Hillary Clinton (Former Secretary of State)
DOB: 10/26/1947 in Chicago, Illinois; Wellesley College B.A., 1969; Yale Law School J.D., 1973; Became the First lady of Arkansas when husband Bill Clinton became governor in 1979-1992; Served as the first lady to President Bill Clinton from 1993-2001; Ran for the U.S. Senate in 2001 from the state of New York and served until 2009; Became Secretary of State in 2009 until 2013; Majority of focus in politics is health care, women’s rights, and human rights; Led 2011 U.S. intervention into Libya; A scandal in Benghazi, where the U.S ambassador and 3 others were killed in a deadly attack on a U.S diplomatic post, caused her to step down as secretary in 2013; Married, Bill Clinton, ch. 1.
Policy based on Foreign Policy and National Security topics:
Full Text of Foreign Policy Speech, San Diego, CA, June 2, 2016
Thank you, thank you so much. Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you San Diego for that warm, warm welcome and thanks to Ellen for those moving words, her introduction, and for reminding us it’s not only our men and women in uniform that serve our country, it’s their families, their spouses, their children, and we are grateful to each and every one of them. I want to recognize and thank Congressman Scott Peters for being here, thank you very much.
And all of the other electeds and service members, active duty and retired National Guard and Reservists, veterans, military spouses, family members, all who are with us today.
On Monday, we observed Memorial Day – a day that means a great deal to San Diego, home of so many active-duty and former military and their families. We honor the sacrifice of those who died for our country in many ways – by living our values, by making this a stronger and fairer nation, and by carrying out a smart and principled foreign policy.
That’s what I want to speak about today – the challenges we face in protecting our country, and the choice at stake in this election.
It’s a choice between a fearful America that’s less secure and less engaged with the world, and a strong, confident America that leads to keep our country safe and our economy growing.
As Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady, I had the honor of representing America abroad and helping shape our foreign policy at home. As a candidate for President, there’s nothing I take more seriously than our national security. I’ve offered clear strategies for how to defeat ISIS, strengthen our alliances, and make sure Iran never gets a nuclear weapon. And I’m going to keep America’s security at the heart of my campaign.
Because as you know so well, Americans aren’t just electing a President in November. We’re choosing our next commander-in-chief – the person we count on to decide questions of war and peace, life and death.
And like many across our country and around the world, I believe the person the Republicans have nominated for President cannot do the job.
Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different – they are dangerously incoherent. They’re not even really ideas – just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds, and outright lies.
He is not just unprepared – he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.
This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes – because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.
We cannot put the security of our children and grandchildren in Donald Trump’s hands. We cannot let him roll the dice with America.
This is a man who said that more countries should have nuclear weapons, including Saudi Arabia.
This is someone who has threatened to abandon our allies in NATO – the countries that work with us to root out terrorists abroad before they strike us at home.
He believes we can treat the U.S. economy like one of his casinos and default on our debts to the rest of the world, which would cause an economic catastrophe far worse than anything we experienced in 2008.
He has said that he would order our military to carry out torture and the murder of civilians who are related to suspected terrorists – even though those are war crimes.
He says he doesn’t have to listen to our generals or our admirals, our ambassadors and other high officials, because he has – quote – “a very good brain.”
He also said, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.” You know what? I don’t believe him.
He says climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese, and he has the gall to say that prisoners of war like John McCain aren’t heroes.
He praises dictators like Vladimir Putin and picks fights with our friends – including the British prime minister, the mayor of London, the German chancellor, the president of Mexico and the Pope.
He says he has foreign policy experience because he ran the Miss Universe pageant in Russia.
And to top it off, he believes America is weak. An embarrassment. He called our military a disaster. He said we are – and I quote – a “third-world country.” And he’s been saying things like that for decades.
Those are the words my friends of someone who doesn’t understand America or the world.
And they’re the words of someone who would lead us in the wrong direction. Because if you really believe America is weak – with our military, our values, our capabilities that no other country comes close to matching – then you don’t know America.
And you certainly don’t deserve to lead it.
That’s why – even if I weren’t in this race – I’d be doing everything I could to make sure Donald Trump never becomes President – because I believe he will take our country down a truly dangerous path.
Unlike him, I have some experience with the tough calls and the hard work of statecraft. I wrestled with the Chinese over a climate deal in Copenhagen, brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, negotiated the reduction of nuclear weapons with Russia, twisted arms to bring the world together in global sanctions against Iran, and stood up for the rights of women, religious minorities and LGBT people around the world.
And I have, I have sat in the Situation Room and advised the President on some of the toughest choices he faced.
So I’m not new to this work. And I’m proud to run on my record, because I think the choice before the American people in this election is clear.
I believe in strong alliances; clarity in dealing with our rivals; and a rock-solid commitment to the values that have always made America great. And I believe with all my heart that America is an exceptional country – that we’re still, in Lincoln’s words, the last, best hope of earth. We are not a country that cowers behind walls. We lead with purpose, and we prevail.
And if America doesn’t lead, we leave a vacuum – and that will either cause chaos, or other countries will rush in to fill the void. Then they’ll be the ones making the decisions about your lives and jobs and safety – and trust me, the choices they make will not be to our benefit.
That is not an outcome we can live with.
As I see it, there are some important things our next President must do to secure American leadership and keep us safe and our economy growing in the years ahead. These are all areas in which Donald Trump and I profoundly disagree. And they are all critical to our future.
First, we need to be strong at home.
That means investing in our infrastructure, education and innovation – the fundamentals of a strong economy. We need to reduce income inequality, because our country can’t lead effectively when so many are struggling to provide the basics for their families. And we need to break down the barriers that hold Americans back, including barriers of bigotry and discrimination.
Compare that with what Trump wants to do. His economic plans would add more than $30 trillion – that’s trillion with a “t” – $30 trillion to our national debt over the next 20 years. He has no ideas on education. No ideas on innovation. He has a lot of ideas about who to blame, but no clue about what to do.
None of what Donald Trump is offering will make America stronger at home. And that would make us weaker in the world.
Second, we need to stick with our allies.
