Is this the network all of the Democrats were afraid of just months ago? Glowing from her victory in Pennsylvania, Senator Hillary Clinton braved the April 23 edition of FNC’s "Fox and Friends" to face a barrage of...softball questions. This is not new for the Fox News morning show as they've already given Senator Clinton two other easy interviews.
Co-host Gretchen Carlson started the segment asking "May I call you ‘Rocky’ this morning, Senator?" Carlson and fellow co-host Steve Doocy allowed Clinton to answer any way she pleases and did not interrupt the New York senator. At one point, it appeared as if Doocy was setting up a tough question, recounting some of the many Clinton scandals, but gave Clinton a tee-ball, opining "I thought Barack Obama wasn’t going to run that kind of a campaign." [audio available here]
Gretchen Carlson concluded the segment noting that Clinton’s top supporter in Pennsylvania, Governor Ed Rendell, as well as her campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe praised Fox News for its coverage of the presidential race. With these types of interviews, who can blame them?
The entire transcript is below.
STEVE DOOCY: Alright, she won the Pennsylvania primary yesterday by that magic ten points in the vote in the primary there you can see.
GRETCHEN CARLSON: And presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is live with us from Washington, DC this morning. Good morning to you Senator.
SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY): Good morning Gretchen. Good morning Steve.
DOOCY: Good morning to you. Senator was it a, was it a Crown Royal night last night at the Clinton place?
CLINTON: [laughing] Well, there wasn’t that kind of celebrating going on because I knew I had to get up so early to come talk to you. [laughing]
CARLSON: May I call you "Rocky" this morning Senator? Because-
CLINTON: You sure can.
CARLSON: Alright because you made it apparent that you were in a fight just like Rocky was, fitting in the state of Pennsylvania. And you pulled out all of the stops Senator.
CLINTON: Well, it was a great victory because we had record turnouts. People were obviously excited across Pennsylvania to come out and help pick a president and I was thrilled at the outcome. I think it says a lot about, you know, how engaged and inspired voters are to make sure that we fix what’s going wrong in our country and I’m just so grateful to have had such an overwhelming victory.
DOOCY: Your husband, Bill Clinton, said a couple of days ago that if the Democrats had the same set up as the Republicans, with the primary, because the Democrats have that superdelegate thing, and boy that’s working out well, you would be way ahead. At the end of this election cycle, should the Democrats take a look at it and just say "this thing didn’t work right"?
CLINTON: Well, it is interesting because if we had the same system as the Republicans, I’d already be the nominee and if the Republicans had our system, they’d still be duking it out among Senator McCain and Governors Huckabee and Romney apparently. So I think we will take a look at it. But I’m thrilled by the outcome last night. And you know, since my victory we’ve had thousands of people flocking to my website, HillaryClinton.com, we’ve raised over $3 million. There is so much energy behind my campaign, and a great deal of commitment because people really want me to continue and to go on to these next states because they think I’d be the best president and a lot of Democrats think as we saw in Pennsylvania yesterday that I would be the stronger candidate against Senator McCain, so I’m on to Indiana right after I finish talking to you.
CARLSON: Right and then it’s to North Carolina as well. And I need to ask you Senator, will you push now for another debate with Barack Obama? Because it was supposed to happen on CBS before North Carolina and then it was cancelled. By most accounts, you beat him in the last debate. Will you push for another one now?
CLINTON: Well, I think it’s a shame that Senator Obama will not agree to debates in Indiana and North Carolina. I’ve accepted any and all debates in both states because, you know, most people really want to see us. We’ve only had four debates between the two of us. And now it is down to the two of us. So I think that voters are right to want to have a debate in North Carolina. In fact, 20,000 North Carolinians e-mailed in for tickets when they thought there would be a debate until it was clear Senator Obama would not participate. So I’m still hopeful because I think it’s a shame that apparently he’s unwilling or afraid to debate me when there’s so much at stake and these two states deserve to have a debate.
