In her first Sunday show appearance since 2011, Hillary Clinton said the U.S. should be a world leader when it comes to the refugee crisis that has caused political turmoil in Europe.
“We’re facing the worst refugee crisis since World War II, and I think the United States has to do more. And I would like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000, to begin immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in,” Clinton told host John Dickerson on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday.
Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday shared plans to increase the number of refugees from around the world that the U.S. will accept now through 2017. Kerry from Berlin said the U.S. will accept 85,000 refugees next year – up from 70,000 – and the number will grow to 100,000 the following year in 2017.
The Obama administration previously announced the U.S. will accept 10,000 refugees. Several Democratic senators and Clinton’s Democratic rival Martin O’Malley have previously called for raising that number to 65,000.
Turning to politics, Clinton suggested her allies should back off their attacks on other Democratic candidates.
Mentioning Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ name for the first time in months, Clinton said she has “no interest” in running negative ads against her top rival for the Democratic nomination.
Sanders has pledged not to run attack ads, and Dickerson asked Clinton if she would make the same pledge.
“I want this to be about ideas. I know Bernie, I respect his enthusiastic and intense advocacy of his ideas. That’s what I want this campaign to be about,” Clinton replied.
It was the first time Clinton has acknowledged Sanders’ existence publicly by saying his name in months.
Clinton added: “I hope people who support me respect that.”
Sanders recently raised more than $1 million after a super PAC supporting Clinton was revealed to be peddling opposition research attacking Sanders.
Asked if that meant she was pledging not to run negative ads, Clinton replied, “I have no interest in doing that.”
While one pro-Clinton super PAC has been quietly feeding reporters with negative story ideas for months, it’s been rumored that a different pro-Clinton super PAC could run ads attacking Sanders. How much control she has over these outside groups is debatable, though one coordinates directly with her campaign.
As Vice President Joe Biden contemplates a 2016 presidential run, Clinton said her campaign is just waiting to see what he does.
“No, we’re not [doing anything],” Clinton said. “Because this is such a personal decision, and the vice president has to sort this out.”
And at a time when outsider candidates like Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders have climbed to the top of 2016 polls in both parties, Clinton pushed back on notions that she’s an insider.
“I cannot imagine anyone being more of an outsider than the first woman president,” she said. “I know you’re asking, ‘do we want people who have never been elected to anything who have no political experience? Who never made any hard choices in the public arena?’ Voters will have to decide that,” she said.
And finally, Dickerson asked Clinton to define “the real Hillary Clinton” in three words. “I can’t possibly do that! Clinton said laughing. “I mean, look, I am a real person, with all the pluses and minuses that go along with that.”
Additional reporting from the Associated Press