America’s network of allies is part of what makes us exceptional. And our allies deliver for us every day.
Our armed forces fight terrorists together; our diplomats work side by side. Allies provide staging areas for our military, so we can respond quickly to events on the other side of the world. And they share intelligence that helps us identify and defuse potential threats.
Take the threat posed by North Korea – perhaps the most repressive regime on the planet, run by a sadistic dictator who wants to develop long-range missiles that could carry a nuclear weapon to the United States.
When I was Secretary of State, we worked closely with our allies Japan and South Korea to respond to this threat, including by creating a missile defense system that stands ready to shoot down a North Korean warhead, should its leaders ever be reckless enough to launch one at us. The technology is ours. Key parts of it are located on Japanese ships. All three countries contributed to it. And this month, all three of our militaries will run a joint drill to test it.
That’s the power of allies.
And it’s the legacy of American troops who fought and died to secure those bonds, because they knew we were safer with friends and partners.
Now Moscow and Beijing are deeply envious of our alliances around the world, because they have nothing to match them. They’d love for us to elect a President who would jeopardize that source of strength. If Donald gets his way, they’ll be celebrating in the Kremlin. We cannot let that happen.
That’s why it is no small thing when he talks about leaving NATO, or says he’ll stay neutral on Israel’s security.
It’s no small thing when he calls Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. We’re lucky to have two friendly neighbors on our land borders. Why would he want to make one of them an enemy?
And it’s no small thing when he suggests that America should withdraw our military support for Japan, encourage them to get nuclear weapons, and said this about a war between Japan and North Korea – and I quote – “If they do, they do. Good luck, enjoy yourself, folks.”
I wonder if he even realizes he’s talking about nuclear war.
Yes, our friends need to contribute their fair share. I made that point long before Donald Trump came onto the scene – and a number of them have increased their defense spending. The real debate here is whether we keep these alliances strong or cut them off. What he says would weaken our country.
Third, we need to embrace all the tools of American power, especially diplomacy and development, to be on the frontlines solving problems before they threaten us at home.
Diplomacy is often the only way to avoid a conflict that could end up exacting a much greater cost. It takes patience, persistence and an eye on the long game – but it’s worth it.
Take the nuclear agreement with Iran. When President Obama took office, Iran was racing toward a nuclear bomb. Some called for military action. But that could have ignited a broader war that could have mired our troops in another Middle Eastern conflict.
President Obama chose a different path. And I got to work leading the effort to impose crippling global sanctions. We brought Iran to the table. We began talks. And eventually, we reached an agreement that should block every path for Iran to get a nuclear weapon.
Now we must enforce that deal vigorously. And as I’ve said many times before, our approach must be “distrust and verify.” The world must understand that the United States will act decisively if necessary, including with military action, to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. In particular, Israel’s security is non-negotiable. They’re our closest ally in the region, and we have a moral obligation to defend them.
But there is no question that the world and the United States, we are safer now than we were before this agreement. And we accomplished it without firing a single shot, dropping a single bomb or putting a single American soldier in harm’s way.
Donald Trump says we shouldn’t have done the deal. We should have walked away. But that would have meant no more global sanctions, and Iran resuming their nuclear program and the world blaming us. So then what? War? Telling the world, good luck, you deal with Iran?
Of course Trump doesn’t have answers to those questions. Donald Trump doesn’t know the first thing about Iran or its nuclear program. Ask him. It’ll become very clear, very quickly.
There’s no risk of people losing their lives if you blow up a golf-course deal.
But it doesn’t work like that in world affairs. Just like being interviewed on the same episode of “60 Minutes” as Putin was, is not the same thing as actually dealing with Putin.
So the stakes in global statecraft are infinitely higher and more complex than in the world of luxury hotels. We all know the tools Donald Trump brings to the table – bragging, mocking, composing nasty tweets – I’m willing to bet he’s writing a few right now.
But those tools won’t do the trick. Rather than solving global crises, he would create new ones.
He has no sense of what it takes to deal with multiple countries with competing interests and reaching a solution that everyone can get behind. In fact, he is downright contemptuous of that work. And that means he’s much more likely to end up leading us into conflict.
Fourth, we need to be firm but wise with our rivals.
Countries like Russia and China often work against us. Beijing dumps cheap steel in our markets. That hurts American workers. Moscow has taken aggressive military action in Ukraine, right on NATO’s doorstep. Now I’ve gone toe-to-toe with Russia and China, and many other different leaders around the world. So I know we have to be able to both stand our ground when we must, and find common ground when we can.
That’s how I could work with Russia to conclude the New START treaty to reduce nuclear stockpiles, and with China to increase pressure on North Korea. It’s how our diplomats negotiated the landmark agreement on climate change, which Trump now wants to rip up.
The key was never forgetting who we were dealing with – not friends or allies, but countries that share some common interests with us amid many disagreements.
Donald doesn’t see the complexity. He wants to start a trade war with China. And I understand a lot of Americans have concerns about our trade agreements – I do too. But a trade war is something very different. We went down that road in the 1930s. It made the Great Depression longer and more painful. Combine that with his comments about defaulting on our debt, and it’s not hard to see how a Trump presidency could lead to a global economic crisis.
And I have to say, I don’t understand Donald’s bizarre fascination with dictators and strongmen who have no love for America. He praised China for the Tiananmen Square massacre; he said it showed strength. He said, “You’ve got to give Kim Jong Un credit” for taking over North Korea – something he did by murdering everyone he saw as a threat, including his own uncle, which Donald described gleefully, like he was recapping an action movie. And he said if he were grading Vladimir Putin as a leader, he’d give him an A.
Now, I’ll leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants.
I just wonder how anyone could be so wrong about who America’s real friends are. Because it matters. If you don’t know exactly who you’re dealing with, men like Putin will eat your lunch.
Fifth, we need a real plan for confronting terrorists.
As we saw six months ago in San Bernardino, the threat is real and urgent. Over the past year, I’ve laid out my plans for defeating ISIS.
