Clinton: 'They Throw All This Stuff at Me, and I'm Still Standing'

Susan Jones | January 26, 2016 | 6:40am EST
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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts to a remark while being introduced during a campaign event at the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

( - Hillary Clinton, asked by a self-declared, first-time Iowa Caucus-goer why young people don't seem to be enthusiastic about her campaign, said she's used to being attacked by people who say "outlandish things" about her.

Later in Tuesday's CNN-sponsored town hall, Hillary dismissed the Benghazi scandal, saying, "This is only still an issue because the Republicans want to keep it an issue."

And she refused to admit that using a private email server to conduct business as secretary of state was a lapse in judgment: "I'm not willing to say it was an error in judgment because what -- nothing that I did was wrong. It was not -- it was not in any way prohibited."

A young man asked Clinton Tuesday night: "I've heard from quite a few people my age that they think you're dishonest, but I'd like to hear from you on why you feel the enthusiasm isn't there."

Clinton responded, "Well, I think it really depends upon who you're seeing and talking to."

Clinton noted that she'd spent time earlier in the day with ten high school students "who are enthusiastically working for me," and she expressed the hope that other young people will do the same.

"You know, look, I've been around a long time," said the former first lady, former U.S. senator, former (and current) presidential candidate and former Secretary of State.

"People have thrown all kinds of things at me. And you know, I can't keep up with it. I just keep going forward. They fall by the wayside. They come up with these outlandish things. They make these charges. I just keep going forward because there's nothing to it. They throw all this stuff at me, and I'm still standing.

"But if you're new to politics, if it's the first time you really paid attention, you go, 'Oh my gosh, look at all of this.' And you have to say to yourself, why are they throwing all of that?

"Well, I'll tell you why. Because I've been on the front lines of change and progress since I was your age. I have been fighting to give kids and women...and the people who are left out and left behind a chance to make the most out of their own lives. And I've taken on the status quo time and time again.

"I have had many, many millions of dollars spent against me. When I worked on health care back in 1993 and 1994, and I don't know if you were born then. I can't quite tell. But if you'd been around and had been able to pay attention, I was trying to get us to universal health care coverage, working with my husband. Boy, the insurance companies, the drug companies, they spent millions. Not just against the issue, but against me. And I kept going.

"And when we weren't successful, I turned around and said at least we're going to get health care for kids. And we got the Children's Health Insurance Program working with both Democrats and Republicans. And eight million kids have insurance because of that today.

"So you got to keep going. You can't give up. You can never get knocked off course.

"There are very different visions, different values, different forces at work. And you have to have somebody who is a proven, proven fighter. Somebody who has taken them on and won and kept going, and will do that as president. That's why I hope you'll reconsider (your vote)."

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