Hillary Clinton took aim at Donald Trump’s Mexican-immigration comments, telling CNN she’s “very disappointed” in Trump for his disparaging statements as well as in the Republican Party for not condemning his remarks sooner.
“I’m very disappointed in those comments and I feel very bad, and very disappointed with him and with the Republican party for not responding immediately and saying, ‘Enough! Stop It!’,” Clinton told CNN’s Brianna Keilar during her first major interview since launching her 2016 bid for the White House in April.
Keilar asked Clinton about Republican front runner Jeb Bush’s approach to immigration. “He doesn’t believe in a path to citizenship – if he did, he no longer does,” Clinton answered.
Clinton then skewered the entire GOP field for its immigration stance.
“I think that is a mistake” Clinton said of the GOP “spectrum of hostility” on the immigration issue. “We know we’re not going to deport 11 or 12 million people” she said, adding immigration reform is “good for us economically…for the taxes that will be legally collected…for the children. I am 100 percent behind comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.”
Clinton dismissed suggestions that the American people have a problem trusting her. She blamed the “barrage of attacks that are largely fomented by and coming from the right,” adding, “People should and do trust me.”
Keilar also inquired about Clinton’s email controversy. The former Secretary of State insisted she did nothing wrong when using a private email account during her tenure in the Obama administration.
“Previous Secretaries of State did the same thing. People knew I was using only one device,” Clinton said, adding that she was never subpoenaed. “Everything was permitted,” adding, “this is being blown up with no basis in law or fact.”
Asked why she wiped the private server on which her emails were being stored, she said, “I turned over everything that I could imagine… I went above and beyond.”
The Democratic front runner also defended the Clinton Foundation, saying she was very proud of the work the foundation has done. “It produces results.”
The foundation has been criticized for accepting foreign donations.
Clinton’s decision to talk to national media reflects a shift in her campaign. Other than a few impromptu press exchanges, Clinton has mostly shied away from interviews, ignoring questions shouted at her during meets-and-greets with voters.
During a Fourth of July parade in Gorham, N.H. on Saturday, reporters following the candidate were corralled behind an actual moving rope line. Footage of the incident quickly went viral.
“I was determined to have the time to actually meet and listen to people,” Clinton said, adding, “I wanted to get my own feel.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Clinton spent the day campaigning for votes in Bernie Sanders country. The Vermont senator seems to have found his footing recently, quickly closing the gap between him and Clinton.
In May, Clinton led with 60 percent support to Sanders’s 15 percent in a Quinnipiac poll. Last week the same poll showed Clinton at 52 percent to Sanders’s 33 percent.
“I always thought this would be a competitive race,” Clinton said. “I’m happy to have a chance to get out and run my campaign as I see fit and let other campaigns do the same.”
Asked who did a better job playing her on “Saturday Night Live,” Kate McKinnon or Amy Poehler, Clinton said, “Amy is a friend of mine and Kate is doing a good job. You are not going to get me to pick. I think I’m the best Hillary Clinton,” she said, adding, “I’m not looking for ratings — I’m looking for votes.”