• Politics

Read Hillary Clinton’s Q&A at a Journalism Conference

34 minute read

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton spoke at a convention of black and Hispanic journalists in Washington Friday, answering several questions afterward.

NBC News White House correspondent Kirsten Welker and Telemundo national correspondent Lori Montenegro moderated the question and answer portion of the event.

Here’s a transcript of her remarks.

CLINTON: Good morning. I am so pleased to be here, I want to thank you all for the invitation, for the introduction, to everyone associated with NABJ and NAHJ. I want to just mark the moment because you we’re created in this hotel. I don’t know if there are any original founders but if there are could you all stand up and we could give you some recognition.

I am delighted to thank you for the important work you do everyday and now more then ever, we need you to keep holding leaders and candidates accountable. And in the tradition of path-breaking journalists like Ethel Payne and Ruben Salazar, we need you to make sure that America’s front pages, and nightly new casts, and online information reflects the great diversity of our nation.

Someone that I had the privilege of knowing, the late great Bob Maynard, former owner of the Oakland Tribune once said…


And I quote Bob, “It is in seeing ourselves whole that we can begin to see ways of working out our differences of understanding our similarities and becoming a more cohesive nation,” and that is what you do everyday. Helping us to see ourselves as whole — I’m looking forward to our discussion, which I’m sure will cover a wide range of issues.

But I want to take just a few minutes to focus on a challenge that doesn’t get enough attention on the campaign trial, although I’ve been trying, and that is how do we expand economic opportunity for African-Americans and Latinos across America.

And you know very well — it’s been said — that when the economy catches a cold, communities of color get pneumonia.

The great recession hit our whole country hard but the toll was especially difficult for black and Latino families. Black wealth was cut in half, for Latinos it dropped 66 percent. That represented decades even generations of hard work, and during these past 18 months people across our country have described to me how hard it’s been to get back on their feet in an economy that is still not working the way we all want to see it, and barriers of systemic racism makes that even harder.

Now I believe that President Obama does not get the credit he deserves for leading us out of the great recession.


And I like to remind people, he had nothing to do with creating it in the first place.


He came into office in this worst of all financial crises since the Great Depression — was handed to him. And I think if you fairly look at the record, you have to conclude that his leadership saved us from a Great Depression.

CLINTON: So as bad a things became — 9 million jobs lost, 5 million homes lost, $13 trillion in family wealth wiped out — as bad as it was, there’s no telling how far down we would have gone without his leadership.

So we are out of the ditch that we were in and now we’ve got to do even more. We’ve got to build on the progress we’ve made, 15 million new jobs in the last seven and a half years, 20 million people now have health insurance who did not have it before he became president.

So we’ve got to have the will and the plans together to move forward. That’s why I’ve proposed a comprehensive new commitment to African American and Latino communities to make serious, sustained investments to create more good paying jobs. To help families build and rebuild wealth, to support Black and Latino owned small businesses.

For me these aren’t just economic issues, they’re part of a long, continuing struggle for civil rights. Rosa Parks opened up every seat on the bus, now we’ve got to expand economic opportunities so everyone can afford the fare and we have to make sure the bus route reaches every neighborhood and connects families with safe, affordable housing and good jobs.


Sylvia Mendez and Ruby Bridges helped desegregate our schools, now we’ve got to help every family afford the books, computers and internet access that our kids need to learn in the 21st century. And so in my first 100 days as president, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new good paying jobs since World War II. That includes jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small businesses and infrastructure.

If we invest in infrastructure now we will not only create jobs today, we will lay the foundation for the jobs of the future. We’re going to also focus on creating jobs and communities where unemployment remains stubbornly high after generations of underinvestment and neglect. I’m a big fan of Congressman Jim Clyburn’s 10-20-30 plan, steering 10 percent of federal investment to neighborhoods where 20 percent of the population has been living below the poverty line for 30 years.