We need to take out their strongholds in Iraq and Syria by intensifying the air campaign and stepping up our support for Arab and Kurdish forces on the ground. We need to keep pursuing diplomacy to end Syria’s civil war and close Iraq’s sectarian divide, because those conflicts are keeping ISIS alive. We need to lash up with our allies, and ensure our intelligence services are working hand-in-hand to dismantle the global network that supplies money, arms, propaganda and fighters to the terrorists. We need to win the battle in cyberspace.
And of course we need to strengthen our defenses here at home.
That – in a nutshell – is my plan for defeating ISIS.
What’s Trump’s? Well he won’t say. He is literally keeping it a secret. The secret, of course, is he has no idea what he’d do to stop ISIS.
Just look at the few things he’s actually said on the subject.
He’s actually said – and I quote – “maybe Syria should be a free zone for ISIS.” Oh, okay – let a terrorist group have control of a major country in the Middle East.
Then he said we should send tens of thousands of American ground troops to the Middle East to fight ISIS.
He also refused to rule out using nuclear weapons against ISIS, which would mean mass civilian casualties.
It’s clear he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. So we can’t be certain which of these things he would do. But we can be certain that he’s capable of doing any or all of them. Letting ISIS run wild. Launching a nuclear attack. Starting a ground war. These are all distinct possibilities with Donald Trump in charge.
And through all his loose talk, there’s one constant theme: demonizing Muslims and playing right into the hands of ISIS’. His proposal to ban 1.5 billion Muslims from even coming to our country doesn’t just violate the religious freedom our country was founded on. It’s also a huge propaganda victory for ISIS. And it alienates the very countries we need to actually help us in this fight.
A Trump Presidency would embolden ISIS. We cannot take that risk.
This isn’t reality television – this is actual reality.
And defeating global terrorist networks and protecting the homeland takes more than empty talk and a handful of slogans. It takes a real plan, real experience and real leadership. Donald Trump lacks all three.
And one more thing. A President has a sacred responsibility to send our troops into battle only if we absolutely must, and only with a clear and well-thought-out strategy. Our troops give their all. They deserve a commander-in-chief who knows that.
I’ve worked side-by-side with admirals and generals, and visited our troops in theaters of war. I’ve fought for better health care for our National Guard, better services for our veterans, and more support for our Gold Star families. We cannot put the lives of our young men and women in uniform in Donald Trump’s hands.
Sixth, we need to stay true to our values.
Trump says over and over again, “The world is laughing at us.” He’s been saying this for decades, he didn’t just start this year. He bought full-page ads in newspapers across the country back in 1987, when Ronald Reagan was President, saying that America lacked a backbone and the world was – you guessed it – laughing at us. He was wrong then, and he’s wrong now – and you’ve got to wonder why somebody who fundamentally has so little confidence in America, and has felt that way for at least 30 years, wants to be our President.
The truth is, there’s not a country in the world that can rival us. It’s not just that we have the greatest military, or that our economy is larger, more durable, more entrepreneurial than any in the world. It’s also that Americans work harder, dream bigger – and we never, ever stop trying to make our country and world a better place.
So it really matters that Donald Trump says things that go against our deepest-held values. It matters when he says he’ll order our military to murder the families of suspected terrorists. During the raid to kill bin Laden, when every second counted, our SEALs took the time to move the women and children in the compound to safety. Donald Trump may not get it, but that’s what honor looks like.
And it also matters when he makes fun of disabled people, calls women pigs, proposes banning an entire religion from our country, or plays coy with white supremacists. America stands up to countries that treat women like animals, or people of different races, religions or ethnicities as less human.
What happens to the moral example we set – for the world and for our own children – if our President engages in bigotry?
And by the way, Mr. Trump – every time you insult American Muslims or Mexican immigrants, remember that plenty of Muslims and immigrants serve and fight in our armed forces.
Donald Trump, Donald Trump could learn something from them.
That brings me to the final point I want to make today – the temperament it takes to be Commander-in-Chief.
Every President faces hard choices every day, with imperfect information and conflicting imperatives. That’s the job.
A revolution threatens to topple a government in a key region, an adversary reaches out for the first time in years – what do you do?
Making the right call takes a cool head and respect for the facts. It takes a willingness to listen to other people’s points of view with a truly open mind. It also takes humility – knowing you don’t know everything – because if you’re convinced you’re always right, you’ll never ask yourself the hard questions.
I remember being in the Situation Room with President Obama, debating the potential Bin Laden operation. The President’s advisors were divided. The intelligence was compelling but far from definitive. The risks of failure were daunting. The stakes were significant for our battle against al Qaeda and our relationship with Pakistan. Most of all, the lives of those brave SEALs and helicopter pilots hung in the balance.
It was a decision only the President could make. And when he did, it was as crisp and courageous a display of leadership as I’ve ever seen.
Now imagine Donald Trump sitting in the Situation Room, making life-or-death decisions on behalf of the United States. Imagine him deciding whether to send your spouses or children into battle. Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry, but America’s entire arsenal.
Do we want him making those calls – someone thin-skinned and quick to anger, who lashes out at the smallest criticism? Do we want his finger anywhere near the button?
I have a lot of faith that the American people will make the right decision. This is a country with a deep reservoir of common sense and national pride. We’re all counting on that.
Because making Donald Trump our commander-in-chief would be a historic mistake. It would undo so much of the work that Republicans and Democrats alike have done over many decades to make America stronger and more secure. It would set back our standing in the world more than anything in recent memory. And it would fuel an ugly narrative about who we are – that we’re fearful, not confident; that we want to let others determine our future for us, instead of shaping our own destiny.
That’s not the America I know and love.
So yes, we have a lot of work to do to keep our country secure. And we need to do better by American families and American workers – and we will. But don’t let anyone tell you that America isn’t great. Donald Trump’s got America all wrong. We are a big-hearted, fair-minded country.
There is no challenge we can’t meet, no goal we can’t achieve when we each do our part and come together as one nation.
Every lesson from our history teaches us that we are stronger together. We remember that every Memorial Day.
This election is a choice between two very different visions of America.
One that’s angry, afraid, and based on the idea that America is fundamentally weak and in decline.
The other is hopeful, generous, and confident in the knowledge that America is great – just like we always have been.
