Hillary Clinton: Bernie Sanders is good for the Democratic Party

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ surprising success in the 2016 Democratic primary is good for the party, Hillary Clinton said Monday morning at a wide-ranging town hall in New Hampshire broadcast by NBC’s “TODAY.”

“I really believe this is great for the Democratic Party,” Clinton said, explaining that it would help energize Democrats and draw a contrast with Republicans. “We want to turn out as many people as possible.”

Clinton, however, refrained from drawing a contrast with her chief rival for the Democratic nomination, who according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll is beating her in New Hampshire and closing the gap in Iowa. “Let me talk about myself and I’ll let Sen. Sanders talk about himself,” she said. “Our real differences are with the Republicans.”

Clinton also slammed the House Select Committee on Benghazi, where she is set to testify later this month, discussed her new gun control plan, ruled out serving as vice president and divulged her favorite alcoholic drink.

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Referencing recent comments made by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Clinton said of the GOP-led Benghazi committee: “They’ve admitted it’s a political, partisan committee for the sole purpose of going after me, not trying to make our diplomats who serve in dangerous areas safer.”

Asked if the committee should be disbanded, as some Democrats have demanded, Clinton said that was up to Congress. “You know, look, I’ve been around this political situation for a long time, but some things are just beyond the pale and I’m happy to go if it still is in operation to testify,” she added. She is scheduled to testify before the committee on October 22.

Clinton, who has seen her poll numbers dip as questions swirl about the private email server she used as secretary of state, again said she regretted the choice. “I am sorry that I made a choice that has resulted in this kind of situation and I have said I made a mistake,” Clinton said before adding: “It is also, as we well know, it is the way the Republicans are trying to bring, as they admit, my poll numbers down.”

Asked why being a woman would make her a better president, Clinton said women have different life experience, making them more sensitive to important issues that often go unaddressed. “Who can be more of an outsider than a woman president?” she added.

And she’s not interested in the No. 2 job. “Hypothetically speaking, would you consider a vice presidential position?” TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie asked Clinton. “Hypothetically speaking, no,” Clinton replied with a laugh.

The former secretary of state also addressed some lighter fare. She revealed that her favorite drink is a vodka martini – “in the James Bond way. You know, shaken.” She said her favorite book is Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov” (it’s an answer she’s given in the past, along with the Bible). And she said she enjoyed appearing on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend with Clinton impersonator Kate McKinnon, who “plays me better than I play me,” Clinton said.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton: Bernie Sanders is good for the Democratic Party