Bill Clinton will stop giving paid speeches if his wife wins the presidency, the former president said Wednesday while discussing the role he would play if the former first couple returns to the White House.
“No, I don’t think so,” Clinton said when asked if he would stay on the lucrative paid speaking circuit.
Bloomberg’s Betty Liu interviewed Clinton on stage at the Clinton Global Initiative America conference in Denver, a project of the Clinton Foundation.
Bill and HIllary Clinton’s high speaking fees, which can net up to $500,000, have become controversial. Last month, Bill Clinton told NBC News he would continue giving paid speeches for the time being because, “I gotta pay our bills.”
And while he probably wouldn’t accept checks anymore, the potential future first gentleman added that it wouldn’t stop him from speaking publicly. “I will still give speeches, though, on the subjects I’m interested in,” he said. “I've really enjoyed those things.”
The future of Bill Clinton’s involvement with the global charitable foundation he founded remains an open question if his wife is successful in her 2016 presidential bid. "That will not be an easy decision,” he said. The former president said there are no current plans, and said his wife will “have to decide” if he can continue leading the foundation.
The former president has so far taken a backstage role in his wife’s campaign, though he is expected to appear at her official kickoff rally Saturday in New York City. His function in the potential Hillary Clinton White House remains to be seen.
"I’d like to help, but she’s got better judgment than anybody about what the highest and best use of me is,” Bill Clinton said. "I hope that I will be asked to support her main determination, which is to try to give the country a middle class again. And let poor people be able to work into it."
“If there’s one thing she knows more about than anybody on earth, it’s what subject I should be listened to [on] and what subjects I shouldn’t. She knows that,” he added with a laugh.