We need that kind of focused, targeted investment in urban places, rural places, wherever Americans have been left out and left behind. We’re also going to invest $20 billion in creating jobs for young people. There’s a big gap here. The unemployment rate among Latino and African American youth is significantly higher than for Whites. You know it’s hard to write a resume if you have nothing to put on it.

We’re going to help our young people get that first job, so they can get that second job, so they can build a good, solid middle class life that will give them and their families a better future. We’re also going to do more to help Black and Latino entrepreneurs get access to capital so they have a real chance at turning their ideas into thriving businesses.

Now I think that’s not only good for those entrepreneurs, it’s good for their families, their workers and their communities. Additionally, as part of our end to end reform of the criminal justice system, we’re going to help people succeed when they return home from jail or prison. We’re going to ban the box so they can be judged by their skills and talents, not by their pasts.

And we will dedicate $5 billion to provide training and support to returning citizens so they can get a good paying job. And in my first 100 days, I’m going to introduce legislation for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.


That’s not only the right thing to do, every independent analysis shows it will add hundreds of billions of dollars to our economy. It will also keep families together. We need to bring hard working people out of the shadows. America has always been a place where people from around the world work hard and apply their talents to American growth and innovation in pursuit of their own dreams.

So we’re going to do everything we can to get this done.

CLINTON: We need to build an economy and a future that every American can be proud of and be a part of; an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. That will be my mission as president.

These are just some of the highlights of our plan. I hope you will go to my website, hillaryclinton.com, to read the details, including how we are going to pay for everything I have proposed.

And of course, I hope you will compare what I’m proposing to what my opponent is talking about. Now here’s one measure that you could use for that comparison. An independent economist recently calculated that if my agenda for jobs and growth is put into place, our economy would create at least 10.4 million jobs within four years. We actually think it could be more than that.

Now, this economist also ran the numbers on Donald Trump, including his disastrous and inhumane plan to round up and deport millions of hard working immigrants.

The result, according to Mark Zandi, who was the economic advisor to John McCain during his 2008 run for the Presidency. The result of Trump’s plans would be a lengthy recession, with 3.4 million jobs lost.

Now of course, Donald Trump’s problems go far beyond economics. At every turn, he stokes division and resentment. He says horrible things about one group of Americans after another.

He’s hearkening back to the most shameful chapters of our history and appealing to the ugliest impulses of our society. You know the list, you’ve reported on it. He started this campaign by describing Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists.

He re-tweets white nationalists. He says a distinguished Federal judge can’t be trusted because he is of Mexican heritage. He talks about banning Muslims from coming to the United States, a land built on religious freedom. And yes, he also talks about curtailing press freedom as well.

We need to stand up as a country and say that Donald Trump doesn’t represent who we are and what we believe.

That is what my campaign, what Tim Kaine and I and everyone supporting us is doing everyday. And we’re going to keep at it. Because I believe, with all my heart, that America is better than this. America is better than Donald Trump.

We just launched an all Spanish twitter account, because we want to bring as many Americans as possible into this conversation. We’ve opened offices in every state, because we want to compete everywhere.

We want to bring our message and our vision to all corners of our country. But we can’t do it alone. Everyone, Republican, Democrat, and Independent, needs to stand up and speak out.

Now, I think, journalists have a special responsibility to our democracy in a time like this. As Ida B. Wells once said, people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare to the press. Now, many of you are showing the way.

It’s a badge of honor when Jorge Ramos gets thrown out of a press conference for challenging Donald Trump.


Or when another news organization gets banned for reporting what he says. As Jorge said, the best journalism happens when you take a stand, when you denounce injustice. So, I hope you’ll keep calling it, like you see it. Keeping holding all of us accountable.

You know, I have laid out all these plans. And I’m well aware that I have been sometimes made fun of, for putting out these plans about the economy, and education and criminal justice reform and healthcare and gun safety measures and all the rest of it.

But I do have this old fashioned idea, when you run for President you ought to tell the voters of America what you would do as President. So, I am going to keep telling you what I would do, because I want you to hold me accountable, press and citizen alike. Because the stakes are as high as they’ve ever been in our lifetimes. And we all have to do our part.

