Hillary Clinton on Tuesday responded to former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s accusation that President Barack Obama fired the first shot in the “war on women.”
Palin tweeted an excerpt from Clinton’s new memoir “Hard Choices” on Monday, in which Clinton recounted how then-Sen. Obama’s 2008 campaign asked her to issue a statement criticizing Palin after she was chosen as Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) running mate.
Look who fired the 1st shot in the real “war on women”. Hint: it wasn’t the GOP. See this excerpt from Hillary’s book pic.twitter.com/kKBShf9vHj
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) June 9, 2014
“Look who fired the 1st shot in the real ‘war on women,'” Palin wrote. “Hint: it wasn’t the GOP.”
“That’s not exactly what I said,” Clinton told ABC News’ Robin Roberts. “What I said was that in beginning the process of working with Sen. Obama after I ended my campaign, we had as I describe in the book, an awkward but necessary meeting to clear the air on a couple of issues and one of them was the sexism that unfortunately was present in that ’08 campaign.”
Clinton told Roberts that the Obama campaign did ask her to “go out and criticize Palin.” In the excerpt, Clinton wrote “I was not going to attack Palin just for being a woman appealing for support from other women. I didn’t think it made political sense, and it didn’t feel right. So I said no.”
“I think it’s fair to say that I made it clear I’m not going to go attack somebody for being a woman or a man,” Clinton told Roberts. “I’m going to try and look at the issues, where they stand, what their experience is, what they intend to do and then that’s fair game.”
She added that the atmosphere for a potential female candidate on a presidential ticket is different now than it was during the 2008 campaign.
“I think it’s different for women across the board, because it’s not just in the political sphere that we continue to have these obstacles to women’s full participation … But I think that over the last six, seven years there has been a much greater awareness in the American public about the double standard,” Clinton said.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.