Hillary Rodham Clinton wants to be the next President of the United States and she wants Black voters to know that if they support her, she will return that support when she’s in the nation’s highest office. To that end, she talks to the Tom Joyner Morning Show for an unprecedented conversation with news correspondents Jacque Reid and Roland Martin along with Don Lemon.
“I was on the campus of Philander Smith College in Little Rock and I was talking to the new president there because I know, as you all do, how important HBCUs are in our higher education system. They have closed the opportunity gap and have been in the frontline of producing leaders. In my New College Compact, we’re going to support, encourage and reward HBCU’s that help our students succeed so that students can complete college without cost being a barrier or debt holding them back. We’re going to have new federal funds to invest in the public HBCU’s, provide support and that the Pell Grant can be used for living expenses, and for the private HBCU’s, we’re going to have a dedicated $25 billion fund to provide support to them. I admire and respect the role that HBCU’s play. I have a lot of friends and former and present colleagues that are products of HBCU’s, and we’re going to help kids get into school and stay in school and cut interest rates on the loans that students take out.”
On helping provide capital to small Black businesses:
“I’ve said all over the country that I want to be the small business President and I particularly want to be the small business president for women and minority-owned businesses. For a variety of reasons, a lot of it related to the financial crisis, we have not been able to keep up with the pent-up demand. Particularly for African-American women, that’s true. I know from traveling around the country, they can’t get access to capital, they can’t get access to the mentoring and support they need to go to the next stage.
So here’s what I want to do. I want to make the Small Business Association once again a really aggressive and vigorous agency, reaching out to people, not just waiting for someone come to them. I want to do more networking, so literally we have a network of people available 24-7 to counsel and support and then send on their way people with good ideas. I had an African-American woman say to me once that more good ideas die on in the parking lots of banks than anywhere in America. What we’ve got to do is reverse that. There’s a lot of programs already in place but they’re not being given the emphasis, the funding, and the support that they need. Most new jobs in America are started by small businesses.”
On rumors that Hillary Clinton started the ‘birther’ (that alleges that President Obama is not a ‘natural-born American’) and once had a confrontation with Senator-elect Obama about it.
“That is so ludicrous. It’s totally untrue and the President and I have never had any kind of confrontation like that. This is such a bad example of what’s wrong with instantaneous reactions and Americans getting all worked up and people feeding prejudice and paranoia like Donald Trump. Obviously, we have to stand against it. I have been blamed for nearly everything, but that was a new one.”
On the proposed defunding of Planned Parenthood:
“Planned Parenthood has been taking care of women for years. What I really resent is that when these people go after Planned Parenthood they are saying, in essence, they want to deprive women cancer screenings, HIV testing, getting help with family planning and contraceptives. It is a mean-spirited, partisan attack on a place that has been there for women, often the only place that young women, that lower-income women are able to go and get treated with respect and get the kind of health care they deserve. What you see is the ongoing debate about abortion. Everyone can have their own opinion about that. It is legal.
And in those facilities, which are a minority of the facilities of Planned Parenthood, where abortion is provided, and not one federal dollar is used to do it, the Republicans want to basically destroy the entire program that Planned Parenthood stands for. I am adamantly opposed to that. I’m going to be fighting that. 500,000 breast cancer screenings every year [are done at Planned Parenthood]. When Jeb Bush says we don’t need $500 million in the federal budget for Planned Parenthood, I don’t know who they are talking to. They’re not talking to the women that grab my hand in the rope line or stop me on the street to tell me that that’s where they found out they had breast cancer or got the family planning support they needed.
On Social Justice:
I’m really honored to have Andy Young’s support. He’s somebody I’ve known for a long time. He said something to me a long time ago that I never forgot. Back in the late 50’s, when the South was roiled by civil rights challenges and conflicts and places that were trying to change and some resisting change, he said Atlanta adopted the slogan ‘The City Too Busy To Hate.’ I wish we’d get back to saying ‘America Is Too Busy To Hate’ and back to working together and having each other’s backs. And that goes for criminal justice reform and mass incarceration and getting rid of the privatization of prisons that have turned incarceration into a for-profit industry.
We ought to be looking at what we are going to do with social justice by admitting and taking on the systemic racism that we still face in this country. Just look at how President Obama has led us through some difficult times and faced unrelenting opposition and obstruction, and in this campaign, we’re seeing a lot of those same voices and forces trying to turn the clock back. I hope we can come together around reforming criminal justice and not just reforming the inequities that unfortunately persist, but in trying to close the opportunity gap and help young people, particularly young men, to have different choices because they have different opportunities. I want folks to know they can count on me to address this and count on me to work hard with the communities that are really focused on this to make a difference.
