Appearing on MSNBC, Tuesday, Nancy Pelosi insisted that the sex accusations against Bill Clinton are not important because he’s not the one running for president and that no one cares about “what Bill Clinton did two decades ago.”
Calling Donald Trump a “volatile adversary,” anchor Andrea Mitchell worried, “How fraught is this with risk for the Democratic Party and for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy?” She followed-up, asking, “But on this issue of sexism and the issue of Bill Clinton's past, is that fair game?”
Pelosi retorted, “It would be [an issue] if he were running for president, but he isn't. Hillary Clinton is running for president.”
Pelosi may seem like she doesn’t care about sexual assault now, but back in 1991 she was concerned about the allegations against Clarence Thomas. The New York Times reported Pelosi as saying:
"They are men, they can't possibly know what it's like to receive verbal harassment, harassment that is fleeting to the man and lasting and demeaning to the woman," said Representative Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat. "These allegations may not be true. But women in America have to speak up for themselves and say we want to remove all doubt that the person who goes to the Supreme Court has unquestioned respect for women.
"What's the rush? We need a little more time to follow up on allegations so that we can send a signal to women in America that we take sexual harassment seriously."
Mitchell also didn’t push the issue either, only justified the concern because Mr. Clinton is a campaign surrogate for his wife. The exchange over the issue lasted only a minute and a half.
Yet, some do find that the allegations against Bill are a problem for the campaign. On MSNBC, Monday, Mark Halperin admitted that the sexual assault claims by Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey have not been debunked. The New York Times editorial board also argued that “Hillary Clinton is accountable for her own public actions” when it comes to how she treated the women who accused her husband of sexual misconduct, something we have yet to see the Clintons do.
See transcript below:
Andrea Mitchell Reports
January 12, 2016
12:31 p.m. Eastern
ANDREA MITCHELL: Donald Trump, accused by Hillary Clinton of sexism. He then tweeted out “watch out, if you go there I’m going to go there.” And then he goes after Bill Clinton, and Bill Clinton’s past, and we saw a noticeable change in the Clinton world. I was out on the campaign, and the pulling back by, you know, both Hillary and Bill Clinton. The new caution out there because obviously Donald Trump is a volatile adversary. How fraught is this with risk for the Democratic Party, and for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy?
NANCY PELOSI: Well, I believe that Hillary Clinton wants to talk about the issues that affect people and their everyday life.
MITCHELL: But on this issue of sexism and the issue of Bill Clinton's past, is that fair game and –
PELOSI: It would be if he were running for president, but he isn't. Hillary Clinton is running for president.
MITCHELL: But he's a chief surrogate for her. What do you do now that Trump has opened this up?
PELOSI: Well, I think that you stick with what is important to the American people, and what is important to the American people is their financial stability, and that is what elections are about. And that's why I say it's a race between trickle-down economics, tax breaks for special interests and the very wealthy and hopefully it trickles down and creates jobs, or recognizing we are a consumer economy and the success of the middle class and it's consumer confidence is what is going to grow our economy. It's essential to the growth of our economy, and that's what this election should be about. Not about what Bill Clinton did two decades ago.