Best gaffe ever? Best gaffe ever.
During a speech to the Charleston chapter of the NAACP on October 30, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton discussed criminal justice reform. What kind of criminal justice reform? In her words, the kind that makes it so “former presidents won’t have to declare their criminal history at the very start of the hiring process.”
“Earlier today I announced that as president I will take steps to ‘ban the box,’ so former presidents won’t have to declare their criminal history at the very start of the hiring process,” Clinton told the assembled crowd. She did not correct herself.
You read that correctly. Hillary Clinton actually said that former presidents–for example, former presidents who were impeached and disbarred for willfully obstructing justice and who left behind them a long trail of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations–shouldn’t have to declare their criminal histories before running for the presidency, one of the most grueling hiring processes imaginable.
Now, it seems rather obvious that Hillary Clinton, who is currently under FBI investigation for using an unsecured, unsanctioned homebrew e-mail server to originate and send classified information to individuals not authorized to receive it, didn’t mean “former presidents” when said that. She almost certainly meant to say former prisoners.
This isn’t Hillary Clinton’s first major gaffe on the 2016 campaign trail, however. Last July, she said during a prepared campaign speech that a lot of “open-minded white people” like herself are still scared to see black men in hoodies.
“I mean if we’re honest, for a lot of well-meaning, open-minded white people, the sight of a young black man in a hoodie still evokes a twinge of fear,” Clinton said.
During her speech to the Charleston NAACP, Clinton also criticized “excessive incarceration” and vowed to end “mass incarceration.” Black Lives Matters activists have attacked Hillary for supporting crime policies signed into law by her husband that activists say only made mass incarceration worse.
“The policy mistakes that she and the Clintons made got us in large degree to the situation that we are in today with mass incarceration,” Black Lives Matter co-founder Julius Jones told MSNBC last August.
Hillary Clinton is scheduled to attend several private fundraisers in California today.