“I don’t think voters are interested in the transcripts of her speeches.”
That’s Joel Benenson, Hillary Clinton’s pollster, discussing Friday whether the former secretary of state should release transcripts of paid speeches she made before seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
Clinton’s speech fees have become a serious flashpoint in her battle with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt. He keeps blasting away at her ties to Wall Street and big money interests. Clinton received $675,000 for three speeches from Goldman Sachs, and she was asked at Thursday’s debate if she was willing to release transcripts.
Benenson, speaking at a Wall Street Journal breakfast, said Clinton has been a longtime fighter against Wall Street excesses. “I think they are interested in will she take on the powerful interests of Wall Street,” he said.
Polls show Sanders, well-known here since he’s from the state next door, with a big lead in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.
Benenson questioned whether Sanders should be painted as an outsider. “He’s bean in Washington longer than she has,” he said. Sanders came to Washington in 1991 as a congressman. Clinton came to the city two years later as First Lady.
Benenson would not play the expectations game for the primary. Asked Clinton’s aim here, he said, “Success is winning . . . we want to make this as close as we can.”