Hillary Clinton talks with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer for her first television interview in conjunction with the release of her new book on Monday, June 9.
Martin H. Simon—ABC / Getty Images
By Dan Kedmey
June 10, 2014

Hillary Clinton offered a notable revision to her family’s financial history on Tuesday, walking back her Monday statement that her family left the White House “dead broke” and adding that they were “obviously blessed.”

Clinton was asked to address a critical backlash to her comments about working through a financial “struggle” by accepting lucrative book deals and speaking fees. The comments struck some critics as out of touch with ordinary Americans.

“Let me just clarify that I fully appreciate how hard life is for so many Americans today,” Clinton said in an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts. “Bill and I were obviously blessed. We worked hard for everything we got in our lives and we continue to work hard, and we’ve been blessed in the last 14 years.”

Asked about her description of financial distress, Clinton did not repeat the words “dead broke.”

“As I recall we were something like $12 million in debt,” Clinton said, before adding, “We have a life experience that is clearly different in very dramatic ways from many Americans, but we also have gone through some of the same challenges as many people have. I worry a lot about people I know personally and people in this country who don’t have the same opportunities that we’ve been given.”

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