Talk not cheap for Clintons
WASHINGTON (AP) – Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton reported Friday that they earned more than $30 million combined in speaking fees and book royalties since January 2014, putting them firmly within the upper echelon of American earners as the former secretary of state seeks the White House again.
Clinton’s presidential campaign reported the income in a personal financial disclosure report filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Friday night. The report, required of every candidate for the White House, showed the couple amassed more than $25 million in speaking fees and Hillary Clinton earned more than $5 million from her 2014 memoir, Hard Choices.
The earnings put the couple in the top one-tenth of one per cent of all Americans.
While Clinton has begun her second campaign for president by casting herself as a champion for middle-class voters, she’s long drawn criticism from Republicans about the wealth she and Bill Clinton (below) have generated since he left the White House.
That includes their ability to command six-figure fees for delivering speeches to corporations and trade groups, which the report lists in detail.
The finances behind the family’s charitable foundation have also generated scrutiny because of its acceptances of donations from foreign governments.
During last year’s book tour, Clinton told an interviewer her family was “dead broke” when they left the White House, which Republicans said showed a lack of understanding of the needs of typical families.
Liberals have also questioned whether Clinton is too closely tied to Wall Street, pointing to her days representing New York in the U.S. Senate. They are also wary she might not aggressively seek to regulate the nation’s financial industry and serve as an adequate bulwark against economic inequality.
The FEC filings show that the couple earned more than $25 million for more than 100 paid speeches between January 2014 and May 2015. That is an average fee of about $250 000 per speech.
Clinton was paid to speak to financial firms such as Deutsche Bank and Ameriprise Financial, trade groups like the National Automobile Dealers Association and the Advanced Medical Technology Association, and tech companies such as Salesforce.com and Cisco. One of her final paid speeches was delivered in March to eBay, which paid her $315 000, the records show.