Hillary Clinton - Position Changes

We are not suggesting that position changes are good or bad. We understand they are important to voters, which is why we have included them. We list the current position as Now X (Pro, Con, or Not Clearly Pro or Con) and the former position as Formerly Y (Pro, Con, or Not Clearly Pro or Con).
Now Con

"We have arrived at a decisive moment. The Cuban people have waited long enough for progress to come. Even many Republicans on Capitol Hill are starting to recognize the urgency of moving forward. It's time for their [Cuba's] leaders to either get on board or get out of the way.

The Cuba embargo needs to go, once and for all. We should replace it with a smarter approach that empowers the Cuban private sector, Cuban civil society, and the Cuban-American community to spur progress and keep pressure on the regime.

Today I am calling on Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell to step up and answer the pleas of the Cuban people. By large majorities, they want a closer relationship with America. They want to buy our goods, read our books, surf our web, and learn from our people. They want to bring their country into the 21st century. That is the road toward democracy and dignity. We should walk it together."
Source: Alex Leary, "Hillary Clinton in Miami: 'The Cuba Embargo Needs to Go, Once and for All,'" www.tampabay.com, July 31, 2015

Formerly Pro

"I believe that before the United States should lift the embargo, Castro should make some good faith show of moving toward ending repression, freeing political prisoners, and some steps toward democratization. As you might recall, there were some hopes a few years back that the United States could begin to move in that direction when, literally out of the blue, the unarmed small airplane was shot down. Despite entreaties from the Pope and others, I have not seen any evidence that Castro is willing to make any changes or concessions. Now I support the Congressional action, as does the administration, to increase food and medicine exports to Cuba, to increase travel between citizens, but I’m not ready to vote to lift the embargo."
Source: Council on Foreign Relations, "Hillary Rodham Clinton (Audio)," www.cfr.org, Oct. 17, 2000

Back to present position
Now Con

"I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the [Trans-Pacific Partnership] agreement, but I'm worried. I'm worried about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement. We've lost American jobs to the manipulation that the countries, in particularly in Asia, have engaged in. I'm worried that the pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more benefits and patients and consumers -- fewer.

I think that there are still a lot of unanswered questions, but for me, it really comes down to those three points that I made...

What I know about it, as of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.”
Source: PBS NewsHour, "Hillary Clinton Says She Does Not Support Trans-Pacific Partnership,” pbs.com, Oct. 7, 2015

Formerly Pro

"So it's fair to say that our economies are entwined, and we need to keep upping our game both bilaterally and with partners across the region through agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. Australia is a critical partner. This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world's total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment."
Source: Hillary Clinton, "Remarks at Techport Australia," state.gov, Nov. 15, 2012

Back to present position
Now Con

"I want the American people to know where I stand. That's why I am making it clear: I am opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

We shouldn't be building a pipeline dedicated to moving North America's dirtiest fuel through our communities - we should be focused on what it will take to make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. For too long, the Keystone XL pipeline has been a distraction from the real challenges facing our energy sector - and the job-creating investments that we should be making to meet them. Building a clean, secure, and affordable North American energy future is bigger than Keystone XL or any other single project. That's what I will focus on as president."
Source: "Why I Oppose Keystone XL," medium.com, Sep. 23, 2015

Formerly Not Clearly Pro or Con

"If [the fate of the Keystone pipeline is] undecided when I become president, I will answer your question. This is President Obama's decision. I'm not going to second-guess him. I'm in a different position than any other candidate. I was there. I put this process together. I oversaw it for four years.

I've been very clear, and have been consistent, that I do not think it appropriate for me to comment on something that I had official responsibilities for until it is completed, and that I might have official responsibilities for again, so that is where I stand."
Source: Anne Gearan, "Clinton Ducks Keystone Question, Says She Will Give an Answer When She's President," July 28, 2015

Back to present position
Now Pro

"I do support the use of medical marijuana, and I think even there we need to do a lot more research so that we know exactly how we're going to help people for whom medical marijuana provides relief. So, I think we're just at the beginning, but I agree completely with the idea that we have got to stop imprisoning people who use marijuana."
Source: CNN/Facebook Democratic Debate, transcript available at washingtonpost.com, Oct. 13, 2015

Formerly Not Clearly Pro or Con

"With respect to medical marijuana, you know I think that we have had a lot of rhetoric and the federal government has been very intent upon trying to prevent states from being able to offer that as an option for people who are in pain. I think we should be doing medical research on this. We ought to find what are the elements that claim to be existing in marijuana that might help people who are suffering from cancer and nausea-related treatments. We ought to find that out. I don't think we should decriminalize it, but we ought to do research into what, if any, medical benefits it has."
Source: Town hall forum at Plymouth State College in Plymouth, NJ, Oct. 11, 2007

