Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches to large Wall Street banks bordered on “gushy,” one attendee told The Wall Street Journal for a story published Thursday night.
Despite calls for her to do so, the Democratic presidential front-runner has not released the transcripts of the paid speeches she gave to Wall Street executives since departing the State Department in 2013.
That has not stopped various attendees from speaking to media outlets such as Politico an The Wall Street Journal, however about how Clinton portrayed herself as somewhat of a friend to the financial community during the talks.
“It was pretty glowing about us,” one attendee told Politico. “It’s so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now. It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.”
Clinton’s campaign spokesman, Brian Fallon, dismissed the attendees’ statements as “pure trolling” after the Politico piece was published earlier this week.
But others have now corroborated the report, telling The Wall Street Journal that Clinton demurred when the subject of the financial crisis came up, saying only that “We’re all in this together, we’ve got to find our way out of it together.”
From The Journal:
In some cases, she thanked the audience for what they had done for the country, the people said. One attendee said the warmth with which Mrs. Clinton greeted guests bordered on “gushy.”
Clinton, who is currently locked in an increasingly tight battle for the Democratic presidential nomination with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), was reportedly paid $675,000 total for the three paid speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs executives.
When asked during a CNN event why she accepted so much money, she responded, “I don’t know, that’s what they offered.”
Sanders, meanwhile, has used the controversy to attack Clinton as an “establishment” candidate with ties to big Wall Street Banks — an industry that Sanders blames for the 2008 financial crisis and large wealth disparity in the US.
“What being part of the establishment is, is in the last quarter, having a super PAC that raised $15 million from Wall Street, that throughout one’s life raised a whole lot of money from the drug companies and other special interests,” Sanders said in last week’s democratic debate on MSNBC.
Clinton has denied that she was ever involved with a super PAC, and has rejected the notion that “if you take donations from Wall Street, you can’t be independent.”
Sanders continued to attack Clinton on the issue in Thursday night’s PBS debate, but has stopped short of demanding that Clinton release the transcripts of her paid speeches.
“The people aren’t dumb,” he said. “Why in God’s name does Wall Street make huge campaign contributions? I guess just for the fun of it; they want to throw money around.”
Business Insider reached out to the Clinton campaign about The Journal report and will update this story if we hear back.
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