Let’s resolve that we can be greater still. That is what I believe in my heart.
I went to 112 countries as your Secretary of State. And I never lost my sense of pride at seeing our blue-and-white plane lit up on some far-off runway, with “The United States of America” emblazoned on the side. That plane – those words – our country represents something special, not just to us, to the world. It represents freedom and hope and opportunity.
I love this country and I know you do too. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve America and I’m going to do everything I can to protect our nation, and make sure we don’t lose sight of how strong we really are.
Thank you all very much.
Fight Against ISIS/Terrorism
“We have to defeat ISIS. That is my highest counterterrorism goal. And we’ve got to do it with air power. We’ve got to do it with much more support for the Arabs and the Kurds who will fight on the ground against ISIS… We are not putting ground troops into Iraq ever again. And we’re not putting ground troops into Syria. We’re going to defeat ISIS without committing American ground troops.” NBC Commander-in-Chief Forum, September 7, 2016
“Well, our prayers are with the people of France tonight, but that is not enough. We need to have a resolve that will bring the world together to root out the kind of radical jihadist ideology that motivates organizations like ISIS, a barbaric, ruthless, violent jihadist terrorist group.
I think that we have to look at ISIS as the leading threat of an international terror network. It cannot be contained, it must be defeated.
There is no question in my mind that if we summon our resources, both our leadership resources and all of the tools at our disposal, not just military force, which should be used as a last resort, but our diplomacy, our development aid, law enforcement, sharing of intelligence in a much more open and cooperative way — that we can bring people together.
But it cannot be an American fight. And I think what the president has consistently said– which I agree with– is that we will support those who take the fight to ISIS. That is why we have troops in Iraq that are helping to train and build back up the Iraqi military, why we have special operators in Syria working with the Kurds and Arabs, so that we can be supportive.
But this cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is essential.
Well, and– and of course each of these cases needs to be looked at individually and analyzed. Part of the problem that we have currently in the Middle East is that Assad has hung onto power– with the very strong support of Russia and Iran and with the proxy of– Hezbollah– being there basically fighting his battles.
So I don’t think you can paint with a broad brush. This is an incredibly complicated region of the world. It’s become more complicated. And many of the fights that are going on are not ones that the United States has either started or have a role in. The Shia– Sunni split, the dictatorships that have suppressed people’s aspirations, the increasing globalization without any real safety valve for people to have a better life. We saw that in Egypt. We saw a dictator overthrown, we saw Muslim Brotherhood president installed and then we saw him ousted and the army back. So I think we’ve got to understand the complexity of the world that we are facing and no places more so than in the Middle East.” CBS Democratic Debate, November 14, 2015
“What I said was we had to put together a coalition – in fact, something that I worked on before I left the State Department – to do, and yes, that it should include Arabs, people in the region.
Because what I worry about is what will happen with ISIS gaining more territory, having more reach, and, frankly, posing a threat to our friends and neighbors in the region and far beyond.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
“It is not just a matter of law enforcement or military action, we are in a contest of ideas and values. And who are we contesting against? Well we’re not contesting against the vast majority of Muslims, Islam itself is not the adversary, and the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and tolerance people…But we can’t close our eyes to the fact that this time in our world history, there is a distorted and dangerous strain of extremism within the Muslim world that continues to spread.
First, we have to craft our strategy in the Middle East, with an eye to this battle of ideas. We have to do everything we can to empower moderates and marginal extremists in the Middle East and the wider Muslim world.
Second, as we defend ourselves, and go after terrorist networks, in addition to robust military and law enforcement action, we need to target extremist propaganda and the way that propaganda is used for recruitment. And that requires very lose international cooperation. As Secretary of State, I worked hard around the world to build a global infrastructure to begin creating more collaboration on counterterrorism.
Third, we have to show the world that free people and free markets, human rights and human dignity, respect for men and women, is our core strength. Great democracies have to set that example. Standing up for our values in our own countries and communities is just as crucial as promoting them abroad.” (Speech at the RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on January 21, 2015)
“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.”
“One of the reasons why I worry about what’s happening in the Middle East right now is because of the breakout capacity of jihadist groups that can affect Europe, can affect the United States. Jihadist groups are governing territory. They will never stay there, though. They are driven to expand. Their raison d’etre is to be against the West, against the Crusaders, against the fill-in-the-blank—and we all fit into one of these categories. How do we try to contain that? I’m thinking a lot about containment, deterrence, and defeat.” (The Atlantic interview with Clinton, August 2014)
“[Drones are] one of the most effective and controversial elements of the Obama Administration’s strategy against al Qaeda and like-minded terrorists. Dozens of senior terrorists had been taken off the battlefield by drones.” (Hard Choices book)
Russian Intervention in Syria
“Well, first of all, we got a lot of business done with the Russians when Medvedev was the president, and not Putin. We got a nuclear arms deal, we got the Iranian sanctions, we got an ability to bring important material and equipment to our soldiers in Afghanistan.
There’s no doubt that when Putin came back in and said he was going to be President, that did change the relationship. We have to stand up to his bullying, and specifically in Syria, it is important – and I applaud the administration because they are engaged in talks right now with the Russians to make it clear that they’ve got to be part of the solution to try to end that bloody conflict.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
And, to – provide safe zones so that people are not going to have to be flooding out of Syria at the rate they are. And, I think it’s important too that the United States make it very clear to Putin that it’s not acceptable for him to be in Syria creating more chaos, bombing people on behalf of Assad, and we can’t do that if we don’t take more of a leadership position, which is what I’m advocating.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
“We are already flying in Syria just as we are flying in Iraq. The president has made a very tough decision. What I believe and why I have advocated that the no-fly zone – which of course would be in a coalition – be put on the table is because I’m trying to figure out what leverage we have to get Russia to the table. You know, diplomacy is not about getting to the perfect solution. It’s about how you balance the risks.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
Reaction to Iran Nuclear Negotiations and Current Agreement
“I think it (biggest national security threat) has to be continued threat from the spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear material that can fall into the wrong hands. I know the terrorists are constantly seeking it, and that’s why we have to stay vigilant, but also united around the world to prevent that.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
“Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged Monday to defend and further the international nuclear deal with Iran if she is elected president and said congressional rejection of the accord would send a signal of weakness to the rest of the world.”