Back to present position
Now Con

"As president, Hillary will invest in law enforcement training programs on issues such as implicit bias, use of force, and de-escalation. She will also create national guidelines for use of force, provide federal matching funds to make body cameras available to every police department in America, and support legislation to ban racial profiling by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials."
Source: Hillary for America, "Racial Justice," hillaryclinton.com (accessed May 16, 2016)

Formerly Pro

"[Sam Donaldson:] Let's talk about American life now, though. What happens in the future from the standpoint of the question of security versus relaxation or giving up some of the freedoms that we've enjoyed in this country? How far do we go, for instance, on airline security?

[Hillary Clinton:] Well, I think everyone recognizes we have to tighten security. We have to do whatever it takes to keep our people safe--

[Sam Donaldson:] Including profiling, senator?

[Hillary Clinton:] I think we have to do whatever it takes, Sam. And I believe that, you know, Tuesday [Sept. 11, 2001] changed everything. Tuesday was a day that America has never, ever had to experience. And I hope to heaven that we never have to again. But we are in a war situation, and we're going to have to do things people do in times of war. I just heard your interview with the mayor, and I think he's right to look at examples in history like the Battle of Britain. Many of us have been studying what others did to carry on. And we know that we have to make tradeoffs in convenience, in our freedom of movement, without undercutting or losing our way of life and our values, which I really want to make America special and great. And we can't ever let anyone undermine that."
Source: Sept. 2001 Meet the Press interview, quoted in Daniel Halper, "After 9/11, Hillary Didn't Rule out Profiling as Security-Enhancing Measure," weeklystandard.com, Nov. 15, 2015

Back to present position
Now Con

"[Adam Greenberg:] Would you end all oil, coal, and gas leases on federal lands?

[Hillary Clinton:] I want to impose a moratorium.

[Adam Greenberg:] A moratorium on oil, coal, and gas?...

[Hillary Clinton:] Because there are legal issues you have to go though, you know all of that, but I would support a moratorium.”
Source: 350 Action, "Hillary Clinton Supports a Moratorium on ALL Fossil Fuel Leases on Public Land,” youtube.com, Feb. 5, 2016

Formerly Not Clearly Pro or Con

"[Elaine Colligan:] Will you commit to banning fossil fuel extraction on public lands in this country, which is where 70% of fossil fuels lay underground. Yes or no, will you ban this?

[Hillary Clinton:] The answer is not until we’ve got the alternatives in place, and that may not be a satisfactory answer to you but I think I would have to take the responsible answer. I am 100 percent in favor of accelerating the development of solar, wind, advanced biofuels, energy efficiency, everything we can do. And I would hope that we could get to the point that you made which is looking at the public lands and cutting back over time, phasing out the extraction of fossil fuels. But, I will say this, we still have to run our economy, we still have to turn on the lights, we still have to make sure that businesses operate. So I want to do as much as I can as quickly as I can to make this energy transition. But I could not responsibly say to you that I could automatically stop the source of fossil fuels right away without having a substitute in order to keep the economy going, to keep people employed, to keep the lights on."
Source: C-Span, "Hillary Clinton on Fossil Fuels and Public Lands," c-span.org, July 16, 2015

Back to present position
Now Con

"I did make a mistake [by voting for the Iraq war in 2002] and I admitted that I made a mistake. And in large measure that mistake really arose from the Bush administration’s approach to what they thought they could accomplish in Iraq.

The very explicit appeal that President Bush made before announcing the invasion that getting the vote would be a strong piece of leverage in order to finish the [weapons of mass destruction] inspections… I gave them the vote, in large measure, because I thought that would give us the time and we would find out [about WMDs], short of invasion. Turned out not to be. And I really regret that that’s the way President Bush proceeded.""
Source: CNN, "Democratic Town Hall: Transcript, Video," cnn.com, Feb. 4, 2016

Formerly Pro

"I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. I believe that that was the right vote. I have had many disputes and disagreements with the administration over how that authority has been used, but I stand by the vote to provide the authority because I think it was a necessary step in order to maximize the outcome that did occur in the Security Council with the unanimous vote to send in inspectors. And I also knew that our military forces would be successful."
Source: Hillary Clinton, "Remarks by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton," Council on Foreign Relations website, Dec. 15, 2003

Back to present position