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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid Defends Bill/Hillary’s Wealth Comments, And Hopes For A Challenge To Hillary In The Democratic Primary In 2016

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HH: Joy Ann, even though I am having fun today, I have to get your reaction to a few things. First of all, there is this bit of tape from the former First Lady, former Secretary of State, cut number one:

HRC: 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 only.

HH: So Joy Ann, how do you react to that?

JAR: Well, you know, I think think there’s a little hashtag special privilege, a little bit of a problem there. But here’s the reality. When the Clintons were the First Lady and governor of Arkansas, okay, the governor of Arkansas salary back in 1992 was like $35,000 a year. It’s not like a princely sum. Hillary was making probably $90,000 a year as a lawyer. Most Americans would say that’s very well off, that’s decent money, it’s nothing to sneeze at. Then they get into the White House, Clinton’s salary bumps up to $200,000 a year. So the president of the United States making $200,000, and Hillary’s not making an income. And then they got investigated within an inch of their lives for basically the entirety of Clinton’s presidency. And that attempt to take down Bill Clinton was incredibly expensive. Yes, they had a White House Counsel, but they also had to lawyer up. So technically, yes, when they came out, they had a net zero net worth, because they had to pour so much money into their defense. And let’s face it. We pay the president of the United States less than we pay a mediocre CEO in this country, okay? So they didn’t come out of the White House making millions. Now being a politician, any politician, whether it’s a congressman, a senator, or the president, it means your present income has nothing to do with your future earning potential. That’s why they do it. That’s why they never want to leave, because after you get out, you can make huge amounts of money, especially as a former president. So they always had these huge potential earnings. They are incredibly privileged because of the job that they had, and the political success they had. So this tone deaf remark, even if fact they didn’t come into the White House rich, and they didn’t leave rich.

HH: Speaking of tone deaf remarks, here’s what President Bill Clinton said in the course of defending Hillary’s ‘I was broke’ comment, cut number two:

WJBC: I had the lowest net worth of any American president in the 20th Century when I took office, but I still could have been tone deaf. And you know, now I don’t, and we’ve got a good life, and I’m grateful for it. But I still, we go to our local grocery store on the weekend.

HH: Joy Ann Reid, do you think that the President and Mrs, Secretary of State Clinton, go to their local grocery store on the weekend?

JAR: Listen, have you been to Georgetown? If they’re in D.C., the local grocery store is pretty nice. I mean, you know, you can be in a nice neighborhood and got to the grocery store. I don’t know whether they go. I don’t know them personally. But again, I’ll reiterate, the governor of Arkansas makes $35,000, at least at that time, made $35,000 a year. If anybody thinks that’s rich, I don’t know what your concept of rich is. They didn’t come in rich.

HH: Yeah, but I’m talking about right now.

JAR: They didn’t come in rich. That’s just a reality.

HH: Yeah, how are you going to defend this kind of tone deafness for the next two and a half years of a campaign, though? I mean, this has been the worst rollout of a book, her book has plummeted. Joy Ann, if you wrote a book, you would have sold more copies than Mrs. Clinton sold this last week…

JAR: Well, Hugh, I have a book coming out, and I hope that you’re going to let me come on the Hugh Hewitt Show to promote it.

HH: Oh, absolutely. When’s it coming out?

JAR: It’s coming out, it’s supposed to come out in January of 2015, right in time for Hillary’s announcement, apparently.

HH: OH, you and I are going to spend at least an hour on air. What’s the name of it? Do you have a working title, yet?

JAR: We have a working title. It’s called Fracture. You’ll love it, because it’s about the divide within the Democratic Party, so it’s something you’ll enjoy talking to me about.

HH: Put that down, and you tell them, if you want to come out and co-host this show for three hours on one of your West Coast swings with me, you can produce out of Burbank and then come over to the studio, and we’ll spend three hours, because I do enjoy having time with you, Joy Ann. But my last question, the Clintons have gotten, now, they’ve fallen flat on their face in the first week of what is her presidential campaign. Is it time for you to get, like, Elizabeth Warren revved up on the back room, maybe warm up the engine a little bit?

JAR: Well, here’s the thing. Hugh, recall this 2008 campaign. They did have a lot of issues in terms of gaffes. They did have a lot of stumbles. That was not, you know, a perfectly executed campaigns. So it’s not as if the Clinton machine has a history of being smooth on these presidential rollouts. And if an Elizabeth Warren or someone else ran, they’ll be a significant challenge. It would be the same thing that happened with Barack Obama, somebody with like an “it” factor that steps up. Now I doubt, I have to be honest with you, Hugh, that anyone’s going to do that. I don’t see Elizabeth Warren challenging Hillary Clinton. So I think right now, what they have going for them is a pretty clear field. You’ll have some people get in like Cuomo in New York. You’ll have O’Malley, Governor O’Malley get in. But I don’t think there’s anyone that really is going to challenge her in the way that Barack Obama did.

HH: So you think Cuomo…

JAR: I don’t see it right now.

HH: So you think Cuomo will get in?

JAR: I think Cuomo will get in, but I tend to think that you always have a certain number of people who get in. It’s a beauty pageant for vice president. So you do have a certain number of people who run to run up their name ID, to get their national profile out there, to make themselves available for the VP slot, and to challenge the frontrunner and give them a race, because there is this belief that I think is quaint, but real, that nothing should be a coronation. Politics is about choices, and people should have a choice.

HH: In your lefty heart, is there someone who you’re swooning and hoping gets in just for the fun of it, you know, to audition? Is there someone out there that Joy Ann Reid really wants to, you know, just show up at the debate? It is Elizabeth Warren, isn’t it?

JAR: I mean, I really think Elizabeth Warren has got a lot of interesting things to say. I think it would be good for the debate. I don’t know that she’ll do it. I really have my doubts that she would actually get in.

HH: Yeah, but you really…

JAR: But would that be a great debate? Yes, I’d love it.

HH: You really want her in, don’t you?

JAR: I think it would great. Look, I believe it should be a choice. I think that there should be a debate. And Hillary Clinton, like anybody else, should have to debate and have to ask for the job.

HH: And you’re hoping that happens? You don’t want her to have a clear path?

JAR: I don’t think she will. I mean, I think she’ll have people in, but it’s a question of how vigorously they’re going to be.

HH: No, but I’m just asking you as a good Democrat, you really want her to have to earn this, don’t you?

JAR: Absolutely.

HH: You don’t want her to come out…

JAR: No, absolutely, because I think, you know what, easy primaries make for weak general election candidates.

HH: Oh, Joy Ann Reid, from your lips to Hillary’s…to the ears of all the would-be candidates, because I want 20 of them in there. Joy Ann, thanks for joining me. On your West Coast swing, you count on it when the book comes out. Looking forward to Fracture, and thanks for joining me from the Happiest Place on Earth.
JAR: Appreciate it, man, thanks. Have a great time.

End of interview.

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