So, thank you for what you do everyday. Thank you for inviting me to address you today. And I look forward to taking some of your questions. Thank you all very much.


(UNKNOWN): Please welcome moderators, Kristen Welker, White House Correspondent for NBC news, and Lori Montenegro, National Correspondent for Telemundo.


WELKER: Thank you. I really appreciate it. Good afternoon to all of you. What an honor to be here. And, it’s fantastic to see so many people gathered here for this great conversation we’re going to have with Secretary Clinton.

Secretary Clinton, thank you for being here today. We really appreciate it.

Usually I am on the campaign trail with Secretary Clinton and we’re at a very crowded event, so it’s great to be able to have this conversation this afternoon.

MONTENEGRO: Madam Secretary, thank you so much for accompanying us. You know, so many questions, so little time, so I think we should just get right to it.


MONTENEGRO: You alluded to the topic that I want to ask you about. Latinos are very much concerned about the economy. They are concerned about education. They also believe in trustworthiness. I want to start with a topic that, I believe, will result, could, you know, tell the future of it after this election – it’s immigration reform.

Many Latinos are discouraged by the lack of immigration reform. They believe their vote has been taken for granted. We know what your position is. But, what I would like for you to do is to walk us through the steps.


MONTENEGRO: How will you get immigration reform, something that President Obama was not able to do, so that Latinos can believe that something is going to happen, that their vote, again, is not being taken for granted considering that the House, at least the House, will remain under Republican control? CLINTON: It’s a great question, and it’s one that I, obviously, have given much thought to because I am determined that we are going to achieve comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

So, here is how I see it – first of all, we are going to start immediately. I want this to be a clear, high priority for my administration. We will be prepared to introduce legislation as quickly as we can do so.

I am hoping that the outcome of the election, which I am working hard to ensure a victory, will send a clear message to our Republican friends that it’s time for them to quit standing in the way of immigration reform.

If you remember, after the 2012 election, the Republican National Committee did what they called an autopsy of their loss and concluded that they could not continue to deny the importance of immigration reform, and they urged Republicans running for office to get on board. Now, that hasn’t turned out the way that they seemed to have hoped. We have, instead, a Republican nominee who has been virulently anti- immigrant.

But, there’s nothing like winning to change minds. And, I think, number one, we have a good chance of having a Democratic Senate if everybody does what I hope they will do and vote for Democratic candidates for the Senate. I believe we will pick up some seats in the House and at least, if not take it back, narrow the numbers.

If we move in the Senate and then we demand that there be a vote in the House, because I am convinced that if the bipartisan bill that had been achieved in the Senate – remember when Marco Rubio was for it and people worked hard and achieved it?

If it had been allowed to come for a vote in the House, it would have passed. So, I view the political landscape as increasingly favorable to us making this happen. I will also defend the President’s executive actions. I, like you, was disappointed with the Supreme Court decision, but remember what it did, it sent the case back to be tried. It did not determine the case. So, DACA and DAPA are still alive.

Trump has said one of his first acts as President would be to eliminate every executive order that President Obama has signed, including those on immigration issues. So, I will defend DACA and DAPA while I work vigorously for immigration reform.

CLINTON: I have proposed an Office of Immigrant Affairs for the White House so that we are able to answer questions and provide information and help people.

I will take a very hard look at the deportation priorities. My priority are violent criminals, people suspected of any kind of connection to terrorism, not hard working mothers and fathers and people who go to work, help support this economy, pay $12 billion a year into Social Security, so we will take a hard look at that. We will close private detention centers, just like I want to end private prisons. We’re going to close private detention centers.

So, I have a very active agenda and we’re going to be moving on it and I believe – and you know, obviously it depends upon the outcome of this election – which is why it’s so important to register more voters.

My campaign is trying to register 3 million more voters, convince people to turn out, because we’re going to start early and we’re going to be tenacious and absolutely committed to getting a positive result. I think the chances, once we win, will improve dramatically.

