In an editorial set to appear in Friday’s print edition, the ultra-liberal New York Times editorial board blasted Hillary Clinton for acting like “a mischievous child” in repeatedly refusing to release the transcripts of her lucrative paid speeches to Wall Street firms.
Right from the start of the 664-word piece, the editorial board took offense to Clinton’s canned excuse that “everybody does it” and argued that this rebuttal “is an excuse expected from a mischievous child, not a presidential candidate.”
The same editorial board that offered a glowing endorsement of her on January 31 excoriated her most recent deflection during the CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall on Tuesday as “a terrible answer, saying that she would release the transcripts ‘if everybody does it, and that includes the Republicans.’”
Running through Clinton’s various responses on the issue dating back to November, the piece shot back that Clinton has created this issue on her won by setting a “different standard....for herself, by personally earning $11 million in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 for 51 speeches to banks and other groups and industries.”
The piece went onto declare that “[v]oters have every right to know what Mrs. Clinton told these groups” and by refusing to release them until all her opponents have, she has opened herself up to “speculation about why she’s stonewalling” and the claim that she won’t comply until Republicans do was dubbed “mystifying.”
Despite their belief that the scandal-ridden candidate remains “one of the most...deeply qualified” to run for president “in modern history,” the paper’s piece shows that they remain extremely uneasy about one aspect of Clinton’s behavior that won’t be going away anytime soon:
The hazards of Mrs. Clinton, a presidential hopeful, earning more than $200,000 each for dozens of speeches to industry groups were clear from the start. Mrs. Clinton was making paid speeches when she hired consultants to vet her own background in preparation for a run. If they didn’t flag this, they weren’t doing their jobs.
Public interest in these speeches is legitimate, and it is the public — not the candidate — who decides how much disclosure is enough. By stonewalling on these transcripts Mrs. Clinton plays into the hands of those who say she’s not trustworthy and makes her own rules. Most important, she is damaging her credibility among Democrats who are begging her to show them that she’d run an accountable and transparent White House.