During a press conference with reporters Monday afternoon, the Democratic presidential candidate praised Obama for improving the economy and said he “doesn’t get the credit he deserves” for increasing job growth.
“I think that the President has fought incredibly hard from the day he walked in the Oval Office,” Clinton said from inside a barn in Concord, New Hampshire, where she was holding a rally. “I think he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for having fought for a recovery that is taking hold.”
“800,000 jobs a month were being lost when he became president," she continued, "We now have job increase."
Clinton’s comments were in response to a reporter’s question about whether she planned to “fight harder” than the current White House has, should she become president.
The question itself was a reference to how Clinton’s campaign has cast Clinton as a “tenacious fighter” who will get results. The phrasing has been interpreted by some to be a subtle knock at Obama, who has been criticized for not being as effective as some Democrats had hoped he would be.
Clinton, however, dismissed this assumption, but she said she is prepared to go even “further” than the president to get the economy growing.
“Do I agree with everything? No,” she said in reference to Obama’s policies, but “I think Obama has done a lot that has put us in a good position and I will build on that, and I will go further.”
Clinton made the remarks during a roughly 15-minute press conference following her campaign rally, where she took several questions on topics that ranged from Jeb Bush’s presidential announcement to her position (or rather non-position) on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
Clinton was asked three different times, in three different ways, to explain her position on TPP and why she has yet to take a side. Clinton continued to say she will not take a stance until she sees the final deal, but, in so many words, admitted that she is not happy with where the deal stands now.
“I hope that it can be made better,” she said.
Clinton also dismissed a reporter's assertion that there could be a problem with Clinton's populist and anti-Wall Street rhetoric, given her ties to big corporations and history of paid speeches.
“I think that’s an issue that’s secondary to the minds of people,” Clinton said. “I want to be a fighter for the people who want the same opportunities. I don’t think Americans are against success.”
Clinton's New Hampshire rally coincided with the presidential announcement of former Republican Governor Jeb Bush, who announced his candidacy for president Monday. When a reporter asked Clinton if she had any advice for Bush, who has said his last name doesn't matter as he runs for president, Clinton laughed, but didn't bite.
"I'm going to let Republicans decide who their nominee ends up being," she said, with a smirk.