Clinton shares two initiatives of particular concern to the African-American community – her plan for continued support of HBCU’s via The New College Compact and the rising costs of prescription drugs, which impact a disproportionate amount of African-Americans. Listen above and check out more details of her proposed initiatives on the next page.
Read the entire interview below.
TOM JOYNER: Good morning, Mrs. Hillary Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON: Good morning!
TOM JOYNER: How are you?
HILLARY CLINTON: I am great, how are you all doing?
TOM JOYNER: I’m good, where are you calling from?
HILLARY CLINTON: I’m calling from New York.
TOM JOYNER: I thought you’d be in Washington, D.C. for the pope?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, he’s coming to New York tomorrow and Friday, so I think I’ll let the folks in Washington see him.
TOM JOYNER: (Chuckle) Okay, Sybil is here. Jay Anthony Brown is here, along with Don Lemon and Roland Martin and Jacque Reid. My first question is …
HILLARY CLINTON: My goodness, you have an all-star lineup today don’t you?
TOM JOYNER: That’s right, that’s right. All covered.
HILLARY CLINTON: (Laugh)
TOM JOYNER: All right, my first question is, HBCU, I love HBCU, as you know.
HILLARY CLINTON: Yep. Yes, indeed.
TOM JOYNER: If you are elected President what are you going to do for my beloved and troubled HBCU?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I was on the campus of one just the other day at Little Rock, Philander Smith College, and I was talking to the new president there, because I know, as you all do, how important the HBCUs are in our higher education system. They have closed the opportunity gap for hundreds of thousands of students each year and have been really in the frontlines of producing leaders. So under my new college compact we’re going to support, encourage and reward HBCUs that help our students succeed; so students can complete college without cost being a barrier or debt holding them back. I believe that for all of the HBCUs that are trying to do this important work, we’re going to have new federal funds investing more in the public HBCUs, we’re going to do more to provide them the support and insuring that the Pell grants can be used to fund living expenses and for private HBCUs we’re going to have a dedicated $25 billion dollar fund to provide support to them. So I guess my bottom line is I, like you, admire and respect the role that HBCUs play. I have a lot of friends and former and present colleagues who are products of HBCUs and, you know, we’re going to help kids get into school, stay in school, and we’re going to cut the interest rates on the loans if they have to take them out. So, you know, generally we’re going to make sure that we have extra opportunities for HBCUs, because I think the role they play is indispensable.
TOM JOYNER: All right, Roland Martin.
ROLAND MARTIN: Secretary Clinton …
HILLARY CLINTON: Hey, Roland. How are you doing?
ROLAND MARTIN: I’m doing great. Great to see you Saturday night at the Professional Black Caucus Gala Dinner.
HILLARY CLINTON: Wasn’t that amazing? It was a wonderful night. (Chuckle)
ROLAND MARTIN: It was a huge night and certainly there were critical issues that were raised. One of those that I want to focus on is this. In 2013 $23.09 billion dollars in small business loans were handed out. African-Americans only got 1.7%. In the last of President Bush African-Americans got 8.2%, the different factors including the home loan, the housing crisis. Black women started businesses at a faster rate than any other group in America. What will you do specifically to address the issue of black businesses being able to have access to capital?
HILLARY CLINTON: Great question. You know, I’ve said all over the country I want to be the smart business President, and I particularly want to be the small business President for women and minority owned businesses. Because I think, for a variety of reasons, a lot of it, as you just said, related to the financial crisis. We have not been keeping up with the pent up demand that is out there, and particularly for African-American women that’s true. I know from travelling around the country they can’t get access to capital, they can’t get, you know, the mentoring the support they often need to be able to go to the next stage. So here’s what I want to do. I want to make the Small Business Administration, once again, a really aggressive and vigorous agency reaching out to people, not just waiting for folks to come to them, I want to do more networking so that literally we have a team of people who are available 24/7 to counsel and support and send on their way people with good ideas. I had an African-American woman say to me one time that more good ideas die in the parking lots of banks than anywhere in America. And so what we’ve got to do is reverse that and there’s a lot of programs that are already in place, but they’re not being given the emphasis, or the funding and support that they need. And then I think we need to look at what are the niches we have to fill so that more people can find the help that they specifically need. I’m excited by this. You know, most new jobs in America are started by small businesses as they grow. And we got to get back into the job creation business and you can’t do that if you don’t support small businesses.
TOM JOYNER: All right. More questions coming up for Mrs. Clinton and they come from Don Lemon, Jacque Reid, Sybil Wilkes, after the break. More from Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Next, on the TJMS.
TOM JOYNER: And we’re back with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Don Lemon, good morning.
DON LEMON: Good morning. Good morning, Secretary Clinton, how are you doing?
HILLARY CLINTON: Good morning! Hi, Don. How are you doing?