DOOCY: There’s an item in "The Washington Post" this morning, Senator, that says that according to some of the Barack Obama aides, apparently in the runup to Indiana, which is the next big contest where by the way you are currently leading in the polls, it says that what they’re going to do is they’re going to start reminding people of some of the controversies during Bill Clinton’s White House years, perhaps impeachment, perhaps Whitewater, perhaps cattle trading futures. I thought Barack Obama wasn’t going to run that kind of campaign.
CLINTON: Well, you know, he’ll have to decide what kind of campaign he’ll run, but I think I’m working very hard at Indiana. I’m not ahead by any really objective standard. I’m working hard. You know, Senator Obama has a huge advantage. 25 percent of the vote is in the Chicago media market. He hasn’t lost a state that borders on Illinois. So I have my work cut out for me. But I’m going to run the same kind of campaign and I think it’s the campaign that voters want to see. It’s what we certainly did in Pennsylvania. We’re going to keep talking about the positive solutions for America. We’re going to draw the contrasts and comparisons which I think is absolutely what we need to do in a campaign. But what we saw yesterday is people who really feel strongly. They want a president who they think from day one can be the commander in chief and can be the president to turn this economy around. And that’s what I’m going to offer in Indiana and North Carolina and work as hard as I can there because, you know, a lot’s riding on the outcome of this nominating process.
CARLSON: And a lot is riding, Senator, by some people on the good of the party, at least on the Democratic side. A lot of people said "hey, Hillary Clinton should just drop out for the good of the party." You know, you seem to be in somewhat of a dicey situation with Barack Obama. Because on the one hand, you have to prove now that he could not win in the general election. And on the other hand, if he ends up being the nominee, you would want him to win, right?
CLINTON: Well, you know, I have said publicly of course he can win. I think I will win. I think that’s one of the reasons that I’m a stronger candidate because of the coalition that I put together as we saw again yesterday in Pennsylvania with, you know, all kinds of folks from across the state lining up to vote for me. But really this comes down to who we’re going to pick as our nominee and then we will have a unified party. I am 110 or 20 or 30 percent committed to doing everything I can to make sure that we win in November. And there isn’t any doubt that voters who voted for me or voted for Senator Obama have to know that whatever the differences are between us, they pale in comparison to the differences between us and Senator McCain and the Republicans. So we’re going to have a united party, but this campaign across Pennsylvania gave voters in a big must win state for Democrats, a clear look at both of us, side by side, six weeks criss crossing the state by, you know, by plane, by bus, by train, by car, by every mode of transportation. And the voters decided that they preferred me by a double digit win and I think that’s a very strong signal as to who those voters believe is the stronger candidate.
DOOCY: Alright, so the CBS debate right now, not going to happen. At the ABC debate, which Barack Obama took about 45 minutes worth of hard questions, you know, something that he was, had not gotten before, some left leaning columnists had said, "well, you know, those were trivial questions." But they had to do with stuff that people were interested in, judgment and stuff like that. And when you got hammered at previous debates, nobody ever came to your defense. Mrs. Clinton, there seems to be, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, newsflash, the mainstream media seems to love that guy. What do you do about that?
CLINTON: Well, I just get up every morning and keep going on because I’ve taken I think quite a few tough questions over the last months and years, really going back, I guess, 16 years. That comes with the territory. We are competing for the toughest job in the world. And I’ll tell you, tough questions from moderators in debates are nothing compared to the tough decisions that you have to make in the White House. So I think that, as I’ve said, "if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." This is part of our process. It’s the toughest process to pick the person for the toughest job. And, you know, I’ve put up with it, I’ve tried to answer the questions. Sometime I’m successful, sometimes not so much. But everyday I keep going on and fighting because I think America’s worth fighting for and that’s what I’m going to do in Indiana today and in North Carolina tomorrow.
CARLSON: Well, Senator, keep coming on "Fox and Friends" because your own campaign, your tireless campaigner in Pennsylvania, Governor Ed Rendell, has said that we have had the most fair and balanced discussion of politics so far and as well as Terry McAuliffe last night. And we called the race 20 minutes before anyone else did. So continue to be our guest on "Fox and Friends."
CLINTON: Thank you and please everybody, even on Fox, go to HillaryClinton.com and help me out in this campaign so we can keep going.