Vice President Kamala Harris and former President Bill Clinton on Friday held a webcast discussion about “empowering women and girls,” despite criticism of Clinton’s history of alleged sexual misconduct and predatory behavior.
Harris said it was a “true honor” to join Clinton, 74, for the virtual event hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative.
At one point in the talk, Clinton cryptically endorsed Harris’ advice that people should try to “be present” while living their lives — adding that he believes doing so allows you to “forgive yourself” for misdeeds.
Clinton said, “It’s really good advice. Also, if you’re really present, it gives you the gift of memory as you pass through life. If you’re paying attention at each stage of your life, then you can build on it, you can grow. And you can forgive yourself for your mistakes and keep looking for new answers.”
The 22-minute conversation focused in part on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, but also featured small talk about Harris’ mother, the warming spring weather and the role of vice presidents.
Harris gushed to Clinton, “I know you, during the course of your presidency, but your life work, you have always focused on the issue of poverty and what we must do to lift folks out of poverty.”
The vice president noted that the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act increased a $2,000 annual child tax credit to $3,000, or $3,600 for children under six, which advocates say could sharply reduce poverty.
The event’s billing as a forum on “empowering women and girls” drew sharp criticism from alleged victims of Clinton and his former friend Jeffrey Epstein.
“Is this a f–king joke? This pervert …….. who raped me…is going to talk about empowering women,” tweeted Juanita Broaddrick, who accuses Clinton of raping her in 1978.
“Wow!! She’s asking Clinton how to empower women???” tweeted Virginia Giuffre, an alleged Epstein trafficking victim who says Prince Andrew had sex with her when she was 17.
“Wrong person, what she should be asking him is what the hell was Clinton doing on #Epstein island & private jets 27 TIMES!”
In addition to Broaddrick’s allegation, Paula Jones accused Clinton of sexual harassment in 1991, and two other women, Kathleen Willey and Leslie Millwee, accused him of assault.
Clinton was impeached in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice relating to his affair with Monica Lewinsky, who was 21 when she took a White House internship.
During their conversation, Clinton and Harris also discussed her role as a tie-breaker in the evenly divided Senate.
“You know, when Al Gore was vice president, he did a fabulous job. But he had a wonderful saying. He said, ‘Whenever I vote, we win’,” Clinton told Harris.
Harris replied, “I have adopted that saying. I’ll tell you, the first time I said it, I said, ‘like Al Gore said.’ Then the next time I said it, I said, ‘like someone famous said,’ and then now I just say, ‘Like I always say, when I vote, I win’.”