Hillary Clinton | News | Terry Gross

Hillary Clinton Spars with NPR's Terry Gross in Combative Interview About Gay Marriage: LISTEN

Hillary Clinton sparred with NPR host Terry Gross during a lengthy, tense, set of questions about her evolution on gay marriage.

H_clintonGross began by asking her if her move to marriage equality support was a political calculation even though she's committed to human rights, which started things going.

“I think you’re reading it very wrong," Clinton answered. "I think that, as I said – just as the President has said – just because you’re a politician doesn’t mean you’re not a thinking human being. You gather information, you think through positions, you’re not one hundred percent set, thank goodness, you’re constantly re-evaluating where you stand. That is true for me."

Thus began seven minutes of questions during which Clinton seemed to  disagree with every question, finally accusing Gross of trying to distort her message:

"You know I really, I have to say, I think you being very persistent, but you are playing with my words and playing with what is such an important issue...No, I don’t think you are trying to clarify. I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons. And that’s just flat wrong. So let me just state what I feel like I think you are implying and repudiate it. I have a strong record. I have a great commitment to this issue and I am proud of what I’ve done and the progress we're making.”

Listen to the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. This article wouldn't have ever been written if she were a man. Just saying. Snapped? Really??

    Posted by: gaylib | Jun 12, 2014 8:38:24 PM

  2. I'd rather have Terry Gross for President any day. Clinton totally gamed this issue, like every issue. Clinton A and Clinton B.

    Posted by: DH94114 | Jun 12, 2014 8:53:29 PM

  3. I think Terry was acting somewhat petty. Hilary handled her confidently and tactfully.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 12, 2014 8:55:37 PM

  4. My ex is an alcoholic manipulator and every argument went exactly like this one. His excuse was very similar to Terry Gross's...he wasn't clarifying, he was definitely swinging the argument to his way so that HE'd be right. Hence him being an "ex".

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Jun 12, 2014 8:58:52 PM

  5. @GAYLIB

    You've got to be kidding.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 12, 2014 9:00:02 PM

  6. I'm not sure why the editorializing that "Clinton seemed to dodge, duck, and weave around the issue". Hillary Clinton was absolutely direct, knowledgeable within a historical context and nothing short of amazingly articulate in this interview. No politician I know on the scene could have responded as well. Nearly everyone's position on gay marriage has evolved from some earlier starting point.

    Posted by: CAnaive | Jun 12, 2014 9:05:03 PM

  7. Also the term, "snaps" in the headline feels rather sexist.

    Posted by: CAnaive | Jun 12, 2014 9:07:27 PM

  8. She supports us wholeheartedly, and has shown that in her independent actions as Secretary of State and at the UN. History is just that--past. The people that want to cut us off from our allies are NOT our firends. Beware of Koch suckers trying to undermine gay support for our causes.

    Posted by: jmartindale | Jun 12, 2014 9:09:46 PM

  9. OMG I can't wait to vote for her!

    Posted by: Ajijic Expat | Jun 12, 2014 9:09:52 PM

  10. I'm glad someone tried to challenge her finally, though I agree Mrs. Clinton offered nothing of substance. Either her support or lack of in the early nineties was most likely a career move.

    Posted by: Ian | Jun 12, 2014 9:17:55 PM

  11. Despite what her record might or might not be, she danced around the question like a prima ballerina. I like Hillary a lot, but I hate when politicians do this kinda crap. She did not directly answer it, but implied that she was both for it, but mostly against gay marriage before it became a popular wedge issue among the democratic party. Evolution takes millions of years, it only takes one moment to say 'yes' or 'no'.

    Posted by: Robert | Jun 12, 2014 9:21:50 PM

  12. I agree with Gaylib here. The characterization of her response in the media so far, even here on Towleroad (eg. "snapped") portrays her reaction as somewhat hysterical, when in fact it was fairly calm and considered.

    I don't necessarily believe her when she says she was against it and then she changed her mind, at least not any time recently. Her position on this issue certainly has a significant political calculation, just as Obama's did.

    That aside, she firmly, but politely, pushed back against Gross' repeated insinuations (regardless of how fair they were). If she were a man, the kinds of descriptive phrases that are being used to portray how she reacted to these questions would not have ever been considered.

    Posted by: Jeip | Jun 12, 2014 9:24:55 PM

  13. I always tell people, I don't care what you did yesterday, it's what you do today that counts.

    Besides who else would you like to be the next POTUS?

