Following a campaign event here in Iowa, where she was discussing small businesses and entrepreneurship, the Democratic presidential candidate meandered over to the rope line to greet the media today. She then proceeded to answer a total of six questions from reporters -- her first time to do so in roughly four weeks.
During this "ramp up" phase of her candidacy, Clinton has kept her distance from the media, answering only a handful of questions from the reporters following her on the campaign trail. Her opponents -- and not surprisingly, the press -- had taken notice.
But today, at a bike shop in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Clinton did face the media and answered a handful of questions on topics including Iraq, the Clinton Foundation, her personal wealth, paid speeches, and State Department emails.
Clinton was also asked by a person on the roundtable she was participating in about her stance on President Obama’s trade deal. Clinton once again punted, saying that she is not yet ready to take a position, and that she wants to wait and “judge the final agreement.”
During the event, Clinton told the local businesses owners that she wants to roll back regulations on small businesses and small banks and spur business creation across the country. “I want to be a small business president,” she said.
Here are the 6 things Clinton was asked about by the press -- and what she answered:
1. On the Clinton Foundation and foreign donations.
"I am so proud of the foundation. I'm proud of the work that it has done and that it is doing. ... And I'll let the American people make their own judgments about that."
2. On the situation in Iraq.
"I know that there have been a lot of questions about Iraq posed to candidates over the last weeks. I've made it very clear that I made a mistake, plain and simple. ... The United States is doing what it can, but ultimately this has to be a struggle that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people are determined to win for themselves. And we can provide support but they're going to have to do it."
3. On Clinton's wealth and relating to everyday Americans.
"Well, obviously Bill and I have been blessed and we're very grateful for the opportunities that we had. But we've never forgotten where we came from, and we've never forgotten the kind of country that we want to see for our granddaughter. ... So I think that most Americans understand that the deck is stacked for those at the top, and I am running a campaign that is very clearly stating that we want to shuffle that deck."
4. On Clinton's relationship with Sidney Blumenthal and her associations with old friends.
"I have many, many old friends, and I always think that it's important when you get into politics to have friends that you had before you were in politics. ... When you're in the public eye, when you're in an official position, I think you do have to work to make sure you're not caught in a bubble and you only hear from a certain small group of people, and I'm going to keep talking to my old friends, whoever they are."
5. On the release of Clinton's emails by the State Department and whether Clinton's paid speeches show a conflict of interest.
"The answer to the second is no, and the answer to the first is I have said repeatedly I want those emails out. Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do. I respect the State Department. They have their process that they do for everybody and not just for me, but anything that they might do to expedite that process I heartily support."
6. On whether Clinton will demand the emails be released sooner.
"Well, they're not mine. They belong to the State Department. So the State Department has to go through its process but as much as they can expedite that process, that's what I'm asking them to do. Please move as quickly as they possibly can to get them out ... as they can."