“I’m hoping that the agreement is final-approved and I will tell you that if it’s not, all bets are off”
“European nations as well as negotiating partners Russia and China will feel wronged if Congress fails to back President Obama by endorsing the accord, she said.”
“‘They’re gonna say, ‘we stuck with the Americans, we agreed with the Americans and we hammered out this agreement,’ Clinton said. ‘And if their president can’t make foreign policy that is a very bad signal to send in a quickly moving and often dangerous world.’”
“‘You play the hand you’re dealt,’ Clinton said. ‘And we played that hand to get them to the table to make unprecedented concessions.’”
“Clinton said she would keep working as president to ensure the deal is kept.”
“I will do everything necessary to make sure the lid stays on the nuclear weapons program, and I will begin to form a coalition against Iran on all the other things they do which are dangerous.” (Anne Gearan, Clinton pledges to build on Iran deal as president and ‘keep the lid on’ Iranian nuclear program, The Washington Post, August 10, 2015)
“[The Iran agreement] was an important step toward a comprehensive agreement that would prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and strengthen the security of the United States, Israel and the region.” (Nuclear Framework Reached with Iran by Carol Morello, The Washington Post, published April 3, 2015)
“I’ve always been in the camp that held that they did not have a right to enrichment. Contrary to their claim, there is no such thing as a right to enrich. This is absolutely unfounded. There is no such right. I am well aware that I am not at the negotiating table anymore, but I think it’s important to send a signal to everybody who is there that there cannot be a deal unless there is a clear set of restrictions on Iran. The preference would be no enrichment. The potential fallback position would be such little enrichment that they could not break out.” (Interview in The Atlantic, August 2014)
“The understanding that the major world powers have reached with Iran is an important step toward a comprehensive agreement that would prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and strengthen the security of the United States, Israel, and the region. Getting the rest of the way to a final deal by June won’t be easy, but it is absolutely crucial. I strongly support President Obama and Secretary Kerry’s efforts between now and June to reach a final deal that verifiably cuts off all of Iran’s paths to a nuclear weapon, imposes an intrusive inspection program with no sites off limits, extends breakout time, and spells out clear and overwhelming consequences for violations. The onus is on Iran and the bar must be set high. It can never be permitted to acquire a nuclear weapon. It is also vital that these efforts be part of a comprehensive strategy to check Iran’s regional ambitions, defend our allies and partners, and reinforce American leadership in the Middle East. There is much to do and much more to say in the months ahead, but for now diplomacy deserves a chance to succeed.” (CBS News, April 2, 2015)
Reaction to Iran Nuclear Deal
“Based on what I know now, this is an important step in putting a lid on Iran’s nuclear program.” (USA Today, July 14, 2015)
“This steps over the line and it should be repudiated by every person of good faith and concern about the necessity to keep our political dialogue on the facts and within suitable boundaries.” (on Mike Huckabee, who said the nuclear deal made with Iran will lead Israelis “to the door of the oven,” July 27, 2015)
“The Europeans, the Russians, the Chinese, they’re going to say, ‘We stuck with the Americans. We agreed with the Americans. We hammered out this agreement. I guess their president can’t make foreign policy’ That’s a very bad signal to send in a quickly moving and oftentimes dangerous world.”
“When George W. Bush was president the Iranians mastered the nuclear fuel cycle. They also build covert facilities and stocked them with centrifuges, and they were spinning away trying to get enough highly enriched uranium to be able to, if they so chose, to move toward a weapon. That’s what we inherited.”
“I’ve gone into this detail because you’re going to hear a lot about it in the weeks ahead. So please, educate yourself…. We have to pursue diplomacy if we expect to be able to solve difficult problems with the rest of the world supporting us.”
“I went to work immediately to persuade China and Russia and other powers to join with us with international sanctions, passed by the U.N. It was really hard to make the case to the Chinese and the Russians, but we did.”.
“We have a lot of other challenges posed by Iran. But personally as your future president, I’d rather be dealing with those challenges knowing that we have slowed down and put a lid on their nuclear weapons programs.” (LA Times, August 11, 2015)
“I think Israel did what it had to do to respond to the rockets. Israel has a right to defend itself. The steps Hamas has taken to embed rockets and command-and-control facilities and tunnel entrances in civilian areas, this makes a response by Israel difficult.”
“It is striking … that you have more than 170,000 people dead in Syria. … You have Russia massing battalions—Russia, that actually annexed and is occupying part of a UN member-state—and I fear that it will do even more to prevent the incremental success of the Ukrainian government to take back its own territory, other than Crimea. More than 1,000 people have been killed in Ukraine on both sides, not counting the [Malaysia Airlines] plane, and yet we do see this enormous international reaction against Israel, and Israel’s right to defend itself, and the way Israel has to defend itself. This reaction is uncalled for and unfair.”
“There are substantive, deep levels of antagonism or anti-Semitism towards Israel, because it’s a powerful state, a really effective military. And Hamas paints itself as the defender of the rights of the Palestinians to have their own state. So the PR battle is one that is historically tilted against Israel.”(Interview in The Atlantic, August 2014)
“The reset worked. It was an effort to try to obtain Russian cooperation on some key objectives while Medvedev was president.” (CNN, August 2014)
“I was among the most skeptical of Putin during the time that I was there, in part because I thought he had never given up on his vision of bringing ‘Mother Russia’ back to the forefront. I think that what may have happened is that both the United States and Europe were really hoping for the best from Putin as a returned president, and I think we’ve been quickly, unfortunately, disabused of those hopes.” (CBS, July 27, 2014)
“Well, first of all, I know that– the president has appealed the– decision– to the Supreme Court. And my reading of the law and the Constitution– convinces me that the president has the authority that he is attempting to exercise with respect to dreamers and their parents because I think all of us on this stage agree that– we need comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
Border security has always been a part of that debate. And it is a fact that the– net immigration from– Mexico and south has basically zeroed out. So what we wanna do is to say, “Look, we have 11 million people who have been here, many of them for decades.” They have children who are doing so well. I’ve met and worked with dreamers. I think any parent would be so proud of them. So let’s move toward what we should be doing as a nation and follow the values of our immigration history and begin to make it possible for them to come out of the shadows and to have their kids.” CBS Democratic Debate, November 14, 2015
“And so for me this is about what kind of people we all are and what kind of country we all have. I am absolutely convinced this is in our economic interest, in the interest of our values, and it’s even in the interest of our long-term security as a nation.” (Campaign Website, July 5, 2015)
“Well, first of all, I want to make sure every child gets health care. That’s why I helped to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and I want to support states that are expanding health care and including undocumented children and others.
