Hillary Clinton defends her family foundation

2015-04-21 11:28
(Carolyn Kaster, AP)

(Carolyn Kaster, AP)

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Keene - Hillary Rodham Clinton has found herself on the defensive during her first campaign visit to New Hampshire in the 2016 presidential contest, pushing back against Republican questions about foreign donations to her family foundation.

Clinton is taking part in a discussion of jobs creation on Tuesday with students and teachers at New Hampshire Technical Institute, a community college. But on Monday she spent much of the day dismissing accusations that foreign governments that made donations to the Clinton Foundation received preferential treatment from the State Department while she served in the Obama administration.

"We will be subjected to all kinds of distractions and attacks," she told reporters during a stop in the liberal bastion of Keene. "I'm ready for that. I know that that comes, unfortunately, with the territory."

Clinton faces little opposition for the 2016 Democratic nod, a contrast to the crowded field of hopefuls for the Republican nomination. However, her campaign is determined to show early-state voters that the former secretary of state is not taking that position for granted.

Clinton Cash

Clinton has cast herself as above the political back-and-forth, vowing to change the harsh partisan tone in Washington. "I am tired of the mean-spiritedness in politics," she told voters who gathered in a supporter's living room in Claremont.

Her family foundation has come under particular scrutiny for accepting foreign contributions, including from Middle Eastern nations that deny equal rights for women and are on the front lines in the fight against terrorism.

Last week, the foundation revised its policy to permit donations from six US allies in Europe, Australia, and North America but to bar giving from other nations to fund its globe-spanning public health, anti-poverty, and climate change programs.

Republican candidates like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul have seized on a coming book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, which argues that the Clinton family got speaking fees and donations in return for favours to various foreign interests doled out while she was secretary of state.

Clinton campaign aides and supporters moved quickly to discredit the author, Peter Schweizer, after word of his book emerged, casting him as a Republican operative working to defeat her. Schweizer is president of the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative organisation, and has advised Republican politicians on foreign policy.

"He's cherry-picked information that's been disclosed and woven a bunch of conspiracy theories about it," Clinton campaign chairperson John Podesta said on PBS' Charlie Rose.

New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state, is beloved by the Clinton family for giving both her faltering 2008 effort and her husband's struggling 1992 campaign a second wind.

Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

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