Under increasing pressure from Sen. Bernie Sanders to disclose what she said in paid speeches, Hillary Clinton said she’d release the transcripts if all her opponents do, too. Asked during CNN’s Democratic town hall in South Carolina Tuesday evening if she would agree to make the comments from her speeches public, Clinton responded: “Sure, if everybody does it — and that includes the Republicans, because we know they have made a lot of speeches.”
Pressed on whether she would release the transcripts even if her opponents don’t want to, Clinton asked, “Why is there one standard for me and not for everybody else?”
Earlier this month, Clinton said for the first time she would “look into” releasing the transcripts from her paid speaking engagements. Following her time as secretary of state, Clinton regularly earned six-figure fees for speaking engagements with Wall Street firms and major corporations — including $675,000 for three events with Goldman Sachs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have been paid $153 million in speaking fees since departing from the White House in 2001, according to CNN.
On Monday, Sanders’ campaign noted it had been 17 days since she said she’d consider making transcripts from her speaking events available. The Vermont senator previously said it was up to Clinton to decide whether to release transcripts from her paid speeches. “I think the decision as to whether or not to release, it is her decision.”
He was asked by CNN if he would release transcripts from his own speeches. The Hill reported last year that Sanders had earned $1,867 for two paid speaking gigs and for appearing on Bill Maher’s television show in 2014.
Sanders said Tuesday he would release transcripts from his speeches if he can find them.
“I have given some speeches, and money was donated to charity way, way back. I got a few dollars. If I can find the transcripts, I’m very, very happy to do it,” Sanders said.
But he also said that unlike Clinton, he hadn’t given any speeches to financial firms.
“There ain’t none,” Sanders said. “I don’t do that. I don’t get speakers’ fees from Goldman Sachs. It’s not there."
At least one current Republican presidential candidate has accepted speaking fees in the past. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a former congressman, recently said on the campaign trail that he been paid for an event before running for public office again.
“We did our thing — I think I got maybe eight minutes, and the other guy got eight minutes. And I got in the car and they handed me a check for $15,000. Yeah! Hey, these people get paid $200,000, $300,000, O.K.?” he said earlier this month, according to the New York Times.
Kasich said that experience persuaded him to leave the private sector: “The message I got was, ‘Time to get out of that life you’re in, you got to go back.’ And that’s why I was so certain that I could run for governor.”