Clinton says sorry over Reagan error

March 12, 2016

Hillary Clinton pays her respects at the casket after attending the funeral services for former first lady, Nancy Reagan, at her late husband’s presidential library in Simi Valley, California March 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Hillary Clinton has apologized for mistakenly praising Nancy Reagan’s AIDS activism during her husband’s presidency.

In fact, both Ronald and Nancy Reagan came under fire for ignoring the crisis and having staffers who laughed at its existence. The former first lady reportedly even turned down a request from her friend, AIDS-stricken movie star Rock Hudson, after he asked her for help getting treatment in France that was not available in the United States.

Clinton’s misstep came during an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell in Simi Valley, California, where Nancy Reagan’s funeral took place on Friday.

Mitchell asked Clinton about gun control. Clinton praised the “very important stand” taken by the former president and his wife. Then, she veered off script and praised the Reagans on their work on HIV and AIDS.

“The other point to make too is it may be hard for your viewers to remember how difficult it was for people to talk about HIV/AIDS back in the 1980s,” said Clinton. “And because of both President and Mrs. Reagan, in particular Mrs. Reagan, we started a national conversation, when before nobody would talk about it.  Nobody wanted to do anything about it.  And, you know, that too is something that I really appreciate with her very effective low-key advocacy, but it penetrated the public conscience and people began to say, hey, we have to do something about this too,” Clinton said.

After her error, Clinton said sorry in a statement posted on Twitter.

The apology, however, came too late to stop the responses to @MSNBC’s post flagging the interview.

“I respect Hilary [sic], and will vote for her if she’s the nominee, but, is she freakin kiddin me wit this?!?! #NancyReagan,” a user named Roman wrote.

Added other users:  #Hillary2016 has lost her mind. #reagan horrible on hiv. https://t.co/OAeoRGItoz — Jim Gilliam (@jimgilliamv2) March 11, 2016

@MSNBC That’s one way of putting it. Bless their stopped, homophobic hearts.” – @patrickinnc https://t.co/NreSEIKazO

— VANESSA GALLARDO (@vanessagallard0) March 11, 2016

But Nancy Reagan DID start a national conversation: about why she & Ronnie were ignoring AIDS – https://t.co/EITEpxbHx1 — John L. Roberson (@jlr_1969) March 11, 2016

One comment

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Not the worst I have heard from her (or other candidates) but not the best either.

Just another politician going off script.

Posted by Dehumanist | Report as abusive