Hillary Clinton: I Took $675,000 In Speaking Fees From Wall Street Because I Didn't Know I Would Run For President

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Anderson Cooper presses presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs and asks if it was a mistake. Clinton was paid $675,000 for three speeches to Goldman Sachs, averaging $225,000 a speech.

"You were paid $675,000 for three speeches. Was that a mistake? I mean was that a bad error in judgment?" Cooper asked.

"Look. I made speeches to lots of groups. I told them what I thought. I answered questions," Clinton said Wednesday night at a Democratic forum moderated by CNN.

"But did you have to be paid $675,000?" Cooper pressed the Democratic presidential hopeful.

"Well, I don't know. That's what they offered," Clinton responded.

Attempting to explain away the Wall Street speeches, Clinton said she didn't know whether she was running for president again.

"To be honest I wasn't -- I wasn't committed to running," Clinton said about the circumstances and timing of the speeches. "I didn't know whether I would or not."

"You didn't think you were going to run for president again?" Cooper asked.

"I didn't," Clinton said. "You know when I was secretary of State several times I said you know I think I'm done. And you know, so many people came to me, started talking to me."

Mitt Romney, if you recall, in the 2012 cycle infamously said he fired illegal immigrants who treated his lawn in 2006 because he was running for office.

"I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals. It turns out that once question, they hired someone who had falsified their documents, had documents, and therefore we fired them," Romney said to Gov. Rick Perry at an October 2011 debate in Las Vegas.

When asked if she now regrets taking the money for the speeches she said she does not.

ANDERSON COOPER: One of the things that Sen. Sanders points to and a lot of your critics point to is you made three speeches for Goldman Sachs. You were paid $675,000 for three speeches. Was that a mistake? I mean was that a bad error in judgment?

CLINTON: Look. I made speeches to lots of groups. I told them what I thought. I answered questions.

COOPER: But did you have to be paid $675,000?

CLINTON: Well, I don't know. That's what they offered, so...

(LAUGHER)

You know every secretary of State that I know has done that.

COOPER: But (inaudible) for office they're not running for an office...

CLINTON: Well, I didn't know...

COOPER: ... have known.

CLINTON: To be honest I wasn't -- I wasn't committed to running. I didn't know whether I would or not.

COOPER: You didn't think you were going to run for president again?

CLINTON: I didn't. You know when I was secretary of State several times I said you know I think I'm done. And you know, so many people came to me, started talking to me.

The circumstances, the concerns I had about the Republicans taking back the White House, because I think they wrecked what we achieved in the 1990s with 23 million new jobs and incomes going up for everybody. I did not want to see that happen again. I want to defend President Obama's accomplishments and the progress we've made. I want to go further.

So yes, I was convinced. But you know anybody who knows me who thinks that they can influence me, name anything they've influenced me on. Just name one thing. I'm out here every day saying I'm going to shut them down, I'm going after them. I'm going to jail them if they should be jailed. I'm going to break them up.

I mean they're not giving me very much money now. I can tell you that much.

(LAUGHTER)

Fine with me. I'm proud to have 90 percent of my donations from small donors and 60 percent, the highest ever, from women, which I'm really, really proud of.

(APPLAUSE)

... break them up.

I mean, they're not giving me very much money now. I can tell you that much.

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: Fine with me. I'm proud to have 90 percent of my donations from small donors and 60 percent, the highest ever, from women, which I'm really, really glad about.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: So just to be clear, that's not something you regret, those three speeches, that money?

CLINTON: No, I don't, because, you know, I don't feel that I paid any price for it and I am very clear about what I will do and they're on notice.

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