At CNN’s Democratic forum on Monday night, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley fielded questions from various Iowa voters, less than a week before voting starts in the caucuses.
One young Iowa native, Taylor Gipple, said that many millennials thought Clinton was a dishonest person, and asked how she would respond to those negative perceptions of her.
“It feels like there’s a lot of young people out there, like myself, who are very passionate supporters of Bernie Sanders. And I just don’t see the same enthusiasm among younger people for you,” Gipple said. “In fact, I’ve heard quite a few people my age that think you’re dishonest, but I’d like to hear from you, why you feel the enthusiasm isn’t there.”
Clinton quickly rebutted the claim of lack of enthusiasm by bringing up how she had personally encountered 10 high school students who did volunteer work for her campaign, then moved on to the topic of dishonesty.
Her tone was friendly, but she insinuated that millennials don’t trust her because they’re young and naive, prone to believing the lies of her opponents.
“I’ve been around a long time, people have thrown all kinds of things at me. I can’t keep up with it. … They come up with these outlandish things, they make these charges. I just keep going forward because there’s nothing to it,” Clinton said.
“But if you’re new to politics and this is the first time you’ve really paid attention, you go, ‘Oh, my gosh, look at all of this.’ And you have to say to yourself, ‘Why are they throwing all of that?’,” Clinton continued. “I’ll tell you why: I’ve been on the frontlines of change and progress since I was your age.”
Clinton went on to recount how she and her husband Bill fought for universal healthcare. The effort didn’t succeed, but they managed to institute a new child welfare program that Clinton says gives more than 8 million children health insurance today.
After saying the universal healthcare battle occurred in 1993 and 1994, Clinton squinted her eyes at Gipple as if trying to examine his face and humorously stated, “and I don’t know if you were born then,” drawing laughter from the crowd.
The latest polls show that Clinton and Sanders are closed to tied in Iowa, according to Real Clear Politics.