MONTENEGRO: Madam Secretary, you spoke about the deportations. President Obama, some call the deporter-in-chief, you have alluded already to your priority will be criminals, but how do you walk balk the deportations? They’re people who are not criminals that are deported daily from this country.

How do you walk back the deportations, comply with the law, and not inherit the title of deporter-in-chief, and at the same time, all these steps to help mobilize the Latino community to the polls, many who still believe that their vote is taken for granted in 2008 and 2012, and then we have the e-mails from WikiLeaks that say that are the loyalty brand of the party?

CLINTON: Well look, I think that the President was committed to immigration reform. It’s one of the reasons we got the bi-partisan bill passed in the Senate. And what we didn’t get though was enough political pressure to turn that bill into a voting issue in the 2010 midterm election.

And here’s one of my frustrations: people turn out to vote for Presidential elections, and then often don’t for midterm elections. So, we lost – we lost a lot of the leverage because we lost the House of Representatives. So, nothing happens easily or quickly in modern politics in America, but here is what I know. As I have said, we are not going to be deporting hard working people and break-up families. I’ve been on record for a year-and-a- half about this and that will be how I direct the Department of Homeland Security to act.

We are going to push on immigration reform and I will need, not only a considerable vote in November, but I will need people across our country to make it clear to their elected representatives that they’re going to be held accountable for how they are going to act on immigration reform.

We put enough organizing and political effort into this, I am optimistic and I believe we can get this done. But it won’t happen simply because we want it. And I can only say that I will give you my very best efforts and I will do everything I can to help elect a Democratic Senate. I’ve already talked to some of my former colleagues in the Senate. This will be fast-tracked. We already know what can pass the Senate because it happened just a few years ago.

And if we then put enough pressure on the House, and do everything we can to really force them to have to take what the Senate passes, I think the outcome will be very different this time. That’s my goal and that’s what I’m going to do every thing I can to achieve.

MONTENEGRO: Thank you Madam Secretary.

WELKER: Madam Secretary, your poll numbers went way up this week, and yet, the e-mail controversy was still in the headlines. So, I wanted to give you the opportunity to respond.

This week you told two separate news organizations that FBI Director James Comey said quote, “My answers were truthful, and that what I said is consistent with what I have told the American people.”

That assertion, as you know, has been debunked by multiple news organizations which point out that Director Comey did say there’s no indication that you lied to the FBI. But he didn’t weigh-in on whether or not you were truthful to the American people.

So my question for you is, are you mischaracterizing Director Comey testimony? And is this not undercutting your efforts to rebuild trust with the American people?

CLINTON: Well Kristin, I appreciate your asking that because I was pointing out in both of those instances that the Director Comey had said that my answers in my FBI interview were truthful. That’s really the bottom line here. And I have said on — during the interview and in many other occasions over the past months, that what I told the FBI — which he said was truthful — is consistent with what I have said publicly.

So I may have short circuited it and for that I — you know, will try to clarify because I think — you know, Chris Wallace and I we’re probably talking past each other be — because of course he could only talk to what I had told the FBI and I appreciated that.

Now I have acknowledged repeatedly that using two e-mail accounts was a mistake I — and I take responsibility for that, but I do think you know, having him say that my answers to the FBI were truthful and then I should quickly add what I said was consistent with what I had said publicly and — and that’s really, sort of in my view, trying to tie both ends together.

WELKER: Is the one inconsistently though that you said you never sent or received classified material, and he did say there were three e-mails, that were marked classified at the time.

Is that an inconsistency?

CLINTON: Well, he — here’s — here’s what — here are the facts behind that as well, you know that I preside I — I sent over 30,000 e-mails to the State Department that were work-related e-mails. Director Comey said that only 3 out of 30,000 had anything resembling classified markers, what does that mean? Well usually, if any of you have ever served in the Government, a classified document has a big heading on the top, which makes very clear what the classification is.

And in questioning Director Comey made the point that the 3 e- mails out of the 30,000 did not have the appropriate markings and it was therefore reasonable to conclude that anyone, including myself, would have not — suspected that they were classified.

