ABC News’ Dana Hughes and Liz Kreutz report:
Continuing the media blitz to promote her book “Hard Choices,” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participated in an hour-long town hall meeting with CNN Tuesday, taking provocative questions about marijuana and gun lobbyists, for instance, from moderator Christiane Amanpour and audience members made up of ordinary Americans. Clinton answered as many questions about domestic policy as she did foreign, with some surprising revelations.
In one exchange, she hedged on whether she supports the legalization of marijuana, saying that she believes the drug’s use for medicinal purposes should be available “under certain circumstances” but that she will leave the decision on recreational use to the states.
“States are the laboratories of democracies,” Clinton said, adding that she would “wait and see” what happens in the states where the drug has been legalized.
But when asked about whether she planned to try the drug if it becomes legal, she laughed and said, “I didn’t do it when I was young, I’m not going to start now,” which contrasts with husband Bill Clinton’s famous 1992 comment that he had tried it once years before but “didn’t inhale.”
Here are five other surprising Hillary Clinton revelations:
1. She Still Has Her Own Questions About Benghazi: Hillary Clinton acknowledged that even after the numerous hearings and investigations on the Benghazi consulate attack Sept. 11, 2012 which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, there’s still “a lot we don’t know,” she said.
“We want to know who was behind it, what the motivation of the leaders and the attackers happened to be,” she told CNN’s Amanpour. “There are still some unanswered questions.”
Clinton said she was “very pleased” about the capture of the suspected ring leader of the attack, Abu Khatallah, and hopes that he will help provide some answers.
“Now that we have Khattala in custody, hopefully, we will learn more,” she said.
Clinton also said the leader of the militant group Ansar A Sharia had been “very much on the minds” of the administration since the night of the attack.
2. She Wants Immigration Overhaul “Yesterday“: Clinton said that the hundreds of unaccompanied immigrant children who are detained at the U.S.-Mexico border should be sent back to their home countries and reunited with their families.
“We have to send a clear message,” Clinton said. “Just because your child gets across the border that doesn’t mean your child gets to stay. We don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”
Earlier, Clinton drew applause when she said that the country urgently needs “comprehensive immigration reform” and that immigration laws need to “provide more leeway and discretion to the executive.”
Describing the “horror” of an immigrant parent being deported and separated from their child with no warning, Clinton said “that is just not who we are as Americans.”
“We have to reform our immigration system. And we needed to do it yesterday,” she said.
3. She Thinks the Gun Lobby Has Too Much Power: When responding to a question on gun control, Hillary Clinton unequivocally said she supports stronger measures, such as universal background checks. She acknowledged that the gun control is a “hot political topic” but said she feels compelled to speak out about it, implying that the gun lobby holds views that “terrorize” most Americans.
“I believe that we need a more thoughtful conversation,” she said. “We cannot let a minority of people – and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people – hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people. And you are about the fifth person in the last weeks, parents and another teacher, just interested citizens, who have said something similar to me.
4. She Plans to Run as a Woman (If She Runs): Hillary Clinton admits that her gender may have played a role in her failed 2008 presidential campaign, but is determined not to let it interfere again.
When asked whether being a woman influenced the way she acted during her campaign, Clinton, who was criticized for being too impersonal and calculated at the time, told Amanpour it was likely a factor.
“I do believe that was an issue,” Clinton said. “I mean, I would be worrying about what are people going to say and, you know, what do they mean and all the rest of that.”
But, Clinton said that she has changed.
“I think I’m beyond that,” Clinton said. “I can’t say I’m never going to feel that. But I do believe that a woman in any high public position, whether it be journalism, politics, business, whatever, is always constantly being judged, and you then can fall into what is a kind of bad habit of constantly editing yourself.
“Instead of thinking about what you’re trying to say, what you’re trying to do, you do worry about … all the personal stuff that goes with – hair and makeup and clothes and – you know all the drill.”
5. She Has Some “Differences” With Bill: Bill and Hillary Clinton may be two of the highest profile Democratic politicians in the country, who also have been married for nearly 40 years, but they don’t always see eye to eye. Hillary Clinton, 66, said that when it comes to their policies, she and her husband do have “a lot of differences.”
“We have an agreeable, general view about our country and the work that we think needs to happen in order to keep the American Dream alive and give particularly young people a chance to have the same opportunities we had. But we don’t agree in lockstep. We have a lot of differences,” Clinton said.
Amanpour noted that Hillary Clinton recently disagreed with Bill Clinton’s position on Edward Snowden, whom he described as an imperfect messenger for important ideas.
“I did [disagree with that statement],” Clinton said. “And you know we have this discussion at home. We are constantly sharing ideas and perception.”
“We never run out of issues to talk about,” Clinton added.