The presidential hopeful commented on her past remarks that Bill Clinton should have resigned from his presidency after it was publicly revealed in 1998 that he was having an affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Moderator Erin Burnett asked Gillibrand if her comments about Bill Clinton ever affected her relationship with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who Gillibrand has openly supported for years.
Gillibrand responded cooly, telling Burnett that Hillary Clinton can still be a role model even if her husband is not.
“For me, Secretary Clinton is still a role model for all of us and my views on her husband is very different,” the senator said. “I’ve said all I’m gonna say about that.”
“Hillary Clinton put that 65 million cracks in that highest and hardest glass ceiling. She’s inspired the world by her bravery and courage to do what she thought was right — to run for president twice, to be a national leader her whole life. She’s given her life to public service,” Gillibrand said earlier.
Gillibrand has been an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and routinely fights for survivors of sexual assault. She sent shockwaves through the Democratic party when she said in November 2017 that it would have been the “appropriate response” for Bill Clinton to step down after his affair with Lewinsky, who was 22 to Bill Clinton’s 49 at the time the relationship took place.
During another segment of Tuesday’s town hall, Gillibrand fielded a question about how she plans to fight the stigma surrounding sexual harassment and assault on college campuses, in workplaces and other areas.
“I believe deeply that we have to end sexual violence in this country because fundamentally it goes to a very simple question: Do we value women? And unfortunately, there’s a lot of evidence that we don’t,” Gillibrand said.
“We don’t take sexual assault seriously in college campuses, we don’t take it seriously in the military, we don’t even take it seriously in places like Congress,” she continued. “So we have to address sexual harassment and sexual assault head on.”