And in fact, I think that has been discussed by others who have said two out of those three were later explained by the State Department not to have been, in any way, confidential at the time that they were delivered.

So that leaves the 100 out of 30,000 e-mails that Director Comey testified — contained classified information but again, he acknowledged there were no markings on those 100 e-mails and so what we have here is pretty much what I have been saying throughout this whole year and — and that is that I never sent or received anything that was marked “classified.”

Now if in retrospect, which is what is behind the 100 number, if in retrospect some different agencies said but it should have been — although it wasn’t — it should have been that’s what the debate about — is about. But Director Comey said there was absolutely no intention, on my part, to either ignore or in any way dismiss the importance of those documents because they weren’t marked “classified,” so that would have hard to do and I will go back to where I started.

I regret using one account, I’ve taken responsibility for that but I’m pleased to be able to clarify and explain what I think the bottom line is on this.

WELKER: And just very quickly before we get to our panel, Donald Trump says this whole thing means that you can’t be trusted with National Security, today you are endorsed by former CIA Director Michael Morell who says it’s Trump who can’t be trusted, and he went so far as to indicate that that he’s been termed (ph) by Putin.

Do you agree with that assessment?

CLINTON: Well, I had the great honor of working with Mike Morell, spending a lot of hours with him in the situation room in the White House. He is a consummate professional who has devoted his entire professional career to protecting our country.

I was honored to receive his endorsement, I will let his comments speak for themselves but I — I really appreciated his explaining as he did in his op-ed — some of what’s at stake in this election.

MONTENEGRO: Thank you Madam Secretary. I believe we have a question from one of our panelists in the previous – could you stand up please?

QUESTION: My question is, you’ve accused Donald Trump of using racist and sexist language. What does it say about the electorate that so many Americans are supporting him?

CLINTON: Well, I — I really — I really believe that the core of his support — I’m not going to speak for everyone who supports him because I think there have been some quite distressing statements coming out of his rallies and his supporters and who has aligned themselves with him — but I think the core of his support really centers on the disappointment in the economy that so many Americans feel.

And what I have been saying is, you know, I’m going to bring this country together. I think we have three overarching goals: we need more economic opportunity, we need to protect our national security, and we have got to work toward American unity.

So I have been trying to understand what it is that has driven people to support Trump and I’ve met with some people, I have listened to them.

And so many of them are looking for an explanation as to why they lost the job they had for 18 years when the factory closed and nobody cared about them; what they’re going to do when their whole life was spent mining coal and they made $80 thousand a year; now they can barely find a job making minimum wage; why the centers of so many old industrial towns in America are hollowed out and people are turning to opiates and heroin, and the list goes on. And that’s what I’ve heard.

So, I think, we have to recognize that of course, some of the appeal is xenophobic and racist and misogynistic and offensive — we have to acknowledge that. But let’s not lose sight of the real pain that many Americans are feeling because the economy has left them behind.

So I have said — I said it again in my acceptance speech last Thursday, I want to be the president for all Americans. I want to lift up and give everybody a chance to pursue their dreams. And that means people who are supporting him.

When I went to West Virginia, I knew that I was not gonna win West Virginia, I can tell you that. And I was in a meeting with a group of folks, including a coal miner who was incredibly emotional and talking to me. And outside there was a big Trump protest going on, and one of the people at the protest, for goodness sakes, was Blankenship who had just been convicted of reckless indifference toward the wellbeing of his coal miners — causing deaths.

So clearly the lines are pretty stark. But I have said, you know, I’ve got a plan for coal country, I’ve got a plan for Indian country, I’ve got a plan for inner cities, I’ve got a plan for rural communities. It’s one of the reasons, as I said in my remarks, that I support Jim Clyburn’s 10-20-30 proposal, which would help all kinds of communities in America. Jim and I have talked about this.

So we have to reject and stand up against the appeals to the kind of bigotry and the use of bluster and bullying that we see coming from Trump’s campaign, but let’s not forget the real economic challenges that too many Americans of all backgrounds are facing today.