DON LEMON: I am great. I am great. Are you getting any sleep? That’s not my question, but I’m just wondering if you’re getting any sleep.
SYBIL WILKES: (Laugh)
HILLARY CLINTON: Yes, it is …
SYBIL WILKES: Yeah, you’re out Don. Jacque, you’re on. (Laughter)
DON LEMON: I have to ask …
HILLARY CLINTON: I sometimes, I sometimes watch you when you’re on the overnight loop too, you know? So that doesn’t help.
DON LEMON: That’s right. So then you know what’s going on. I have to ask you this question, because I’m sure it’s something that you thought that had been handled in 2007/2008, but with Donald Trump and with Ben Carson over and over again saying these things about Muslims, about the President’s birthplace. This week people have been saying on air here, and I’ve been reporting it on CNN, and I’ve been reporting it here, that you were the person behind the birther, or the whole birther thing, and that you were, the President was Senator at the time, President Elect, actually confronted you about that. Do you care to respond to that? Did you or your campaign start the whole birther thing? And did you have a confrontation with the President?
HILLARY CLINTON: That is – no. That is so ludicrous, Don. You know, honestly, I just believe that, first of all, it’s totally untrue, and secondly, you know, the President and I have never had any kind of confrontation like that. You know, this is such a bad example of what’s wrong with, you know, instantaneous reactions and Americans getting all worked up and people feeding prejudice and paranoia like Donald Trump. And obviously all of us have to stand against it. And, you know, I have been blamed for nearly everything, that was a new one to me, but you know, I’ll just keep going and talking about what I want to do to get income risings and making college affordable and making all of the positive changes that we have to be worried about.
TOM JOYNER: Jacque Reid is on the phone.
JACQUE REID: Yes, yes, Secretary Clinton, for the Tom Joyner Morning Show I cover women and women’s issues. So I’ve got to ask you about Planned Parenthood. This past weekend you called what republicans are trying to do in Congress right now the height of your responsibility, and that is trying to fund Planned Parenthood to avoiding a government shutdown. What I would love for you to explain for this audience, which is predominantly African-American females, why Planned Parenthood is important to this nation and particularly African-American women?
HILLARY CLINTON: It’s such a great question. Well, first of all, you know, Planned Parenthood has been taking care of women for years, for so long, and millions of women have gotten basic healthcare there. And what I really resent is that when these people go after Planned Parenthood, they are, in essence, saying they want to deprive millions of women from getting cancer screenings, finding out whether they have HIV, getting help on family planning and contraceptives. You know, it is a mean spirited, partisan attack on an organization that has been there for women, often the only place that, you know, young women, lower income women, have been able to go and get treated with respect and get the kind of healthcare that they deserve. And what you see is the ongoing debate over abortion. And everybody can have their own opinion about that, it is legal, and therefore in those facilities, which are a minority of the facilities of Planned Parenthood, where abortion is provided, and not using one federal dollar to do it, they, the republicans, want to, you know, basically destroy the entire program that Planned Parenthood stands for. And, you know, I am adamantly opposed to that. I’m going to be fighting that. And I imagine if, you know, the people listening, particularly the women listening are anything like, you know, the vast majority of women in this country, either they or somebody they know has gotten healthcare, you know, 500,000 breast cancer screenings every year. And when these republicans start talking about defunding Planned Parenthood, or when Jeb Bush says, you know, we don’t need $500 million dollars in the federal budget to help support healthcare from Planned Parenthood, I don’t know who they’re talking to. You know, they’re sure not talking to the people who grabbed my hands as I travelled around the country, or talked to me on a rope line, or stopped me on the street to, you know, tell me that, you know, that’s where they found out that they had breast cancer.
JACQUE REID: Right.
HILLARY CLINTON: That’s where they got the family planning help they needed. So this gets me, you know, really riled up because it’s an unfair set of accusations and political attacks that, you know, would really hurt a lot of women.
TOM JOYNER: Sybil Wilkes.
