Last December former Vermont governor Howard Dean had endorsed Hillary Clinton for President — and ever since then, he has been heaping her with abundant praise on MSNBC. Also last December, the progressive group that Howard Dean co-founded (Democracy for America) had snubbed Dean and endorsed Bernie Sanders. Now Hillary Clinton is claiming to be a progressive. But this morning on MSNBC (Tamron Hall) Howard Dean was literally Feeling the Bern!
He was accusing Bernie Sanders of "attacking the integrity" of Hillary Clinton by mentioning her speeches to Goldman Sachs, and all her campaign contributions from these big banks. Dean also whined about the media for asking her for the transcripts of her Goldman Sachs speeches — and accused the media and Hillary's political opponents of "double standards". Dean said it was "unseemly" and "unwarranted" — and had complained that this really "burned" him up. Yes, he actually was feeling the "bern" from Senator Bernie Sanders!
* Note -- Petition at Net Roots Nation: "Ask Hillary Clinton to authorize Goldman Sachs to release any video or transcript of the three speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs in three different states."
While Bernie Sanders has been contrasting the differences between himself and Hillary Clinton, he has mentioned her paid speeches to bankers and her campaign contributions from bankers. In the 5th Democratic debate last night on MSNBC, Hillary Clinton accused Senator Sanders of running an "artful smear" against her campaign — just like she disingenuously smeared Sanders with the sexist label — and made those outrageously false claims about Sanders dismantling Obamacare. (The big difference is, Bernie's so-called "smears" are true comments — whereas Hillary's smears are outright lies.)
But despite her smears, Hillary also has 40 years of experience of "artful dodges", the latest being on Goldman Sachs (yet again).
CNBC host Andrew Ross Sorkin interviewed Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein on the "Squawk Box" on February 3, 2016:
Sorkin: You mentioned politics, and the politics are bad, and Bernie Sanders taking a shot at you personally. How do you see this whole campaign turning out — and also, do you think that it's impacting the markets in any meaningful way?
Blankfein: It has potential to be a dangerous moment. Not just for Wall Street, not just for the people who are particularly targeted, but for anybody who is a little bit out of line.
Sorkin: I'm assuming you're backing Hillary Clinton.
Blankfein: Yes, you're assuming it. I don't want to help or hurt anybody by giving them an endorsement.
Later that day: CNN's Anderson Cooper at the Town Hall in New Hampshire is speaking to Hillary Clinton:
Cooper: One of the things that Senator Sanders points to, and a lot of your critics point to, is you made three speeches for Goldman Sachs. You were paid $675,000 for three speeches. Was that a mistake? I mean was that a bad error in judgment?
Clinton: Look. I made speeches to lots of groups. I told them what I thought. I answered questions.
Cooper: But did you have to be paid $675,000?
Clinton: Well, I don't know. That's what they offered (LAUGHTER) so you know, every Secretary of State that I know has done that.
Cooper: But they're not running for an office.
Clinton: Well, I didn't know. To be honest I wasn't. I wasn't committed to running. I didn't know whether I would or not.
Cooper: You didn't think you were going to run for president again?
Clinton: I didn't. You know, when I was secretary of State ... (bla, bla, bla)
Cooper: So just to be clear, that's not something you regret, those three speeches, that money?
Clinton: No, I don't, because, you know, I don't feel that I paid any price for it — and I am very clear about what I will do — and they're on notice.
The very next day, at the 5th Democratic debate hosted by MSNBC, with moderators Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd:
Maddow: Last night, when you were asked about speaking fees and the amount of speaking fees you got from Goldman Sachs speeches, you said "that's what they offered". Have you been too dismissive of voters' concerns about this issue in your own campaign and your own career?
Clinton: When I left the secretary of State's office, like so many former officials — military leaders, journalists, others — I did go on the speaking circuit. I spoke to heart doctors, I spoke to the American Camping Association, I spoke to auto dealers — and yes, I spoke to firms on Wall Street. They wanted me to talk about the world, what my experience had been as secretary of State... (bla,bla, bla)
Todd: Let me move on to our next question here. Secretary Clinton, it's addressed to you, and it's about this issue of the speeches, particularly to Goldman Sachs. This is what the questioner wrote verbatim. "I am concerned with the abuses of Wall Street has taken with the American taxpayers money," and then she asks whether you would release the transcripts of your Goldman Sachs speeches, and then added, "Don't you think the voting public has a right to know what was said?" But, let's make that bigger. Are you willing to release the transcripts of all your paid speeches? We do know, through reporting, that there were transcription services for all of those paid speeches. In full disclosure, would you release all of them?
Clinton: I will look into it. I don't know the status, but I will certainly look into it. But, I can only repeat... (bla,bla, bla) ... and I will continue to do that.
Todd: Senator Sanders, you sound like you want to respond. Go ahead...
After the 5th Democratic debate: Lee Fang, an investigative reporter at The Intercept, noted that he recently questioned Hillary Clinton about her speeches for the Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, which paid her $675,000 for just three appearances. After an earlier town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire, Fang had asked Clinton if she would release the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. Clinton laughed and turned away.
The first video below in the interview by Amy Goodman, the host and executive producer of Democracy Now, of investigative journalist Lee Fang before the debate last night, where he said:
Since 2001, Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned over $115 million on the speaker circuit, going out to private corporations, foundations, special interest groups, and charging as much as $200,000, $300,000 per speech. I mean, this is really unprecedented in American history — that you have a leading candidate of a major party enriching themselves personally from special interest groups that have been lobbying them — and will be lobbying them — if they do win the White House. So there’s been a lot of talk about what these speeches actually entailed. And Hillary Clinton has defended herself, saying that she’s basically giving a boilerplate speech, she wants to have more education and more conversations, and this is healthy for our democracy. On the other hand, there have been reports that when Hillary Clinton has gone to some special interest groups — for example, she gave three speeches to Goldman Sachs, making over $600,000 from that one investment bank — that she gave a very specially tailored message, saying that she’s against all of this anti-bank populism. According to Politico, she reassured the bankers that she wouldn’t be taking the line of Elizabeth Warren or Obama really criticizing the big banks. And so, this is a big issue...
The second video below is also by Amy Goodman, again interviewing Lee Fang after the debate last night — and it pretty much sums it all up — with clips of Hillary speaking at the debate. (Who wants to place a wager that we will not see a single UN-REDACTED transcript of any speech that Hillary gave to those bankers.
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