In a video posted by The Young Turks, former president Bill Clinton can be heard conspiring with current Republican Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan and the GOP to cut Medicare, even as he and Hillary Clinton claim to be looking out for seniors and the working class in their campaign speeches.
The video was posted back in 2011 on the The Young Turks YouTube site, but it shows Bill Clinton and Paul Ryan having a conversation at an event where it’s apparent they were unaware they were being taped and were speaking freely to each other. While it’s difficult to hear part of what Clinton said, as Ryan talks over him, a transcript of what Clinton said indicates he wanted to work with Ryan and the GOP on their Medicare plan.
“I’m glad Democrats won this race in New York, but I hope they don’t use this an excuse to do nothing on Medicare.”
While many will point out that Bill Clinton doesn’t actually say he wants to cut Medicare, at the time of the video, Ryan was the House Budget Committee chairman proposing the 2012 budget, which Time summed up as including “massive cuts to Medicare and redefinition of the program,” including privatization of Medicare so it would be run by companies that would want to turn a profit. While it’s fair to presume both Clintons have the same stance when it comes to Medicare, Hillary’s public policy on the program on her official site seems to be considerably different than what Bill was talking about with the very Republican who was most intent on cutting Medicare and privatizing it, even as Hillary calls for fighting against GOP efforts to change Medicare.
“Fight back against Republican plans to privatize or ‘phase out’ Medicare as we know it. Republicans have called for privatizing or even ‘phasing out’ Medicare, and shifting millions more seniors into private plans that can segment the program and lead to a ‘death spiral’ that dramatically raises costs for those relying on basic Medicare and thus undermining the basic Medicare guarantee. Hillary Clinton will stand strongly against these attempts to weaken the program.”
What may be more disturbing than any comments that indicate a plan to try to cut Medicare is the fact that the Clintons seem interested in forming an alliance with the very party that they claim to be fighting against, while Hillary Clinton accuses rival Bernie Sanders of not being a “true Democrat.”
“He’s a relatively new Democrat. I’m not even sure he is one. He’s running as one. So I don’t know quite how to characterize him. I’ll leave that to him… [I]t’s kind of important if we’re selecting somebody to be the Democratic nominee of the Democratic Party.”
But this video indicates that there may be some truth to critics’ suggestions that Hillary Clinton’s policies and ideology are much closer to the Republican Party than the Democratic Party. Even the multi-billionaire Koch brothers have recently suggested that they might consider voting for Hillary Clinton over a Republican candidate, which is more strong evidence that the Clintons’ private alliances may lean far more right than left in reality, despite what Hillary presents to voters to try to sway them into supporting her.
After saying he might support Clinton over the GOP candidates, Charles Koch was asked point blank if he supported her for this election in an interview reported by CNN.
“We would have to believe her actions would be quite different than her rhetoric. Let me put it that way. But on some of the Republican candidates we would — before we could support them, we’d have to believe their actions will be quite different than the rhetoric we’ve heard so far.”
Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton’s rhetoric being different than her actions is one of the biggest problems Sanders’ supporters have with Clinton, and why many have proclaimed themselves “Bernie or Bust.” Hillary Clinton was opposed to gay marriage until it became politically inconvenient to maintain that stance as a Democrat, and has broken promises in regard to trade deals that send American jobs overseas. Sanders supporter YahNe’ Ndgo called Clinton to the carpet for the gap between what she says and what she does in this CNN segment.
“What Hillary Clinton says in order to win the election doesn’t really have anything to so with what it is she’s going to actually do if she becomes the president. And so, whatever she’s talking about in her platform, I just don’t trust her.”
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]