Hillary Clinton says she will have a 'very specific agenda' if she runs for president in 2016

Ken Thomas / The Associated Press
July 17, 2014 05:18 PM

Hillary Rodham Clinton talks to a supporter while signing copies of her book "Hard Choices", Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Ridgewood, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

WASHINGTON - Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday if she decides to run for the White House in 2016 she will have "a very specific agenda" but acknowledged in an interview that the modern role of U.S. president has "gotten even bigger and more difficult."

Clinton said in an interview with PBS's Charlie Rose that her final decision will be "wholly personal" and does not want to decide until after she becomes a grandmother later this year.

"If I decide to run, I will have a very specific agenda about what I think we should be doing. But right now, we have a big election, midterms 2014, that could determine the control of the Senate," Clinton said. "And I'm not going to, you know, jump the line and start talking about 2016 right now."

Clinton leads Democratic presidential primary polls by wide margins but has not yet decided whether to run for president again. Her comments came as some Democrats have expressed hope that she will begin laying out a more specific vision for how she might lead the country if elected.

The former secretary of state spoke in a wide-ranging interview with Rose airing Thursday and Friday to promote her book, "Hard Choices," about her time at the State Department.

Hours after a Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down, Clinton said European leaders should put more pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin if Russia was involved in the incident. She said there should be "outrage in European capitals" over Russian aggression in the region but ultimately it was up to Europe to take the lead.

Clinton endorsed stepped-up U.S. sanctions against Russia but said they would not "necessarily restrain" Putin or change his calculations.

Turning to domestic issues, Clinton said economic inequality remained a major problem for the nation, and the country faced an "economic crisis and we have a political crisis of our democracy. And I think they are related." She noted the economic strength during the administration of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, which she said pulled millions out of poverty.

But Clinton said that experience helps her understand the demands of the job.

"I have no illusions about how hard a campaign is. But the campaigning, as hard as it is, is the easy part," Clinton said. "Once you get there and you face this full array of problems."

She noted that "operating the United States of America is all in one person. We don't have a monarch, we don't have a president and a prime minister," she said. "So the job has gotten even bigger and more difficult."

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Follow Ken Thomas on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas


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