Hillary Clinton on Her Campaign, Faith

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CBNNews.com - PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are facing a new opponent. His name is Ralph Nader, and he's running for President.

"I don't know what he's up to other than seeking attention or some other personal motivation," Clinton told CBN News in an interview Sunday. "Or maybe being unwitting about it, he truly is helping the Republicans because clearly that's what his candidacy would mean, and I think it's regrettable."

Click the play button to the right to hear Clinton talk about her faith and how it helped sustain her during her maritial problems.

After speaking to a crowd of more than 5,000 people at the University of Rhode Island Sunday, Sen. Hillary Clinton took about 25 minutes out of her hectic schedule to chat with CBN News' Senior National Correspondent David Brody.

Dressed in a yellow and black suit, she spoke with Brody in a slightly hoarse voice earned from weeks of constant, nonstop campaigning.

"[Nader] claimed he was in it against corporate interest and because he cared about the environment… and he basically deprived America of the greenest president we could've had," Clinton said.

Democrats blame Nader for Al Gore's loss in 2000, which ultimately resulted in President Bush winning the election.

Her criticisms of Nader come at a time when she and Sen. Barack Obama are in a fierce battle for the party's nomination. After losing a string of primaries, Clinton is turning up the heat and engaging in an all out war.

Clinton is at a crucial stage in her campaign. With a little more than a week until the March 4 primaries, Clinton understands that she is in the fight for her political life. And it appears that she is willing to take on that challenge.

Obama Mailers

Clinton has stepped up the rhetoric in recent days, harshly criticizing Obama for a series of mailers that are being distributed to voters attacking her universal health care plan and her stance on NAFTA.

"I was frankly offended," Clinton told CBN News after a woman in Ohio came up to her and gave her two mailers. "One of them I had never seen before the other I had, and it was the same false, misleading discredited attacks on my health care plan that had been sent out in previous states."

At a recent press conference she challenged Obama to defend his actions in a debate.

"The information he's sending out is a contradiction to the speeches he gives," she said. "He says he's for universal heath care and he's not; but, then he attacks my plan, which is universal, in a way that is just false."

Obama Phenomenon

But Clinton's fight against Obama goes deeper than the mailers being sent to voters.

Obama has been pulling crowds as large as 20,000 at some of his rallies. His charisma, charm and message of hope often have people in the audience crying -- literally.

"I think there is a certain phenomenon associated with this candidacy," she said during the CBN interview. "I am really struck by that because it is very much about him and his personality and his presentation."

But she warns that "it dangers or oversimplifies the complexity of the problems we face, the challenges of navigating our country through some difficult uncharted waters. We are a nation at war that seems to be forgotten."

And while it's no surprise that audiences are enchanted by Obama, it may surprise some that the media is taken by him too.

"I think that certainly is the topic of a lot of conversation, probably for good reason," she said. I think it's again a disservice first to the voters in the Democratic primaries, then to voters in general not to hold each of us to a very tough standard because we're trying for the toughest job in the world."

Clinton's Faith Walk

In a recent debate in Austin, Texas, Clinton opened up to the audience and told them that as a youngster she knew she had been "blessed" and "called by" her "faith" to help others.

During her interview with CBN News, Clinton said that her faith helped sustain her during the difficulties in her marriage as well as other low points in her life.

"I have had a strong faith ever since I was a little girl," said the longtime Methodist.

"We look at the roots of our faith," Clinton said. "Our personal relationship with God and obviously through Jesus Christ, which gives us a sense that we're not only saved, but that we're called and that we're given much and much is required."

And much has been required of Clinton. During the late 1990s, her husband's infidelity was on the front page of every newspaper in the country and was the lead story on every newscast in America.

She ended up forgiving former President Bill Clinton and together they worked to repair their marriage.

"I believe that there is a purpose to everything that happens. You may not know it, you may not like it. And it is through that foundation of faith being so firm for me that I was able to sort of work my way to a resolution that was right for me," she said.

"And the prayers of so many sustained me. It wasn't just me off on my own trying to say oh Lord what happens now. It was the surrounding community of believers who would come to see me, who would pray with me, who I knew were praying for me who would send me scripture passages who would send me books by theologians and others."

Clinton said she was well aware of what people were saying during that time. She noted that she relied heavily on her faith, which offered the protection, space and time she needed to make the decision that was right for herself and her family.

"Forgiveness is just a word unless you're really confronted with the necessity of having to exercise it," she said. "And then it is the hardest work you are ever called upon to do."

And while Clinton does not wear her Christianity on her sleeves, she knows it is what sustains her.

"It has informed me, it has saved me, it has chided me, it has challenged me, and I don't know who I would be or where I would be had I not been given those years of tutelage through my faith."

What's Next for Clinton?

Clinton is counting on the March 4 primaries in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island to add a much needed boost to her campaign. She is about 100 delegates behind Obama.

And while many pundits have basically written her off, saying that her staffers have checked out and her candidacy is doomed, Clinton says not so fast.

"We came back in New Hampshire, Nevada, we came back on Super Tuesday, and so it's been a real tight rope walk for us," Clinton said. "But I have a tremendous group of supporters and staff, volunteers in the states who are coming up and I feel very good about where our campaigns are."

Be sure to watch The 700 Club Tuesday, February 26. David Brody will have a full report on his interview with Hillary Clinton. Check your local listings for times.

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CBN News
Robin Mazyck

Robin Mazyck


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