On Monday afternoon, Hillary Clinton held her first Facebook Q&A of her campaign, answering questions from voters and journalists on a post on her official Facebook page. Clinton’s responses were signed with an “-H” at the end to signal that Clinton herself had personally written the message, rather than a staffer managing the page.
Clinton’s post received thousands of questions, of which she answered a handful, addressing racial inequality, responding to recent comments from Republican leaders, addressing student loan debt and more. Here are some of the key takeaways from the chat:
1. She addressed the Black Lives Matter questions raised at Netroots Nation. When asked how she would have responded to the Black Lives Matter protesters who interrupted her opponents Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders on Saturday, Clinton responded: “Black lives matter. Everyone in this country should stand firmly behind that. We need to acknowledge some hard truths about race and justice in this country, and one of those hard truths is that that racial inequality is not merely a symptom of economic inequality. Black people across America still experience racism every day. Since this campaign started, I’ve been talking about the work we must do to address the systemic inequities that persist in education, in economic opportunity, in our justice system. But we have to do more than talk - we have to take action. For example - we should make sure every police department in the U.S. has body cameras. We should provide alternatives to incarceration for low-level offenders. We should invest in early childhood education for every child. We should fight for voting rights and universal voter registration. You will continue to hear me talking about these issues throughout this campaign and pushing for real solutions.”
2. She responded to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said of Clinton that “The gender card alone isn’t enough.” When asked what her response to McConnell’s comments would be, Clinton said: “Wow. If that’s what he said, Mitch McConnell really doesn’t get it. There is a gender card being played in this campaign. It’s played every time Republicans vote against giving women equal pay, deny families access to affordable child care or family leave, refuse to let women make decisions about their health or have access to free contraception. These aren’t just women’s issues, they are economic issues that drive growth and affect all Americans. Anyone who doesn’t get that doesn’t understand what our lives are like.”
3. She took shots at Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio on immigration. Commenter Jasmine Perez asked if Clinton would make it easier for undocumented immigrants to have a pathway to citizenship. Clinton responded: “Yes. This is a big difference I have with most of the Republican candidates. Donald Trump in particular is getting a lot of attention for some hateful rhetoric, but Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio actually agree with him on denying a pathway to citizenship and consigning hardworking immigrants to second class status. I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform that includes that pathway to citizenship.”
4. She promised to make the student loan debt crisis a priority from “the first day I become president”.” A commenter who is a student told of chipping away at his student loan debt and asked what Hillary Clinton would do as president to curb the burden that many students are facing. Clinton responded: “I’ll be putting forward specific proposals to refinance debt so it becomes more affordable, encourage more people to use income contingency repayment program so you are paying back as a percentage of what you actually earn, to try to make college more affordable to start with so that students today and tomorrow don’t end up with the amount of debt you and 40 million other Americans currently have. This is one of my biggest economic and educational priorities and I will be addressing it from the first day I become president.”
5. And finally: she’s still making pantsuit jokes a part of her carefully crafted communications strategy. When asked a question about her favorite pantsuit, she responded: “I never met a pantsuit I didn’t like.” Previously, she launched her Instagram account with a photo of red, white, and blue pantsuits and the caption “Hard choices.” She also has “pantsuit aficionado” in her Twitter bio. (We get it, you like pantsuits!)