Hillary Clinton draws criticism for comment on Reagans and AIDS; she apologizes | Arkansas Blog

Friday, March 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton draws criticism for comment on Reagans and AIDS; she apologizes

Posted By on Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 2:22 PM

click to enlarge hillaryreagan.jpg

In an interview before
Nancy Reagan's funeral today, Hillary Clinton said President and Mrs. Reagan started a national conversation about AIDS.
"It may be hard for your viewers to remember how difficult it was for people to talk about HIV/AIDS back in the 1980s. And because of both President Reagan and Mrs. Reagan, in particular Mrs. Reagan, we started a national conversation, when before nobody would talk about it, nobody wanted to do anything about it," Clinton said at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
This has caused  blowback on the web because, as the item at Talking Points Memo put it in understated fashion: The Reagans had a "mixed legacy" on AIDS. Some do credit Nancy Reagan with eventually persuading her husband, behind the scenes, to increase funding for research. But ... 

Nancy Reagan reportedly turned down a request from her friend, the actor Rock Hudson, to be transferred to another hospital so he could receive necessary treatment for complications related to AIDS in 1985, according to BuzzFeed. Hudson died less than two months later.

In December 2014, Mother Jones published transcripts of President Reagan's press secretary Larry Speakes joking about AIDS and subsequent research in 1982, 1983, and 1984.
More here from the Guardian, which notes that Reagan was president for five years before he said the word AIDS. People in a position to have had specific dealings with the Reagan administration remember Reagan's refusal to join in the fight. A pity Clinton didn't read this before speaking. Typical were remarks by a San Francisco politician, Tom Ammiano, who lost a partner to AIDS and who angrily retells an anecdote about those who urged his partner not to speak publicly about his illness.

Ammiano, who attended more than 100 funerals in the first 10 years of the epidemic, sees that mindset writ large in Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

“The response of the Reagan administration was very, very slow,” he said. “There’s a very bitter taste that won’t be forgotten.
‘‘All the sugar coating about her death and her funeral and her contributions, all that means nothing when you look at the price people are still paying.”
Gawker put it this way: "Hillary Clinton's Reagan AIDS Revisionism Is Shocking, Insulting, and Utterly Inexplicable"

Vox called it "really weird."

UPDATE: Oops. This came later in the afternoon. From Vox:

After facing strong waves of criticism online for a couple of hours, Clinton apologized, offering the following statement:

While the Reagans were strong advocates for stem cell research and finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease, I misspoke about their record on HIV and AIDS. For that, I'm sorry.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16


Comments are closed.

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Deputy killed, police chief wounded in Sebastian County. Suspect in custody

    40/29 TV reports that two law officers were shot about 7 a.m. today near Hackett in Sebastian County and at mid-afternoon came word that one of them had died. Later in the day a suspect was taken into custody in the shooting.
    • Aug 10, 2016
  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • 'Million-Dollar Thursday': A visit to Sherwood's hot check court

    We take a visit to the weekly hot check court in Sherwood District Court, the subject of a recent civil rights lawsuit filed by ACLU Arkansas and others, who say the system there results in a modern-day debtor's prison
    • Aug 25, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation