December 18, 2006
Contact:
Emily Lenzner, NPR
 | 

SENATOR HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
ON WHETHER THE COUNTRY IS READY FOR A WOMAN PRESIDENT,
UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE, AND WHAT SHE WOULD SAY TO HER CRITICS
ON NPR NEWS’ MORNING EDITION

INTERVIEW AIRS TOMORROW MORNING, TUESDAY DECEMBER 19

TRANSCRIBED EXCERPTS BELOW;
AUDIO TO BE AVAILABLE TUESDAY AFTER 10:00AM ET AT WWW.NPR.ORG


Washington, DC; December 18, 2006 – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), who is considering a run for President in 2008, says we won’t know whether the country is ready to elect a woman President “until we try.” In an interview with Steve Inskeep airing tomorrow on NPR News’ Morning Edition, Senator Clinton says, “I don’t know whether we’re ready or not, but I think at some point we need to try.”

In the interview timed to the re-release of her 1996 book, “It Takes a Village,” Senator Clinton stands by her previous endorsement of her book’s call for universal health care. She discusses the need for stronger government leadership and sacrifice, and whether taxes need to be increased to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and what she thinks of the negative ways some perceive her.

Transcribed excerpts of the interview are below. All excerpts must be credited to NPR News Morning Edition. The interview airs tomorrow morning, Tuesday, December 19. Local stations’ air time of the program is available at www.npr.org/stations. Audio of the interview will be available at www.NPR.org after 10:00am (ET).

· When asked whether American voters are ready to elect a woman President, Sen. Clinton said, “Well we won’t know until we try. I think that’s a fair statement and I don’t know whether we’re ready or not, but I think at some point we need to try.

· Senator Clinton on universal health care: “I believe that it is absolutely unsustainable for the United States of America, the richest nation in the world not to have quality affordable, accessible healthcare available to every American.”

· When asked how it is possible to put forward a plan on universal healthcare Sen. Clinton said, “If we had been governed sensibly the last six years with the balanced budget and the surplus, which this administration inherited we would have been a long way down the road to deal with social security and Medicare and all of the financial challenges they pose, and you know I believe America can confront any problem if we’re willing to make some tough decisions. We’ve not been asked to make any tough decisions. The President hasn’t called for sacrifice from any of us. We’re not asked to even turn the lights off and conserve energy in order to limit the amount of money that’s flowing to regimes that are antithetical to our interests.

· When asked about her vote to authorize the Iraq war, Sen. Clinton said, “You know I’ve said repeatedly that had we known then what we know now there never would have been a vote. I certainly wouldn’t have given the President the authority, but I believed that putting inspectors back in, and allowing inspectors to determine once and for all whether this man Saddam Hussein, who had used weapons of mass destruction still had them and still had the capability to deliver them was a worthy effort. Unfortunately the President did not permit the inspectors to complete their job, but if he had done so, we would have found what we found only after military action.”

· Sen. Clinton on a tough sacrifice she would call for if she were in the White House, “Well I believe number one, we have to get back to balancing the budget. That means we’re going to have to cut spending and we’re going to have to take a hard look at these tax cuts that have not produced the revenues that were promised when the Bush Administration laid it out. You know we have quite a long list of difficult decisions we’re facing, but we need leadership in order to begin the debate.”

· When asked about raising taxes to pay for the war, Sen. Clinton said, “I’m not sure you need to raise them. I think you need to prevent them from continuing to be cut, and you also need to take a hard look at the one’s that are about to expire. Everybody’s got to pitch in.”

· When asked about some people’s negative perceptions of her, Sen. Clinton said, “Well, I would say what I said to people in New York, who said the very same thing. Let me introduce myself to you, really. You may think you know about me, but I may be the most famous person you know very little about. There’s just so much, you know, kind of kibitzing about who I am, and what I believe and what I’ve done, and I’d like to make sure the record is clear, and then people can make their own judgments.”

Morning Edition is public radio’s most listened-to program with nearly 13 million weekly listeners. The two-hour program, now in its third decade, airs weekdays and is hosted by Steve Inskeep in Washington, D.C. and Renée Montagne from NPR West in Culver City, Calif.

-NPR-