USA Today's Susan Page: It's a 'Mystery' That Talented Hillary Skips Questions

The journalists on MSNBC, Tuesday, appeared baffled at Hillary Clinton's struggling presidential campaign, deeming it a "mystery" why the candidate doesn't answer more questions. Journalist Alex Seitz-Wald talked up the Democrat's meager five minute press conference: "I certainly don't think it will satisfy the cries [for more journalistic access], but it might sate them for a while at least." 

He added, "I've been covering Hillary Clinton for almost a year and this is about as extensive as she's gotten." Again, Tuesday's interaction with reporters, the first in 27 days, lasted a total of five minutes. Andrea Mitchell deemed the 300 or so seconds of conversation to be "the most extensive Q and A I've seen with Hillary Clinton." 

USA Today bureau chief Susan Page marveled at the numerous scandals that have popped up: "A year ago, we would have said, 'Hillary Clinton may be controversial. But she is thoroughly vetted. There are not new things to know about Hillary Clinton.'"

Later, Page conceded to being confused as to why this talented politician is avoiding answering tough questions: "It's a mystery to me why she doesn't want to take a couple questions every day so that this is isn't a story and so she has a chance to respond to negative stories that are out there and to make her case, because she does it very well." 

MSNBC reporter Seitz-Wald famously anchored the network's coverage as journalists swarmed after Clinton's "Scooby van." 

A partial transcript from the Andrea Mitchell Reports segment is below: 

12:18pm ET 

SUSAN PAGE: We thought, a year ago we would have said, "Hillary Clinton may be controversial. But she is thoroughly vetted. There are not new things to know about Hillary Clinton." And what we're finding is every day, this very complicated relationship she continued to have with the foundation, with private interests, with outsiders like Sid Blumenthal, has contributed to all these things we didn't know and are finding out in a very unhelpful way for her presidential campaign. 
                
...

MITCHELL: You've been there every step of the way. Tell me, how extensive was her question and answer session? Did you get a chance for follow-ups? Do you think this is going to satisfy the cry for her to be more accessible on the campaign trail as, certainly, Republican opponents, potential opponents, all have been.  

ALEX SEITZ-WALD: Well, I certainly don't think it will satisfy the cries, but it might sate them for a while at least. You know, I've been covering Hillary Clinton for almost a year and this is about as extensive as she's gotten. Andrew, we were both at the United Nations when she had her press conference. This was, you know, approaching the press conference in the level of questions she answered. But, again, only four or five questions for about five minutes. There were many questions being shouted. I was trying to ask her about TPA. She did not address that. 

MITCHELL: This is the most extensive Q and A I've seen with Hillary Clinton and I've been to every other event. Does this indicate they realize she's beginning to look really cloistered as some people are putting countdown clocks as she's been under fire from every potential Republican candidate for not answering questions. 

SEITZ-WALD: Yeah, that's absolutely right. Pressure has been mounting days. 

...

PAGE: I don't think it's really too perilous for her with a Democratic primary. But we're going to have a competitive presidential election. You see Hillary Clinton. She can handle any question you throw at her. It's a mystery to me why she doesn't want to take a couple questions every day so that this is isn't a story and so she has a chance to respond to negative stories that are out there and to make her case, because she does it -- she does it very well. 

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports Video Andrea Mitchell Susan Page Hillary Clinton
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