Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: One is a former Secretary of State whose husband was a two-term Democratic president, and the other is a Republican billionaire real estate magnate who basically wants to ban an entire religion from the US. On paper, they’re polar opposites. But when looking at their past statements, would their administrations really differ that much?
Now that the early state primaries and caucuses are wrapping up, it’s important to know where the party front-runners stand on major issues like welfare and poverty, war and national security, immigration, and the economy. At the end of the list, a guide to who said what has been included.
Ready? Let’s play.
1. “Now that we’ve said these people are no longer deadbeats—they’re actually out there being productive—how do we keep them there?”
2. “I’ve advocated tying the welfare payment to certain behavior about being a good parent. You couldn’t get your welfare check if your child wasn’t immunized. You couldn’t get your welfare check if you didn’t participate in a parenting program. You couldn’t get your check if you didn’t show up for student-teacher conferences.”
3. “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran… In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”
4. “Every nation has to either be with us, or against us. Those who harbor terrorists, or who finance them, are going to pay a price.”
5. “We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.”
6. “I’m supporting an effort to increase the end strength of the Army, increase the size of the military… It is expensive, but I don’t think we have any alternatives.”
7. “I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants… People have to stop employing illegal immigrants.”
8. “Our people are our greatest asset. We must take care of our own. We must have universal healthcare.”
9. “Health emergencies can’t wait for us to have some theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass.”
10. “We need more police, we need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders.”
How did you do? Check your answers with the sources listed below:
1. Hillary Clinton, in a April 2002 interview with the Gettysburg Times.
2. Hillary Clinton, February 3, 1997, Unique Voice, p. 200
3. Hillary Clinton, April 2008, Good Morning America
4. Hillary Clinton, September 13, 2001, CBS Evening News
5. Donald Trump, Republican presidential debate, February 2016
6. Hillary Clinton, May 23, 2004, on Fox News Sunday
7. Hillary Clinton, 2003, WABC Radio
8. Donald Trump, July 2, 2000, The America We Deserve
9. Hillary Clinton, January 30, 2016, campaign rally
10. Hillary Clinton, August 10, 1994, Unique Voice, pp. 189-190, Remarks at Annual Women in Policing
If you’re keeping score, that’s 8 Hillary quotes, and 2 Trump quotes.
Obviously, these are extreme examples, and most would agree that a Hillary Clinton administration would be less disastrous than having someone like Donald Trump in the White House. And Clinton‘s defenders would be quick to say that many of the Trump-esque statements Clinton made in the past shouldn’t be taken into account, as Bernie Sanders’ entry into the race has now pushed Clinton to the left on key issues important to Democratic primary voters.
But if Hillary Clinton‘s coronation as the Democratic nominee is successful and she’s pitted against an extremist like Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, or Ted Cruz, what incentive would she have to stand by her recent tacking to the left? Isn’t it more likely that she would revert back to the Hillary Clintonas we’ve always known her, from the 1990s to the late 2000s, knowing that the left wing of the Democratic primary would rather hold their nose and vote for her than let a Republican win the presidency and nominate the next three Supreme Court justices?
There’s no telling which Hillary Clinton will emerge should she win the party nomination. But the fact that there are two different Hillary Clintons should make any critically-thinking Clinton supporter scratch their head.