Hillary Clinton told Stephen Colbert on Tuesday that, as president, she would let the big banks fail if they were to get into trouble.
That’s a departure from what her former boss, President Barack Obama, did in 2009.
“If you’re president and the banks are failing, do we let them fail?” asked Colbert, host of CBS’ “The Late Show.”
“Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes,” Clinton said emphatically. “First of all, under Dodd-Frank, that is what will happen because we now have stress tests and I’m going to impose a risk fee on the big bank if they engage in risky behavior but they have to know, their shareholders have to know that yes, they will fail and if they’re too big to fail. Then under my plan and others that have been proposed, they may have to be broken up.”
The answer is the most direct Clinton has given on what would happen if the nation’s biggest financial institutions were to get into trouble if she were in the White House. Clinton has embraced Dodd-Frank, a financial regulation reform law passed in the wake of the 2007-8 financial crisis, and has proposed increasing accountability on Wall Street by punishing criminal behavior and instituting a fee on excessive leverage and short-term borrowing.
Clinton rolled out her Wall Street plan earlier this month, announcing in a Bloomberg op-ed that she wants to crack down on abuses and tax certain kinds of “high-frequency” trading.
Most of Clinton’s interview, which will air Tuesday night, was light-hearted. Though Colbert has been tough about the former secretary of state and her candidacy in monologues and other interviews when Clinton was not on set, the host did not go after the candidate in Tuesday’s chat.
Clinton’s first visit to, as she called it, “the cathedral of Colbert” comes in the midst of a strong month for the former secretary of state’s campaign. She faced down GOP lawmakers in an 11-hour hearing last week and also turned in a strong debate performance earlier in the month.
Clinton told Colbert that she celebrated her 68th birthday by sleeping late, which for her was “pretty celebratory.”
“Did you do anything special, like have a celebration for 11 hours?” Colbert asked.
“I got to do as little as I could get away with. That was good,” Clinton said. “It was a beautiful day, I got to see my granddaughter over the weekend and my daughter and everybody was in good spirits and good health, you can’t ask for any more than that … Bill and I just kind of watched bad TV.”
Clinton said that she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, “finally finished” watching Netflix’s “House of Cards.” Other shows on her playlist: CBS’ “The Good Wife” and “Madam Secretary.”
Colbert took over “The Late Show” in September and since has interviewed a number of politicians, including Vice President Joe Biden and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush.
Colbert asked Clinton if she would rather run against Donald Trump or Ben Carson, the two non-politicians currently leading the Republican field.
“I’m gonna leave that to the Republicans,” she said, adding she doesn’t want to influence the race.
Clinton has recently become somewhat of a late-night staple, after the campaign decided to shake up her media strategy.
She appeared on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” in September, hamming it up with the host who played Donald Trump for a taped segment. And Clinton appeared on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” earlier this month, playing “Val,” a salt-of-the-earth bartender, across from actress Kate McKinnon, who plays a large-than-life, power-craven Clinton.
Completing her tour of the big three in late night, Clinton will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live on November 5 while on a West Coast fundraising swing.