During a Jan. 25 town hall meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked by a young person why Democrats of his generation don’t have enthusiasm for her. He was also curious why people say they don’t trust her (video below).
The CNN-hosted town hall meeting, where Clinton and her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, took questions from the crowd, The Guardian reports.
Clinton took a question from a young Des Moines native, Taylor Gipple, who told Clinton he was a Sanders supporter and then launched into his reservations about giving her his vote.
“I don’t see the same enthusiasm from younger people for you,” Gipple said. “In fact, what I have heard from quite a few people my age is that they think you are dishonest.”
Clinton responded that she was “totally happy to see young people involved in any way.” Then she defended her record, answering that she had had a lot of false accusations thrown in her direction over decades and that they had formed a false representation of her honesty.
“I have been around a long time and people have thrown all kinds of things at me and I can’t keep up with it,” Clinton said. “They come up with these outlandish things, they make these charges, I just keep going forward because there’s nothing to it. They throw all this stuff at me, and I am still standing.”
She added that, given the amount of mudslinging thrown her way over the years, it would be easy to mistake them for being true if you’re a young person.
“If you are new to politics and it’s the first time you’ve really paid attention, you go, 'Oh my gosh, look at all of this.'”
While Clinton’s honesty has been as hotly debated a subject as the authenticity of Donald Trump’s hair, Gipple hit upon something that is being reflected in the polls: Sanders is resonating with young voters in a way that Clinton is not.
While the former secretary of state was still ahead of Sanders by 6 percentage points in Iowa, according to a Jan. 25 Fox News poll, younger voters prefer Sanders by 33 percentage points.
Young people are less likely to go out and vote, making their support one of the less essential demographics in an election. But the enthusiasm for Sanders means that his message is resonating among the next generation of the Democratic party.
“His passion isn’t fake,” an 18-year-old Dartmouth University student, Ried Sanborn, told The Boston Globe.
“He’s the only candidate who really cares about what students think,” said another Dartmouth attendee, 19-year-old Gage De La Cruz.
Diana VanderClute, 22, added that Sanders “seems genuine, and he cares about social justice … he just says what’s on his mind.”
When asked if she would vote for Clinton in a general election, VanderClute said she would, but not because she’s enthusiastic about the former secretary of state, she said, “I do not want Donald Trump.”