In an interview that will air on CBS Sunday Morning, Hillary Clinton admitted that she misjudged what the electorate wanted and that she missed chances like during the second presidential debate to tell a hovering over her Trump to “back up, creep.”
Clinton reflects on the 2nd debate: "Do I wheel around and say, 'Get out of my space. Back up you creep?'" (via CBS) pic.twitter.com/yBSA8FfaBk
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 9, 2017
“It was so discombobulating. And so — while I’m answering questions, my mind is going, ‘OK, do I keep my composure? Do I act like a president? Am I the person that people can trust in the end to make hard decisions?’ Or do I wheel around and say, ‘Get outta my space. Back up, you creep.’ Well, you know, I didn’t do the latter.”
“But I — I thought — you know, people say, ‘Well, we don’t know her,’ and I think my composure, which I have developed over years being in the public eye — has well-equipped me for being a leader, because you should keep your cool and you should be steady and predictable. But I think in this time we’re in, particularly in this campaign, you know, maybe I missed a few chances.”
Hillary Clinton ran as an experienced candidate that could keep level headed, solid, competent leadership in the White House. She misjudged the climate of the campaign and didn’t see that Trump had turned the election into a circus where people were voting based on entertainment value and vague promises to shake things up in Washington.
If Clinton would have told Trump to back up or called him a creep, the election was so close that might or might not have made a difference.
The bigger problem isn’t how Clinton handled Trump, but the fact that she was dealing with Trump, Russia, and a ton of fake news about her campaign.
It is obvious that Hillary Clinton is agonizing over defeat, as anyone would be who won the popular vote by 3 million votes but lost the election. With the 2018 midterm election coming up, and the 2020 presidential election just around the corner after that, it feels like it is time to put 2016 to bed.
Hillary Clinton’s thoughts are important, and there are good lessons that can be learned and used in running a future campaign against Trump, but it is a question for history whether a more directly confrontational approach in the second presidential debate would have won the Electoral College for Clinton.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association