AND GAY MARRIAGE...
Hillary Clinton lashes out at NPR host during tense interview about gay marriage
The likely 2016 presidential candidate criticized ‘Fresh Air’ host Terry Gross for her persistence in asking about why she decided to publicly support gay-marriage after years of waffling on the issue.
BY ADAM EDELMAN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, June 12, 2014, 5:28 PM
NPR’s Terry Gross, the host of the network’s “Fresh Air” program, repeatedly asked Clinton whether her decision to support gay marriage, after years of opposition and waffling, occurred because her views on the issue had changed or whether it was a result of growing national acceptance and the politics surrounding the once-controversial matter having changed.
Clinton publicly expressed her support for gay marriage last year, after she stepped down as Secretary of State, but that didn’t stop Gross from hammering her on the timing of the announcement — which, in turn, caused Clinton to grow frustrated.
“I have to say, I think you are being very persistent, but you are playing with my words and playing with what is such an important issue,” Clinton said in a testy exchange that ran several minutes.
“I’m just trying to clarify so I understand,” Gross responded.
“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,” Clinton added.
Gross then gently tried again to explain what she had attempted to ask before.
“I was saying that you maybe really believed (in) this all along but thought for political reasons America wasn’t ready yet and you couldn’t say it ,” Gross said.
“No, that is not true,” Clinton, who had appeared on the show to promote her new book “Hard Choices,” responded sharply.
Clinton, in fact, was lauded during her tenure at the State Department for her support of LGBT issues in internal department personnel matters.
But her public support of legalizing gay marriage came after years of providing unclear answers on the issue — in 2003, she told CBS News that she was against same-sex marriage, but supported same-sex civil unions — and only after several other prominent Democrats, including President Obama, Vice President Biden and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo came out in support of the issue.
The tense interview Thursday, which was taped and posted to the Internet by a Republican political action committee, marked the first time Clinton, who many think will run for President in 2016, has been so aggressively questioned about the change in her stance.
Later in the exchange, Clinton pointed out that even many long-time gay-marriage supporters couldn’t have anticipated its speedy acceptance on the national stage.
“I did not grow up even imagining gay marriage, and I don’t think you probably did, either,” she said to Gross. “This was an incredibly new and important idea that people on the front lines of the gay right movement began to talk about and slowly, but surely, convinced others of the rightness of that position. And when I was ready to say what I said, I said it.”