    Posted by: Ajijic Expat | Jun 12, 2014 9:27:04 PM

  14. I don't understand how anyone could listen to this and come away from it saying that she was trying to imply she was both for and against same-sex marriage at the time her stated position was against it. She very clearly states that she was REALLY against it when her public position was against it. You may not believe her, but she wasn't trying to have it both ways.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 12, 2014 9:29:07 PM

  15. I find it interesting how so many on here don't appreciate the word "snapped" being used because it prejudices the readers about Hillary Clinton. However, these same readers have no problem when other prejudicial-words are used to describe Republicans. THEN it's perfectly acceptable. Double-standards are so clarifying when so blatantly obvious. And I suspect many of you don't even realize your double-standards, or won't concede them even now that it's been pointed it out. :)

    Posted by: Jon | Jun 12, 2014 9:38:56 PM

  16. It is possible to like and intend to vote for Hillary Clinton while also acknowledging:

    1. 27% of people were in favor of gay marriage in 1996. It wasn't only activists.

    2. Hillary Clinton is too intelligent and too sophisticated to have not thought about gay marriage by the late 90's enough to have come around to the side of social justice.

    Terri Gross wasn't implying Clinton supports gay marriage only for political reasons (it was a brilliant redirection on the part of Hillary, though). Gross was implying the Clintons supported/signed anti-gay legislation in late 90's because, even though they personally were LGBT supportive, the country wasn't. Gross was assuming Clinton was ahead of the curve in 90's, not that she's politically callow today.

    Posted by: kipp | Jun 12, 2014 9:40:40 PM

  17. What?!

    So if she was living in the south during slavery she would have been ok with slavery because "very few people" were against it back then??

    Please! Wrong is wrong regardless of the time period.

    And the fact of the matter is that Clinton#1 flat out *USED* gay people as a political tool by Signing DOMA into law.
    He never would have carried the South like he did without signing DOMA into law and running adds throughout the South praising his action.
    Even with DADT many in the Pentagon thought gays in the military was inevitable in the early 90's until Clinton#1 and Colin Powell came up with a "compromise" which really only hurt gay people.
    There are very few politicians that actually look out for the American people and she and her husband are not them, no matter how slick they are at marketing themselves.

    Posted by: Chris | Jun 12, 2014 9:43:05 PM

  18. @KIPP and Clinton answered Terri Gross directly that Gross' assumption that Clinton was personally supportive of gay marriage in the 90s while publicly against it was wrong.

    Clinton answered directly that her opposition in the 90s was real and she has thought about it, reflected on it and changed her mind since then to support equality now.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 12, 2014 9:44:54 PM

  19. Hillary Clinton is, was, and will be far better on gay issues than any Republican on the planet.

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Jun 12, 2014 9:51:41 PM

  20. @CHRIS.. Clinton wasn't talking about the level of opposition to same-sex marriage as a way to say it was correct to be opposed in the 90s. She was asking Gross why Gross couldn't believe Clinton was personally opposed in the 90s when the majority of people were opposed in the 90s.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 12, 2014 9:58:12 PM

  21. What is the point? This is a tired argument by the right wing. Politicians make political calculations. If they don't, they won't be successful politicians. Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Franklin Roosevelt, Churchill etc etc all did. Of course no one will admit it because it makes them look disingenuous. Thomas Moore was a pious Catholics. He opposed King Henry VIII's divorce of the Queen. He was beheaded. The Pope canonised More for his faith and courage. The price he paid was his life and political career.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 12, 2014 10:00:15 PM

  22. And don't tell me conservative politicians like Reagan or Bushes didn't make political calculations.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 12, 2014 10:14:39 PM

  23. Hillary didn't "snap" and characterizing her response that way is sexist! She happens to be our ally - she deserves better on a gay blog!

    Posted by: Isaiah | Jun 12, 2014 10:19:26 PM

  24. You go girl! I really like this new, confrontational, Chris Christiesque Hillary.

    Posted by: bernard | Jun 12, 2014 11:01:56 PM

  25. I would rather pick someone who has evolved or evolving on LGBT (even it is for a political gain) rather than someone who is confirmed / planning to or prosecuting us for political gain.

    And can someone name an option? A potential presidential material who supported marriage equality before 2008?

    Posted by: Moniker | Jun 12, 2014 11:02:27 PM

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