During an interview set to air on ABC on Monday night, Diane Sawyer asked very likely presidential candidate Hillary Clinton whether she thinks Americans are going to “understand” the $5 million in speaking fees that she’s earned since she left the Obama administration (not to mention the over $100 million Bill Clinton has made giving speeches since he was in office). Clinton did her best to make her family’s situation sound relatable, explaining:
“Well, you have no reason to remember, but we came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt. We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.”
Indeed, the Clintons were around $11 million in the hole in 2000, mostly thanks to the many legal bills Bill racked up while he was president. Clinton also owed about $20 million at the end of her 2008 presidential campaign, though that was all finally paid off last year. “Let me put it this way,” she added. “I thought making speeches for money was a much better thing than getting connected with any one group or company as so many people who leave public life do.” The Clintons: not exactly just like us, but it’s not like everybody doesn’t already know that.