems to be going straight at the Achilles heel of your campaign. Our recent poll showed six out of 10 voters think you're dishonest. That's a heavy burden to carry into the general election. What do you say to Democrats who are worried about that?

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