Hillary Clinton’s wealth is under fire again after new disclosure forms revealed that she and her husband made $30 million since January of last year.
The bulk of that money — in excess of $25 million — came from more than 100 paid speaking engagements Bill and Hillary Clinton gave during the past 16 months, averaging at more than $250,000 per speech. Hillary Clinton also earned more than $5 million in royalties from her 2014 book “Hard Choices,” while Bill Clinton earned at least $45,000 in royalties on his books.
The figures came in personal finance disclosure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission Friday night, the deadline for candidates to file this paperwork with the FEC. The timing, though, has led many to assume Clinton hoped to avoid media scrutiny by releasing the information after most reporters left for the weekend.
On Monday, Clinton will return to Iowa for events aimed at highlighting what she would do to help small businesses if elected president. As Clinton she ramps up her second presidential campaign, the former secretary of state has tried to introduce herself as a champion of the middle class and “everyday Americans,” but her wealth has repeatedly complicated that message.
The filings also revealed, for instance, that the former secretary of state made close to $12 million from 51 speeches, while the former president fetched a slightly higher value on the 53 speeches he gave, for a total of more than $13 million.
Three of Bill Clinton’s speeches abroad made him $500,000 each. And he’s given four paid speeches since his wife declared her presidential bid last month.
Some of Hillary Clinton’s most lucrative speeches were to tech companies, including $300,000-plus speeches to eBay, Qualcomm, and Cisco. Speeches to a biotechnology group and a trade association for car dealers also fetched over $300,000.
The eye-popping figures — which place the Clintons in the top 1% of American earners — immediately became fodder for Republican critics.
“The Clintons’ claim that staggering amounts of income from paid speaking fees that raise ethical questions and potential conflicts of interest is simply to ‘pay our bills’ shows how out-of-touch they’ve truly become,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement.
The former Secretary of State raised hackles last year when she said that she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House. In a recent interview with NBC, Bill Clinton said he gave so many lucrative speeches because “I gotta pay our bills.”
“I spend a couple of hours a day just doing research. People like to hear me speak,” he added.
The Republican super PAC America Rising also knocked Bill Clinton for still accepting an Arkansas State government pension, even as he makes millions in paid gigs.
And Politico noted that the forms do not include speeches the Clintons gave when they donated compensation to the family’s charitable foundation.
Clinton’s allies have pushed back on charges that she is out of touch by saying that she has spent her whole advocating for children and families. And they say she supports policies that will help the middle class, while Republicans support policies that largely benefit the wealthy.
Clinton’s campaign also noted that the former first couple paid a relatively high effective tax rate of 30%, since the vast majority of their income came from wages, not investments.