Hillary Clinton Once Cited NY Banks as ‘Biggest Winners' in Wall Street Bailout

She told a journalist in 2008 she had "serious questions" but supported it.

“There was a bill that mixed money for the auto rescue and money for other bailouts,” Clinton said in Columbus, Ohio, Sunday night. “That was not an easy vote and I respect those who voted against it. But I’ll tell you this. I voted for it. Then President-elect Obama asked us to vote for it. I decided it was more important to save the auto industry and save our economy, and I am so glad I did.”

As the primary contests move through the Midwest, Clinton and her campaign have accused Sanders in recent weeks of opposing the auto bailout because he voted against the large financial package even though some money ultimately went to help the car manufacturers. But Sanders had previously voted in favor of a stand-alone bill for the auto bailout that never passed, and he quickly cried foul.

Rewind to 2008, when then-New York Sen. Hillary Clinton argued that one of the reasons she voted in favor of the so-called Wall Street bailout was because “the banks of New York” and “other financial institutions” were some of the biggest winners in the deal.

WNYC’s anchor Brian Lehrer asked about whether the bailout would result in a large transfer of wealth or jobs from New York to Washington.

From the beginning, Sanders’ underdog campaign has focused significantly on his opposition to the Wall Street bailout. He has said one of the key differences between him and Clinton is that she supported the bank bailout, and, jumping off from those votes, has pointed to her paid speeches at Wall Street firms to imply that she is too cozy with the banking industry.

Still, Clinton has dramatically ramped up her rhetoric against the banks on the campaign trail this go-around and often says she would use powers designated from financial regulation legislation to pass stricter Wall Street reforms and potentially break up large banks if “they pose a systemic risk.”

Then during a debate in February, she added, “We’ve got to be prepared to stop these guys if they ever try to use their economic power once again to hurt the economy and to hurt so many Americans.”