So that’s how I think about it and that’s how I’m going to try in this campaign to respond to and rebuke all of the horrible things he says on a pretty regular basis — but not about me, I could care less about that.

CLINTON: But when he goes after individuals; when he accuses a distinguished federal judge of Mexican heritage of not being fair, when he insults a gold star family of a Muslim American who served in the military — you know the list. I will stand up and call him out on that.

But I will also keep reaching out to Americans of all races and ethnicities and where ever they live to tell them that I am not going to forget about them after this election.

I’m going work my heart out to help every single person have a better job with a rising income, and make sure their kids get a good education, and everything else that I think they’re owed here in America.

MONTENEGRO: Great, wonderful. And I think we have another question from our panel.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, Ed O’Keefe for the Washington Post. Thank you for being here. And I think on behalf of all of us, we encourage you to do this more often with reporters across the country.


Especially those news organizations that travel the country with you everywhere you go. A majority of voters consistently say frankly they don’t like you and they don’t trust you. And they say pretty much the same thing about Donald Trump.

Either you or Mr. Trump will be elected president. How would you lead a nation where a majority of Americans mistrust you? And what extra responsibility might you have to show that you’re up to the task?

CLINTON: Well let me start by saying every time I have done a job, people have counted on me and trusted me.

And at the convention last week we highlighted the fights of my life, starting as a lawyer for the Children’s Defense Fund, taking on the problem of juveniles in adult jails in South Carolina, segregated academies so-called in Alabama, fighting for kids with disabilities to get an education, and all the way through the work I did as senator after 9/11, and representing all of you as secretary of state.

So there is – I – and I – I take this seriously. Don’t, you know, don’t doubt that. I take it seriously. You know, it doesn’t make me feel good when people say those things. And I recognize that I have work to do. But when I started running for the Senate in New York, a lot of the same things were said.

I won. I worked hard for the people of New York. And I was reelected with 67 percent of the vote after I demonstrated that I would be on their side, I would fight for the people I represented.

I ran a really hard campaign against Barack Obama, as I think everybody remembers. It got a little contentious from time to time. And to my surprise, he turns around, asks me to be secretary of state because he trusted me.

And then I served as secretary of state. And when I left, I had a 66 percent approval rating. So, ask yourselves…


…were 67 percent of the people in New York wrong? Were 66 percent of the American public wrong? Or maybe, just maybe, when I’m actually running for a job, there is a real benefit to those on the other side in trying to stir up as much concern as possible.

So, I take it seriously. And I’m going to work my heart out in this campaign and as president to produce results for people, to get the economy to work for everybody, not just those at the top, to do as much as I can to help people who, as I said earlier, may not even vote for me. Because I think our country is at a crossroads election.

President Obama said it extremely well both in what his speech discussed in the convention, what his press conferences since have pointed out. This is a crossroads election. There is so much at stake.

You can look at my record of public service. You can meet people and families who were benefited by the Children’s Health Insurance Program. You can meet people who were benefited by reforming the foster care and adoption system.

You can meet first responders and survivors from 9/11 who were benefited because I went to bat for them. You can meet National Guards members and their families who didn’t have health care unless they were deployed before I worked with Republicans to fix that. You can go down a long list, and we’d be happy to provide it to you, of what I have done because I believe in public service.

And I am proud that I’ve had the great, great opportunity to work on behalf of giving more people a better life ever since I was right out of law school. So I’m just going to get up every day and make my case.

And I think there’ll be an opportunity for a lot of people to actually hear it.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary?


QUESTION: Kevin Merida. I’m editor-in-chief of The Undefeated at ESPN. What is the most meaningful conversation you’ve had with an African-American friend?

CLINTON: Oh my gosh. Well, could I tell you that I am blessed to have a – a crew of great friends and I’ve had two chiefs of staff who were my African-American women friends, Maggie Williams and Cheryl Mills.

I have been blessed to have people by my side in politics like Minyon Moore who is one of the leaders of my campaign. I’ve had a great group of young people who I have been really motivated by and, frankly, learned from.

