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Hillary Clinton clarifies 'jobs' remarks
01:15 - Source: News 12 Westchester

Story highlights

Clinton: "Don't let anybody tell you that it's corporations and businesses that create jobs"

Republican critics seize on the comment, made at a Massachusetts campaign rally

Clinton says she aimed to blast "tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs"

CNN  — 

Three days after Hillary Clinton said businesses don’t create jobs, she cleaned up the remark, part of a critique of trickle-down economics, explaining she had “shorthanded this point the other day.”

Friday at a campaign rally for Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley, the former secretary of state told the crowd, “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” going on to say trickle-down economics “has failed rather spectacularly.”

Republicans seized on the sentence, seemingly made for an anti-Hillary Clinton campaign ad. America Rising, the main anti-Clinton super-PAC, is featuring it on the header of its website.

On Monday at a campaign event for New York Rep. Sean Maloney, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, Clinton went for a do-over, saying, “Let me be absolutely clear about what I’ve been saying for a couple of decades: Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in an America where workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up and the middle out – not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas.”

It’s the second time Clinton has struggled to speak fluently in the economic vernacular of her party.

In early June, during her book tour, Clinton made a major gaffe when she said, “We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt,” a comment that critics cited as evidence she is out of touch with everyday Americans.

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Her comment that businesses don’t create jobs stood out even more at an event where Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a populist poster child, also spoke.

Though Clinton has not committed to a presidential run in 2016, she is far and away the front-runner in polls and her comments are analyzed as if she’s a candidate.

Her quick cleanup of the comments reflects concern about the potential for lasting damage from missteps while discussing economic issues, a pitfall that helped sink Mitt Romney’s run for the presidency in 2012.

“I’m not concerned about the very poor. … I’m concerned about the heart of America, the 95% of Americans who are right now struggling,” Romney, then a candidate, said in February 2012.

Democrats seized on those remarks as out of touch. Republicans were chagrined Romney didn’t talk about economically boosting all Americans.

Later, in September 2012, once Romney was the Republican nominee, a recording of him speaking at a closed fundraiser was leaked to the media. In it he was heard saying, “There are 47% of the people who will vote for the President no matter what,” describing those voters as “dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”