Update 3:50pm EDT:
In response to the hacks, Clinton campaign spokesperson Glen Caplin said:
As Hillary Clinton said in those remarks, she wants young people to be idealistic and set big goals. She is fighting for exactly what the millennial generation cares most about--a fairer more equal, just world. She's working to create new pathways to jobs and career opportunities, to build more inclusivity and community, and to ensure everyone gets a fair shot. she believes that the most diverse, open-minded generation in history wants their voice heard in this election and that's why she worked with Senator Sanders on a plan to provide students with debt free college and it's why she's traveling the country listening to their concerns and talking about not only what's at stake in this election, but her plan for the generation. She's inspired by the optimism and the drive of this generation and Sanders supporters across the country—and they've helped her craft and promote the most progressive platform in democratic party history.
Hacked audio of a private Hillary Clinton campaign event made public this week exposed the Democratic nominee's feelings about her place on the political spectrum, her plans for President Obama's controversial nuclear upgrade program, and her take on Bernie Sanders supporters.
First published by the conservative Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday and widely reported on Friday, the recording was taken in February during private fundraiser in McLean, Virginia and apparently obtained via hacked emails.
You can listen to the full comments below:
Identifying herself as "center-left to the center-right," Clinton expressed "bewilderment" over the political divisions and alienation clearly expressed by voters this election cycle.
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It is important to recognize what's going on in this election. Everybody who's ever been in an election that I'm aware of is quite bewildered because there is a strain of, on the one hand, the kind of populist, nationalist, xenophobic, discriminatory kind of approach that we hear too much of from the Republican candidates. And on the other side, there's just a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare, that what we’ve done hasn't gone far enough, and that we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don't know what that means, but it's something that they deeply feel. So as a friend of mine said the other day, I am occupying from the center-left to the center-right. And I don't have much company there. Because it is difficult when you're running to be president, and you understand how hard the job is—I don't want to overpromise. I don't want to tell people things that I know we cannot do.
Later, in the recording, the candidate specifically spoke about the young voters, "children of the Great Recession," who were gravitating en-mass to her then-opponent Sanders and his plans for "free college [and] free healthcare."
Some are new to politics completely. They're children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents' basement. They feel they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves. And they don't see much of a future. I met with a group of young black millennials today and you know one of the young women said, "You know, none of us feel that we have the job that we should have gotten out of college. And we don’t believe the job market is going to give us much of a chance." So that is a mindset that is really affecting their politics. And so if you're feeling like you're consigned to, you know, being a barista, or you know, some other job that doesn't pay a lot, and doesn't have some other ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing. So I think we should all be really understanding of that and should try to do the best we can not to be, you know, a wet blanket on idealism. We want people to be idealistic. We want them to set big goals. But to take what we can achieve now and try to present them as bigger goals.
Not only do the comments highlight Clinton's focus on, as The Intercept reporters Lee Fan and Alex Emmons put it, "the art of the possible," they also reveal how far the nominee has been pushed to the left since that time. Clinton enlisted the help of Sanders to craft a plan for debt-free college and recently penned an op-ed voicing strong support for a healthcare public option.
According to The Intercept, the event was "hosted by Beatrice Welters, the former U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, and her husband Anthony Welters, the executive chairman of an investment consulting firm founded by former Clinton aide Cheryl Mills."
Later in the recording, the former Secretary of State was asked about her support for President Barack Obama's controversial plan to upgrade the Long Range Standoff (LRSO) missile program.
"Will you cancel this program if President Obama doesn't in the next 11 months and lead the world in a ban on this particularly destabilizing, dangerous type of nuclear weapon?" she was asked. Breaking with the president, Clinton responded that she would be "inclined" to do so. "The last thing we need are sophisticated cruise missiles that are nuclear armed."