Hillary Clinton discusses President Trump, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and civility in politics with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Last night, President Trump had a sort of ceremony for now Justice Kavanaugh at the White House, and he apologized on behalf the
American people for the immense amount of pain and harm that he said that the judge had been put through by this system.
What do you make of that and what message, including the president’s mocking of Christine Blasey Ford for her allegations, what message does that send to women? And remember, went for President Trump in 2016.
CLINTON: White women.
AMANPOUR: White women.
HILLARY CLINTON, 2016 DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT: White women. All women went for me. And look, White women have been voting against Democratic presidential candidates for decades now.
The White vote has only then won twice in the last 60 years. My husband being one of the two. Lyndon Johnson being the other. So, it’s not a surprise. It’s a disappointment but it’s not a surprise.
What was done last night in the White House was a political rally. It further undermined the image and integrity of the court. And that troubles me greatly, it saddens me, because our judicial system has been viewed as one of the main pillars of our constitutional government.
So, I don’t know how people are going to react to it. I think given our divides, it will pretty much fall predictably between those who are for and those who are against. But the president’s been true to form. He has insulted, attacked, demeaned women throughout the campaign really for many years leading up to the campaign, and he’s continued to do that inside the White House.
Kellyanne Conway, the Presidential Adviser, talked about this process, and she said, “It looks very much like a vast left-wing conspiracy.” It echoes what you said about when your husband was being perused by the investigation back in the ’90s, a vast right-wing conspiracy.
First of all, your comment on that mirrored language. And secondly, do you see any way, even a conservative who I was speaking of yesterday said the only way to repair America is try to get back to some civility and to try to make it that even if we have political disagreements, we’re not going to war with each other, we’re not trying to destroy each other.
CLINTON: Well, certainly, I would love to see us return to civility. Listening to one another, working out our differences. That is not the
Republican party that exists today, and that is certainly not the administration that we have in power right now.
When the Republican Senate denied the right of President Obama to have his nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, heard —
AMANPOUR: I think you even wrote that they stole a justice from the Democratic party.
CLINTON: Well, I think they did. I mean, to keep a Supreme Court seat open for a year, to deny a distinguished jurist, they could have voted him down. They could have said, “Well, for ideological reasons, philosophical reasons, we’re not going to vote for him.” But no, they stonewalled. And that was such a breach of Senate ethics and the constitutional responsibility of the Senate to advice and consent on nominations, that you cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.
That’s why I believe if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.
And you heard how the Republican members, led by Mitch McConnell, the president, really demeaned the confirmation process, insulted and attacked not only Dr. Ford but women who were speaking out. You know, look, I remember Republican operatives shutting down the voting in Florida in 2000.
I remember the swift voting of John Kerry. I remember the things that even the Republican party did to John McCain in 2000. I remember what they did to me for 25 years, the falsehood, the lies, which, unfortunately, people believed because the Republicans have put a lot of time, money and effort in promoting them.
So when you’re dealing with an ideological party that is driven by the lust for power, that is funded by corporate interest who want a government that does its bidding, it’s hard — you can be civil but you can’t overcome what they intend to do unless you win elections.
And so, the answer to everything is to get back to a balance, to get back to what is called regular order. They don’t even have committee processes.
They — the idea that they wouldn’t seek and obtain all of the written record from Kavanaugh, that they would not have done a full investigation, that is not the way that they treat Democrats.
And so, unless we win and we say to the people of our country, “Look, we need to protect the rule of law. We need to protect processes that are in place in the Congress and the government to protect you, to protect what you care about.” So, this should go both ways, and that’s what I’m hoping for.