I want to open up the opportunity for immigrants to be able to buy in to the exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. I think to go beyond that, as I understand what Governor O’Malley has recommended, so that they would get the same subsidies.
I think that is – it raises so many issues. It would be very difficult to administer, it needs to be part of a comprehensive immigration reform, when we finally do get to it.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
“I would do everything possible under the law to go even further — there are more people, like many parents of Dreamers, and others with deep ties and contributions to our communities who deserve a chance to stay, and I would fight for them.”
“just unrealistic and, I think, foolish to continue to talk as though we’re going to deport 11 or 12 million people. It’s beyond absurd. That’s not going to happen, so then what we have to do is accept the fact we are a nation of immigrants.”(Politico, May 5, 2015)
“We know we’re not going to deport 11 or 12 million people. We shouldn’t be breaking up families. We shouldn’t be stopping people from having the opportunity to be fully integrated legally within our country. It’s good for us, it’s good economically, it’s good for the taxes that will be legally collected. It’s good for the children so that they can go as far as their hard work and talent will take them.” (CNN, July 7, 2015)
“So I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for you and for families across our country. I will fight to stop partisan attacks on the executive actions that would put DREAMers—including many with us today—at risk of deportation.”
“And, if Congress refuses to act, as President I will do everything possible under the law to go even further. There are more people—like many parents of DREAMers and others with deep ties and contributions to our communities—who deserve a chance to stay. I’ll fight for them too.”
“The law currently allows for sympathetic cases to be reviewed, but right now most of these cases have no way to get a real hearing. Therefore we should put in place a simple, straightforward, and accessible way for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to make their case and be eligible for the same deferred action as their children.”
“Because I do not want us to– in any way– inadvertently allow people who wish us harm to come into our country. But I wanna say a quick word about what– Senator Sanders and– and then O– and Governor O’Malley said. We do have to take a hard look at the defense budget. And we do have to figure out how we get ready to fight the adversaries of the future, not the past. But we have to also be very clear that we do have some continuing challenges. We got challenges in the South China Sea because of what China is doing in building up– these– military installations.” CBS Democratic Debate, November 14, 2015
Patriot Act-NSA Surveillance Program
“I think that it was necessary to make sure that we were able after 9/11 to put in place the security that we needed. And it is true that it did require that there be a process. What happened, however, is that the Bush administration began to chip away at that process. And I began to speak out about their use of warrantless surveillance and the other behavior that they engaged in.
We always have to keep the balance of civil liberties, privacy and security. It’s not easy in a democracy, but we have to keep it in mind.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
Experience as Secretary of State
“I’ve stood up to adversaries like Putin and reinforced allies like Israel, and I was in the situation room on the day we got bin Laden.” (Campaign launch speech, June 13, 2014)
“Well, that – that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. When we met in Copenhagen in 2009 and, literally, President Obama and I were hunting for the Chinese, going throughout this huge convention center, because we knew we had to get them to agree to something. Because there will be no effective efforts against climate change unless China and India join with the rest of the world.
They told us they’d left for the airport; we found out they were having a secret meeting. We marched up, we broke in, we said, ‘We’ve been looking all over for you. Let’s sit down and talk about what we need to do.’ And we did come up with the first international agreement that China has signed.
Thanks to President Obama’s leadership, it’s now gone much further.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
“We’re on the cusp of a new era. We can have more choice in the energy we consume and produce. We can create a more open, efficient, and resilient grid that connects us, empowers us, improves our health, and benefits us all.” (Campaign website, July 26, 2015)
“I have doubts about whether we should continue drilling in the Arctic. And I don’t think it is a necessary part of our overall clean energy climate change agenda. I will be talking about drilling in general but I am skeptical about whether we should give the go ahead to drill in the Arctic.” (New Hampshire One News, July 29, 2015)
“America’s approach to Cuba is at a crossroads, and the upcoming presidential election will determine whether we chart a new path forward or turn back to the old ways of the past. We must decide between engagement and embargo, between embracing fresh thinking and returning to Cold War deadlock.”
“We can’t go back to cowboy diplomacy and reckless warmongering. We can’t go back to a go-it-alone foreign policy that views American boots on the ground as a first choice, rather than a last resort.”
“I understand the skepticism in this community about any policy of engagement toward Cuba. As many of you know I’ve been skeptical too but you’ve been promised progress for 50 years and we can’t wait any longer for a failed policy to bear fruit.”
“We cannot afford to let out-of-touch, out-of-date, partisan ideas and candidates rip away all the progress we’ve made” (The LA Times, July 31, 2015)
DOB: 9/8/1941 in Brooklyn, Kings County, N.Y.; B.S., University of Chicago, 1964; unsuccessful independent candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1972 and 1974; unsuccessful independent candidate for election for governor of Vermont in 1972, 1976 and 1986; mayor of Burlington, Vt., 1981-1989; unsuccessful independent candidate to the One Hundred First Congress in 1988; elected as an independent to the One Hundred Second and to the seven succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1991-January 3, 2007); was not a candidate for reelection to the House of Representatives but was elected as an Independent to the United States Senate in 2006 for the term commencing January 3, 2007; reelected in 2012 for the term ending January 3, 2019; chair, Committee on Veterans Affairs (One Hundred Thirteenth Congress).
