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MSNBC "Meet the Press" - Transcript: Campaigns' Affects on Candidates

Interview

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ: Oh, I don't think so at all. I think the president has every single day of his presidency to look forward to. I remember when I was the national chair for the Democratic Party under Clinton and the Gore political season going on, and President Clinton was working so hard. And I know because we were out there and we were with the people, and I said to him, "Don't you ever get tired?" Because he'd work till 4:00, 5:00 in the morning campaigning and doing other things. And he said, "Loretta, I'm going to sleep the day after I leave the presidency."

DAVID GREGPRY: Yeah, I don't know if that's--

REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ: And he was just bubbly--

DAVID GREGORY: --President Obama though, right?

REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ: --energized. There was work to be done. And I still think-- when I look at immigration reform, which I believe we will see something happen this year, at least an effort to try to move it forward on the floor, we've got the small things, the debt ceiling that we've got to get passed right now. We've got tax reform. I know that my Michigan colleague, the chair of the Ways and Means, David Camp, is anxious to do this. Baucus is anxious to do this.

(OVERTALK)

DAVID GREGORY: Let me interject--

REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ: --get this done.

DAVID GREGORY: But pure politics here: This is also a chance for him to say, "This is what Democrats are for (you know, income inequality, raising the minimum wage) and we're much different than the Republicans." He's going to be thinking about helping Democrats.

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DAVID GREGORY: How do you react when you hear what Senator Paul said?

REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ: Well, first of all, both Bill and Hillary have been in the public eye for such a long time, I really do believe that that is in the past. Meanwhile, Hillary has proven herself over and over--

DAVID GREGORY: Right. But do you think have an--

REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ: --and over again.

(OVERTALK)
DAVID GREGORY: --Hillary Clinton would have to answer for this?

REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ: No. Look what Hillary did. She was a great senator. I mean, she really was loved by both sides. She worked hard. And she did what a new senator was supposed to do, and she passed a lot of stuff for New York.

Secondly, as a secretary of State, I mean, she brought diplomacy back into the arena. I worked on something called the New Start Treaty. I mean, Hillary was really the one that got that going and got it done at a time when the Russians weren't even allowing us to land our planes in Russia.

DAVID GREGORY: Here's an issue though--

REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ: And Iran sanctions. I mean, that was incredibly important, to get to the point where we are today.

DAVID GREGORY: But--

REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ: She has done a great job. And she's different than her husband. And I think, by the way, her husband is a very positive, in many ways.

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REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ: --disagree with you.

CHUCK TODD: There's a larger-- but here's the thing. I think on the larger challenge, what's going on inside her party, the larger challenge is think about 2016. We're now going to have 24 straight years of political polarization. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, all at some point in their initial presidential campaigns promised that they were the ones that were going to change Washington. They were the ones that were going to get us out of this gridlocked mess.

We're now a generation. So the voters are going to be hungry for this. Are they going to say somebody with the last name of Clinton is the person to break the polarization? I don't know. I mean, look, I've always viewed her candidacy this way: Hillary could be unbeatable; Clinton is a terrible idea for '16. And she has to epitomize both--

(OVERTALK)

MALE VOICE (UNIDENTIFIED): --and she needs to be more Hillary than Clinton. If she's Clinton, she's going to have a harder time winning. If she's Hillary, she's going to be president of the United States.

REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ: Look, Hillary showed in the Senate that she could work with both sides and she could get things done. Hillary showed in the State Department, having gone there when she was in a race against Obama, to go over there and to really suck it up and to get things done. I mean, the American people have seen that. She is very competent, and she's probably the best thing that we have going with respect to someone who can work across the aisle.

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