So I really have had a lifetime of friendship going back to my college years when one of my best friends was an African-American student, so I can’t compress into one conversation — they’ve supported me, they’ve chastised me, they’ve raised issues with me, they’ve tried to expand my musical tastes.

So we’ve had — we’ve had a lot of — we’ve had a lot of great, great times because of our friendships, so I can’t really pick one conversation out of, you know, 50 years of conversation and I don’t want to embarrass my friends.

Peggy Lewis is here, she just became the Dean of Communications at Trinity Washington and I want to congratulate her. Donna Brazile is here, she’s our acting chair of the DNC.

So I — I guess I’ll leave it at that. I think I’m going to – I’m going to respect the code of friendship silence but please know I’ve got a lot of great friends who have given me so much more.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, there’s such little time and there’s lots of questions and you’re signaling us to — but I would be remiss. We’re in a room full of Latino journalists and I have to ask you and give you an opportunity to respond and set the record clear.

Does the Democratic Party, does your campaign, take Latino voters seriously, or are you taking them for granted that they will automatically vote Democrat? CLINTON: Well, I take them seriously, because I’ve had the great privilege of working for many years with Latino leaders, activists, business men and women.

You know, just as I responded to the question, my first experience working on behalf of Latinos was — well, actually, even before I was a legal services lawyer, through my church, I babysat Latino kids on Saturdays while their parents and older siblings went to the fields outside of my home in Chicago, which used to be — hard to believe now, miles of farmland.

It was my first real lesson in how much more we all have in common. There I was, 11 or 12 years old, babysitting these little kids and at the end of the day the old ramshackle bus stopped at the end of the road and the parents and the older brothers and sisters got out and these little kids just broke loose and started running down that road with their arms outstretched calling for their mothers and their fathers and getting swept up in very tired arms.

And then, when I was a little bit older, my church arranged exchanges with Latino churches. We would go into the city of Chicago, sit in church basements, talk about our lives and, again, it reinforced what, to me, was so much of a common sense of, you know, what we wanted in our lives even though their lives and mine were very different.

And as a legal services lawyer – as the chair of the legal services corporation, we expanded legal services into places against a lot of political opposition.

CLINTON: So, I feel very fortunate that I’ve had the chance to work with, and learn from, so many Latinas and Latinos across America. When I ran for the senate, I worked closely with our elected representatives, both at the city, state, and national level.

I was honored that they rallied around to support me and were part of the great victory that we had in the primary in New York.

So no, I don’t take any voter for granted. And I particularly don’t take any voter who is placing their trust and confidence in me for granted. Because I am going to get up, as I said, every single day and work my heart out to get the results that I have told you, we’re going to achieve together.

And I know it’s hard. I’ve been around as you all know, very well. I’m not new to this. It doesn’t happen by hoping it happens, or wishing it happens. It happens by doing everything you possibly can and I am blessed to have such close working relationships and friendships with Latino leaders.

Tonight, at my house, we will be having a big event with Latino business leaders, coming from around America. And so, I’m going to do what I’ve always done.

You see, I think at the core of political leadership is relationship. You’ve got to build relationships with individuals and communities. I know that doesn’t happen by just asking for it. It happens because you work hard to achieve it.

So I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that any Latino voter who votes for me, knows that I’m going to be doing my best to deliver on everything that I’ve said.

And I will tell you as we go along, what the challenges are, because I may need to ask your help. I may need you to put pressure on elected officials. I may need you to flood the internet, or flood the old fashioned mailbox of elected representatives.

So they know people are watching. But that’s how we’re going to get it done. And I’m actually pretty confident and optimistic about that. So I hope that people will take this election seriously, because I sure take you seriously. And together I think we can create the kind of future that everyone of our kids and grandkids deserves.

Thank you all very much.

WELKER: Secretary Clinton, we are out of time. We want to thank you very much. Everyone please, give a big round of applause for Secretary Clinton for coming and answering our questions. We really appreciate it, and (inaudible) your time. Thank you very much.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com