DES MOINES, Iowa -- Clinton addressed the issue of questionable donors from an event last spring in New York’s Chinatown and talked about how she would respond to increased attacks from her rivals while speaking to reporters today after a speech here.
“I’m proud to have support from across our country,” Clinton said. “I represent New York and New York is a symbol of the success of immigrants coming to America and I am pleased to have a lot of first-generation American support as well as people who have been longtime involved in the political process.
“I think with respect to that one event, there were more than 250 people there. My campaign reviewed any of the contributors. We returned money. If new things come to light, we’ll continue to do that.”
The New York Times noted today the Clinton campaign returned $7,000 it determined may have come from people in Chinatown whose professions would make it difficult to contribute so much.
Clinton added she was well aware her opponents on both sides were increasing their focus on her and repeated the line about how nice it is to have all these men paying so much attention to her. She talked about why she could be an agent of change and not just a return to the old Washington establishment.
“Rhetoric is easy to come by but if you look at what I’ve done,” Clinton said. “I have been on the forefront of a lot of the major challenges we’ve had in trying to reign in special interests, and I believe as president I will be in a position to do that.”
On the whether she could her hurt down-ticket Democrats in some places: “I don’t think there’s any basis to that,” she said, “and I think as the campaign goes forward that will be very clearly demonstrated.
“I am not letting the forces that oppose me define me. You know, there’s been a lot of cumulated attacks on me going back 15 years, and what I’ve done in this campaign is to get out and have people form their own opinions of me and slowly but surely I think sort of reverse a lot of the unfounded feelings people had; and of course, you know, when someone like Sen. Evan Bayh endorses me, from a red state like Indiana, I think it sends a strong signal that I’m not only doing well in a lot of these red states, which I am, but I’m going to run a winning campaign. I think the campaign that I’ve run and that I will continue to run should give confidence not only to Democrats but fair-minded Independents and Republicans that we can bring the country back together.”
Clinton said she did not consider herself a front-runner and that she planned to keep working as hard as she possibly could to try to persuade Iowans to come out and caucus for her.