SYBIL WILKES: Madam Secretary, we have a big situation here in terms of social justice reform as well as Black Lives Matter and that sort of thing. I’d like to know your social justice plan as we are also acknowledging the black leaders that are now coming onboard, the Hillary Clinton campaign, such as the endorsement of Andy Young.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first on that last point I’m really honored to have, you know, Any Young’s support. He’s somebody I’ve known for a long time and I have admired – and I have to tell you, he said something to me years ago that I really think about a lot. You know, back in the late ‘50s when the south was roiled civil rights challenges and conflicts, and you know, places were trying to change and other places were resisting change, he told me that Atlanta adopted the slogan, the city too busy to hate. I wish we’d get back to saying America’s too busy to hate. You know, we need to get, you know, working together and having each other’s backs. And that goes for, you know, criminal justice reform ending the era of mass incarceration, getting rid of the privatization of prisons that have turned incarceration into a for profit industry. We ought to be looking at what we’re going to do to lead on social justice by admitting and taking on the systemic racism that we still face in America. Just look at how President Obama has led us through difficult times and in every step of the way faced unrelenting opposition and obstruction. And, once again here in this campaign we’re seeing a lot of those same voices and forces, you know, coming up trying to, you know, turn the clock back. So what I hope we can do is come together around reforming criminal justice, but not just reforming the inequities that exist, the disparities that unfortunately persist, but looking at how we’re going to close the opportunity gap and in particular how we’re going to help young people and predominantly, you know, young men have different choices because they have different opportunities. So this is a big issue for me and I want folks to know that they can count on me to address it and they can count on me to work hard with the communities that are really focused on this to make a difference.
TOM JOYNER: Well, thank you. Thank you, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Presidential candidate, thank you so much.
SYBIL WILKES: Will you do this again with us soon?
TOM JOYNER: Don’t be a stranger.
HILLARY CLINTON: Yeah, yes, I certainly will.
JACQUE REID: Yeah, don’t be.
HILLARY CLINTON: Let’s do it again soon.
TOM JOYNER: Okay, all right.
SYBIL WILKES: Sit in with us.
HILLARY CLINTON: I would love to do that. We’ll see if we can find a time to do that too.
TOM JOYNER: All right.
SYBIL WILKES: That would be awesome.
HILLARY CLINTON: Okay.
TOM JOYNER: Coming up …
SYBIL WILKES: Good luck to you, thank you so much.
HILLARY CLINTON: Have a good day.
JACQUE REID: How’s your granddaughter?
HILLARY CLINTON: Oh, my gosh, she’s going to be year old on Saturday.
JACQUE REID: Look at her, her eyes just light up.
HILLARY CLINTON: Yeah, she’s going to be one year old.
SYBIL WILKES: It’s been a year already?
HILLARY CLINTON: I know it, I know it. I can’t believe that, to be honest, I’m just still stunned, it’s gone by so fast and we’ve just been, you know, totally over the moon happy with, you know, being grandparents. It’s so wonderful.
JACQUE REID: That’s amazing.
HILLARY CLINTON: And so we’re just, you know, we’re going to get together, we’re going to celebrate this one year old milestone and just marvel at the fact that we’ve all made it through. (Chuckle)
JACQUE REID: Yeah, really.
SYBIL WILKES: So will Chelsea’s old bedroom be Charlotte’s room in the White House? (Chuckling)
HILLARY CLINTON: Yeah! I think that’s the natural transition. You know, we have an old farmhouse that we live in north in New York City and the rooms are kind of tiny. You know, it’s great for Bill and me because we like to just get here and totally let down and, you know, not have to do anything once we’re home. And so there’s a room, a bedroom for Chelsea and then there’s a little attached room, you know, with a TV and stuff. So that’s where Charlotte’s hanging out when she comes to see us.
JACQUE REID: Any chance we’ll see Chelsea move into politics? I would love that personally.
HILLARY CLINTON: Oh, you know, I don’t know. She’s got this new book out, which I’m really proud of. You know, she, you know, it’s called It’s Your World. And it’s written for kids, although frankly anybody of any age can read it and get something out of it. And it’s got examples of kids in our country and kids around the world, organizations that do things to help other people and get results. And it’s going like wildfire. She’s been going around talking about it. She has had a really good response, especially from kids. We had a chance to speak to some of the kids who red it the other day and, you know, they kept saying they loved it because she didn’t talk down to them. She, you know, she just acted like they could understand issues like poverty and, you know, in America and around the world, or health problems, like HIV or malaria, or tuberculosis or all the rest of it. So I’m really proud of her because she’s such a great combination of energy and focus and public service. But I don’t know whether politics would ever draw her in. She’s probably …
JACQUE REID: She’s got so many great things; she’s got her eyes and her hands on so many great things.
HILLARY CLINTON: It’s a hard life and she knows that first hand.
SYBIL WILKES: Is there something you just don’t want for her?
HILLARY CLINTON: No. No, I’d be more than happy for her to do whatever makes her happy, but you know, I don’t know that she would ever choose to actually run for office. I think she would very much like to be involved …
SYBIL WILKES: Especially with the front row seat she’s had. (Chuckling)
HILLARY CLINTON: Right. Exactly, that’s the point. I mean, you get out there, and you know, and from my perspective I want to kind of get the country to continue to move toward the future, build on what, you know, President Obama has done, take a lot of the lessons about how to help more people than my husband demonstrate it. You know, kind of positive and optimistic.
Read more about Hillary’s initiatives below.