In an interview with The Des Moines Register on Sunday, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton said that Americans have forgotten about the issues former Republican presidents have left their Democratic successors.
"I am going to do all I can to pierce the collective amnesia that the Republicans are trying to impose on people," the former Secretary of State said. "We're not supposed to remember that the 12 years preceding Bill Clinton quadrupled the debt of our country?
“We're not supposed to remember that when he left office we had a balanced budget with a surplus?" Clinton asked. "And if it had been continued would've paid off the national debt?
“We're not supposed to remember that Barack Obama inherited the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression and had to pull us out of the ditch?" she continued. "And did a better job than he gets credit for? And we're not supposed to remember that finally after five presidents trying all the way back to Truman, we got an Affordable Care Act?”
Despite the high praise for the two former presidents, Clinton denied that her presidency would be an extension of Obama’s and added that her tenure in the White House would differ from her husband’s.
"I'm running for my first term. I will have my own proposals,” she said.
In the interview, Clinton stated that as President, she will work to make college more adorable and to ensure that child care and preschools are accessible to everyone. She added that she has ideas about making the United States a leader in clean energy, funding infrastructure, and "so much more.”
Clinton held her first major stump speech on Saturday, where a crowd of thousands showed up to see her speak in New York City. During her campaign thus far, however, Clinton's interactions with the press have been limited. Her 15-minute sit-down interview with The Des Moines Register seems to serve as a turning point. Clinton's aides have also stated that she will interact with the press more now that her availability has increased, The Hill reports.
She also told the Register that she thinks this run will be different.
“There is an eagerness that I sense coming at me from people in my audiences, in my conversations, to engage with me about that more than I felt in '08," she said. "It's probably more importantly a message about aspiration and ambition and perseverance and acceptance that women and men have what it takes to pursue their own path in life and should be supported in doing so.”