Hillary Clinton praised Nancy Reagan during and MSNBC broadcast Friday, specifically citing her “very effective low-key advocacy” to start a national discussion about AIDS.
Because of both President and Mrs. Reagan, in particular Mrs. Reagan, we started a national conversation when before nobody would talk about it, nobody wanted to do anything about it. That too is something that I really appreciate, her very effective, low-key advocacy but it penetrated the public conscience and people began to say, hey, we need to do something about this too.
Immediately after the segment aired social media erupted in criticism. Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign (which endorsed Clinton for President in January) sent out this tweet calling Nancy Reagan “no hero” on HIV/AIDS:
While I respect her advocacy on issues like stem cell & Parkinson's research, Nancy Reagan was, sadly, no hero in the fight against HIV/AIDS
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) March 11, 2016
About two hours after her appearance, Clinton walked back her statement:
Hillary Clinton’s statement on her comments about the Reagans' record on HIV and AIDS: pic.twitter.com/RtIs0zpJfk
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 11, 2016
Nancy Reagan’s funeral took place Friday. She was buried beside President Reagan at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.