Policy based on Foreign Policy and National Security topics:
“We need a president who will vigorously support international cooperation that brings the people of the world closer together, reduces hypernationalism and decreases the possibility of war. We also need a president who respects the democratic rights of the people, and who will fight for an economy that protects the interests of working people, not just Wall Street, the drug companies and other powerful special interests.” (Opinion piece in the New York Times, June 28, 2016)
U.S.-Supported Regime Change
Clinton is “too much into regime change and a little bit too aggressive without knowing what the unintended consequences might be…regime change is easy, getting rid of dictators is easy. But before you do that, you gotta think about what happens the day after.” (ABC News Democratic Debate in Manchester, NH, December 19, 2015)
“While much more work remains to be done this framework is an important step forward. It is imperative that Iran not get a nuclear weapon. It also is imperative that we do everything we can to reach a diplomatic solution and avoid never-ending war in the Middle East. I look forward to examining the details of this agreement and making sure that it is effective and strong.” (Politicus USA article, April 2, 2015)
Reaction to Iran Nuclear Deal Negotiations and Current Agreement
“Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, announced his support Friday for the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama, saying the pact needs ‘a chance to succeed.’”
“‘The test of a great nation is not how many wars it can engage in, but how it can resolve international conflicts in a peaceful manner,’ Sanders said in a statement. ‘This agreement is obviously not all that many of us would have liked, but it beats the alternative – a war with Iran that could go on for years.’”
“‘If Iran does not live up to the agreement, sanctions may be reapplied,’ Sanders said. ‘If Iran moves toward a nuclear weapon, all available options remain on the table. I think it is incumbent upon us, however, to give the negotiated agreement a chance to succeed.’” (John Wagner, Bernie Sanders announces support for Iran nuclear deal, The Washington Post, August 7, 2015)
“a victory for diplomacy over saber-rattling and could keep the United States from being drawn into another never-ending war in the Middle East.” (USA Today, July 14, 2015)
“I congratulate President Obama, Secretary [John] Kerry and the leaders of other major nations for producing a comprehensive agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
” [The nuclear deal] could keep the United States from being drawn into another never-ending war in the Middle East.” (Reader Supported News, July 14, 2015)
“We have to negotiate with Iran.”
“And the alternative of not reaching an agreement, you know what it is? It’s war. Do we really want another war, a war with Iran? An asymmetrical warfare that will take place all over this world, threaten American troops?”
“I believe that we have got to go through every possible effort in order to make sure that we achieve that goal of Iran not having a nuclear weapon without going to war.”
“Look, I’m not going to tell you that this is a perfect agreement.” (The Hill, August 10, 2015)
Fight against ISIS/Terrorism
“Together, leading the world, this country will rid our planet of this barbarous organization called ISIS.
Well, in fact, I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely and led to the rise of al-Qaeda and to ISIS.
Now, in fact, what we have got to do — and I think there is widespread agreement here — is the United States cannot do it alone. What we need to do is lead an international coalition which includes very significantly the Muslim nations in that region who are going to have to fight and defend their way of life.
The– the secretary’s obviously right. It is enormously complicated. But here’s something that I believe we have to do is we put together an international coalition. And that is we have to understand that the Muslim nation in the region, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, all of these nations, they’re gonna just have to get their hands dirty, their boots on the ground.
They are gonna have to take on ISIS. This is a war for the soul of Islam. And those countries who are opposed to Islam, they are gonna have to get deeply involved in a way that is not the case today. We should be supportive of that effort. So should the UK, so should France. But those Muslim countries are gonna have to lead the efforts. They are not doing it now.” CBS Democratic Debate, November 14, 2015
“Let me just respond to something the secretary said. First of all, she is talking about, as I understand it, a no-fly zone in Syria, which I think is a very dangerous situation. Could lead to real problems.
I think the president is trying very hard to thread a tough needle here, and that is to support those people who are against Assad, against ISIS, without getting us on the ground there, and that’s the direction I believe we should have.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
“First of all, she is talking about, as I understand it, a no-fly zone in Syria, which I think is a very dangerous situation. Could lead to real problems.
I think the president is trying very hard to thread a tough needle here, and that is to support those people who are against Assad, against ISIS, without getting us on the ground there, and that’s the direction I believe we should have” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
“I’ll be damned if kids in the state of Vermont — or taxpayers in the state of Vermont — have to defend the royal Saudi family, which is worth hundreds of billions of dollars.” (In reference to the U.S involvement in the fighting ISIS, Interview with CNN, September 30, 2014)
“I think we’ve got to continue air strikes. I think we’ve got to use special operations forces when we can. But I do not want to see a never-ending quagmire in the Middle East where our troops die, come back with terrible illnesses and we end up spending trillions of dollars.
“Once again, this war is a battle for the soul of Islam and it’s going to have to be the Muslim countries who are stepping up. These are billionaire families all over that region. They’ve got to get their hands dirty. They’ve got to get their troops on the ground. They’ve got to win that war with our support. We cannot be leading the effort…”
“I want to make sure that our young men and women are not fighting a never-ending war in the region, not getting killed. I want to make sure the leaders of the effort are in fact Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan and the UAE. I want the Muslim nations to take the lead. I want their troops to be on the ground. I want them to be aggressive. I want them to be spending the money necessary to defeat ISIS. I want us to be in a supportive role but not leading the effort.” (Interview on CNN, February 11, 2015)
“Let me pick up an issue that– a very important issue that we have not yet discussed. This nation is the most powerful military in the world. We’re spending over $600 billion a year on the military. And yet significantly less than 10% of that money is used to be fighting international terrorism.
We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars (UNINTEL), 5,000 nuclear weapons. I think we need major reform in the military making it more cost effective but also focusing on the real crisis that faces us. The Cold War is over and our focus has got to be on intelligence, increased manpower, fighting international terrorism.” CBS Democratic Debate, November 14, 2015
“We know that there is massive fraud going on in the defense industry. Virtually every major defense contractor has either been convicted of fraud or reached a settlement with the government….We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world. But I think we can make judicious cuts.” (Town Hall Meeting in Iowa City, February 19, 2015)
“The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. The United States spends more on the military than the next nine biggest-spending countries combined. Today, there are massive cost over-runs with defense contractors and the Pentagon cannot even pass an independent audit.” (Campaign website, July 27, 2015)
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multinational corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy.” (Article in International Business Times, May 12, 2015)
“In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism. And if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you’re going to see countries all over the world — this is what the CIA says — they’re going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops ask you’re going to see all kinds of international conflict.” CBS Democratic Debate, November 14, 2015
“I believe – and Pope Francis made this point. This is a moral issue. The scientists are telling us that we need to move extremely boldly.
