Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to dial back comments she made to a forum about women’s rights in America during an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell yesterday, praising the U.S. as being the best place to be a woman today.
“They want to control how we act,” Clinton said at the “Women in the World” summit last month. “They even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and our own bodies. Yes, it is hard to believe that even here at home, we have to stand up for women’s rights and we have to reject efforts to marginalize any one of us because America has to set an example for the entire world.”
Mitchell asked how that related to this political campaign; Clinton, speaking from Istanbul, spun her answer into a defense of women’s rights in America.
“The United States is the model. There’s been no place better to be a woman than in 21st century America,” Clinton said. “So we cannot allow any voices to be given credibility that would undermine the advances that women have made in our country. And I wanted to point out that it’s not only about American women, which of course is our first and foremost concern, but it’s about the example we set, the message we send to women around the world.”
Mitchell asked if she was willing to take on the burden of being a role model.
“Well, I don’t think of myself that way, but I know that I am considered that in the eyes of many people, and it’s a great honor. It is a burden,” Clinton said.
She brushed off suggestions that she’s interested in another shot at the White House.
“It’s very flattering, but I’m not at all planning to do that. I have no desire or intention. I want to do the best job I can as the Secretary of State for this president,” Clinton said. “I want to then take some time to get reconnected to the stuff that makes life worth living – family, friends, the sort of activities that I enjoy. And I’ll do some writing and some speaking and I’m sure I’ll be continuing to advocate on these issues.”
She also was pressed on Rush Limbaugh’s comments on Sandra Fluke, and only offered comment when her daughter Chelsea’s comments on Limbaugh were brought up by Mitchell.
“I think we need to call people out when they go over the line. They’re entitled to their opinion, but no one is entitled to engage in that kind of verbal assault,” Clinton said. “Let’s keep it on the issues. If you disagree on the issues, let’s have a vigorous debate – hopefully evidence-based. I would like that to be part of the debate. But that’s fair game. But whether it comes from the right, the left, up, down, wherever it comes from, let’s all ask for a return to civility and the kind of debate that really enables citizens to make better decisions.”