A 1996 NPR interview with Hillary Clinton has recently resurfaced, in which the current Democratic front-runner shockingly embraced conservatism and reiterated how proud she was to support a segregationist presidential candidate.
In the interview, Clinton told NPR’s Scott Simon that her political beliefs were “rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with,” and talked about being a “Goldwater girl” in 1964:
SCOTT SIMON: I mean, did you ever back in the ’60s, between when — I believe you were a Goldwater girl —
HILLARY CLINTON: That’s right.
SCOTT SIMON: — and whenever you became politically –
HILLARY CLINTON: That’s right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don’t recognize this new brand of Republicanism that is afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I am very proud that I was a Goldwater girl.
In 1964, when Clinton was 18, she worked on Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign. Goldwater was running for president during the same year that the Civil Rights Act was passed, and advocated repealing the landmark legislation ensconcing the right of people of color, women, religious minorities, and other groups to be free from discrimination.
Promotion of segregation was a platform Goldwater defended all the way to the 1964 Republican National Convention in San Francisco, in which he famously said, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.” In that same speech, Goldwater also said “Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue,” which, ironically, could also be a criticism of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign:
While it’s important to note that Hillary Clinton’s interview with Scott Simon took place in 1996, the fact that she embraced conservative principles and expressed pride at having worked on the Goldwater campaign is a direct contradiction with her 2016 campaign. Clinton has struggled to identify herself as a “progressive who likes to get things done,” which opened her up to criticism from democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.