I am proud that, along with Senator Barbara Boxer, a few years ago, we introduced the first piece of climate change legislation which called for a tax on carbon.
And let me also tell you that nothing is gonna happen unless we are prepared to deal with campaign finance reform, because the fossil fuel industry is funding the Republican Party, which denies the reality of climate change and certainly is not prepared to go forward aggressively.
This is a moral issue. We have got to be extremely aggressive in working with China, India, Russia.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
“The scientific community is telling us that if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we’re going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable. That is a major crisis.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
“The United States must lead the world in reversing climate change and make certain that this planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren. We must transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energies. Millions of homes and buildings need to be weatherized, our transportation system needs to be energy efficient and we need to greatly accelerate the progress we are already seeing in wind, solar, geothermal and other forms of sustainable energy. Transforming our energy system will not only protect the environment, it will create good-paying jobs.” (Campaign website, July 27, 2015)
“I don’t think any — I don’t think any sensible person would disagree that the invasion of Iraq led to the massive level of instability we are seeing right now. I think that was one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the more than history of the United States.” CBS Democratic Debate , November 14, 2015
“I happen to believe from the bottom of my heart that war should be the last resort that we have got to exercise diplomacy. But yes, I am prepared to take this country into war if that is necessary.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
“I voted against the war in Iraq, and that was the right vote. We must be vigorous in combatting terrorism, but we can’t do it alone. We must be part of an international coalition that includes Muslim nations which not only defeats ISIS but which works hard to create conditions for lasting peace. I will vigorously oppose an endless war in the Middle East.” (Campaign website, July 27, 2015)
“I voted against that piece of legislation (2007 Immigration Reform) because it had guest-worker provisions in it which the Southern Poverty Law Center talked about being semi-slavery. Guest workers are coming in, they’re working under terrible conditions, but if they stand up for their rights, they’re thrown out of the country. I was not the only progressive to vote against that legislation for that reason. Tom Harkin, a very good friend of Hillary Clinton’s and mine, one of the leading labor advocates, also voted against that.
My view right now – and always has been – is that when you have 11 million undocumented people in this country, we need comprehensive immigration reform, we need a path toward citizenship, we need to take people out of the shadows.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
“It is no great secret that across the United States undocumented workers perform a critical role in our economy. They harvest and process our food and it is no exaggeration to say that, with out them, food production in the United States would significantly decline. Undocumented workers build many of our homes, cook our meals, maintain our landscapes. We even entrust undocumented workers with that which we hold most dear – our children.
That is why I supported the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform legislation in the United States Senate. While a complicated piece of comprehensive legislation like this can always be improved I believed then and now that it is time to end the discussion of mass deportation or self-deportation. We cannot and we should not even be talking about sweeping up millions of men, women, and children – many of whom have been here for years – and throwing them out of the country. That’s wrong and that type of discussion has got to end.
I strongly support the Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA a good first step, but should be expanded. Deferred action should include the parents of citizens, parents of legal permanent residents, and the parents of DREAMERs. We should be pursuing policies that unite families – not tear them apart.
I continue to be a strong supporter of the DREAM Act, which would offer the opportunity of permanent residency and eventual citizenship to young people who were brought to the United States as children. It is my belief that we should recognize the young men and women who comprise the DREAMers for what they are – American kids who deserve the right to legally be in the country they know as home.
In the U.S. Senate, I have introduced legislation in 2007 that would authorize the Legal Services Corporation to provide legal representation to guest workers who have been abused by their employers. Further, employers under my bill would be required to reimburse guest workers for transportation expenses and provide workers’ compensation insurance, among other things.
I also opposed tying immigration reform to the building of a border fence. Let me say what most people already know. Undocumented workers come to the United States to escape economic hardship and political persecution.
The bottom line of all of this is that It is time to bring our neighbors out of the shadows. It is time to give them legal status. It is time to create a reasonable and responsible path to citizenship.” (LA Times, June 23, 2015)
“In terms of refugees I believe that the United States has the moral responsibility with Europe, with Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia to make sure that when people leave countries like Afghanistan and Syria with nothing more than the clothing on their back that of course we reach out. Now what the magic number is, I don’t know. Because we don’t know the extent of the problem. But I certainly think that the United States should take its full responsibility in helping those.” CBS Democratic Debate, November 14, 2015
Patriot Act-NSA Surveillance Program
“I’d shut down what exists right now is that virtually every telephone call in this country ends up in a file at the NSA. That is unacceptable to me. But it’s not just government surveillance. I think the government is involved in our e-mails; is involved in our websites. Corporate America is doing it as well.” CNN Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015
Israel and Palestine
“I have always and will always be 100 percent supportive of Israel’s right to exist and live in peace and security…I also believe that lasting peace in the region will not occur without fair and respectful treatment of the Palestinian people. I believe that most Democrats agree with that position and that a strong consensus will be achieved at the Democratic National Convention” (New York Times May 26, 2016)
“What I believe is that the United States has got to be playing on a level playing field in dealing with Israel and the Palestinian people. I am 100 percent pro-Israel in the sense of Israel’s right to exist…Israel has the right to live not only in peace and security, but to know that their very existence will be protected by the United States government. On the other hand, I think if we’re going for lasting peace in the Middle East, the United States has got to respect the needs of the Palestinian people and they cannot be pushed aside…I think at the end of the day, there will be a general recognition by the entire Democratic National Convention that, of course, Israel’s right to exist in peace and security is not in debate. But on the other hand, the Palestinian people’s needs must also be respected.” (NBC’s Meet the Press, May 29, 2016)