CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday she does not need to apologize for using a private e-mail account and server while at the State Department because "what I did was allowed."
In an interview during a Labor Day campaign swing through Iowa, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination also said the lingering questions about her e-mail practices while serving as President Obama's first secretary of state have not damaged her campaign.
"Not at all. It's a distraction, certainly," Clinton said. "But it hasn't in any way affected the plan for our campaign, the efforts we're making to organize here in Iowa and elsewhere in the country. And I still feel very confident about the organization and the message that my campaign is putting out."
Yet even in calling the inquiry into how she used e-mail as the nation's top diplomat a distraction, Clinton played down how it has affected her personally as a candidate. "As the person who has been at the center of it, not very much," Clinton said. "I have worked really hard this summer, sticking to my game plan about how I wanted to sort of reintroduce myself to the American people."
Clinton's efforts to address the e-mail issue comes as independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders exits the summer surging in still-quite-early public opinion polls and drawing massive crowds to his rallies and events.
Last year, Clinton turned over roughly 55,000 pages of e-mails to the State Department that she sent and received using a home-brew e-mail server set up at her home in suburban New York while serving as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. The State Department is reviewing and publicly releasing those e-mails, some showing that Clinton received messages that were later determined to contain classified information, including some that contained material regarding the production and dissemination of U.S. intelligence.
Biden urges tax code change
Hearing chants of "run Joe, run," Vice President Joe Biden marched in Pittsburgh's annual Labor Day parade on Monday as speculation swirled about a potential late entry into the Democratic presidential campaign.
The vice president donned a black-and-gold United Steelworkers union hat and told hundreds of union members that the gap between the wealthy and poor was hurting the nation. "The tax code's not fair. It's simply not fair," he said. "The wealthy aren't paying their fair share. There used to be one America."
Biden is seriously considering a late entry into the 2016 Democratic presidential campaign, which could jumble the Democratic contest.