Q: There’s a scene in the documentary where protesters are burning an effigy of you over your decision to pursue universal health care in 1993.
A: Really, the arc of women’s lives and the women’s movement and both the advances we’ve made in politics, but also the pushback that we see so clearly today.
Q: After “Hillary” premiered at Sundance, you spoke at the Q&A about the misogyny that women candidates face online, particularly women running for president. Why do you think there’s so much hatred for women who are seeking leadership positions?
A: It’s a great question. I don’t think it’s in any way limited to women trying to run for president. But because of the high visibility of women who try, misogyny that is directed not only to women themselves but to their supporters is so shocking. And I remember in 2016 — look, I have tough skin. I put myself out there. I was the one running. But what was said and done to my supporters, men and women — but predominantly women — who spoke for me or proclaimed their support for me, it was just so vile. And some of the groups, like Pantsuit Nation, they had 4 million members. And people were targeting individual members all over the country, insulting them and threatening them. So I’m seeing the same right now. Some of the organized efforts to undercut, demean, belittle the women who had been running and still are running in this election.
Q: Did you ever go on the internet or Twitter to see what people were saying?
A; No, I never did. A lot of it was manufactured. We now know that a lot of it was amplified by Russian bots. That’s still going on. And I knew that it was not really about me, it was about the threat that a woman running for president posed to certain set beliefs and structures.
Q: There was a lot of online attention about the line in the documentary where you said “nobody likes” Bernie Sanders. But I feel like the context got lost, because you were talking about his time in Washington D.C. and how the press treated you versus him in 2016. Could you clarify that?
A: I think we did that interview about a year and a half ago. I wasn’t thinking about the election by any means. I’ve said I’m going to support the nominee. But I do think it’s important to look at somebody’s record and look at what they’ve gotten done and see whether you agree with that or not.