Hillary Clinton gave three paid speeches to Goldman Sachs after leaving her job as Secretary of State in 2013. The content of those speeches has never been revealed. There are no video or audio clips of the speeches on You Tube and no written transcripts have been published. According to a story at the Hill, GOP oppo-researchers are trying to change that:
Republican opposition researchers have taken matters into their own hands, aggressively seeking any information about the speeches, including from Goldman employees who were in the room.
Ian Prior, the communications director for the well-funded Republican group American Crossroads, said information about the Goldman Sachs speeches could prove cataclysmic for the Democratic Party.
Finding and releasing the transcripts “would be a heck of a way to outflank Hillary on her left [in a general election] and stop Bernie’s supporters from voting for her,” he said.
Bernie Sanders has refused to attack Clinton over her private email server, but he has brought up the paid speeches to one of Wall Street’s iconic firms repeatedly:
In last month’s CNN debate, you could hear the energy in the room when Clinton was pressed about releasing the transcripts:
But so far GOP operatives looking for transcripts have come up empty. The closest anyone has come has been a few remarks from people who were in attendance and a reference to an unnamed reporter having transcripts. The Hill reports:
In a 2016 Politico story, one attendee recalled that Clinton “was pretty glowing about us” and “sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director” than Sanders, her populist foe in the general election race.
The gossip mill was provided even more fuel by the co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski, who claimed in February that, “I know of a print reporter that has actual transcripts.”
Yet while Republican opposition researchers still occasionally mention Brzezinski’s tip, no story or transcript has materialized.
Could the GOP effectively use these transcripts against Hillary if they were to turn up? I’m not so sure that would work. No doubt the transcripts could have been very helpful to Bernie Sanders who made his entire campaign about taking on Wall Street. Had he been able to take Clinton to task at one of the debates by using her own words against her, that could have been a powerful moment.
But, of course, Sanders won’t be debating Clinton in the general election. Can Donald Trump, of all people, convincingly attack Clinton’s support for Wall Street the way Sanders would have done? Are there former Bernie Bros out there who are concerned about income inequality and money in politics who will suddenly realize the billionaire tycoon is the person they should support? It would be great to see those transcripts leaked before the election but it may be the case that the time when they could have had a major impact on the race has already passed.