White exclusive: Clinton evades Cicilline questions

WPRI-TV's Tim White scored an exclusive (for local TV) interview with Hillary Clinton following her appearance at RIC today. Clinton also talked with Mark Arsenault from the ProJo and someone from CNN.

White tells me that Clinton's local team reached out to him yesterday about the interview, citing his reporting on the flap in which her campaign told Providence Mayor David Cicilline not to attend today's rally. White, having a genetically instilled BS detector, suspects that he was chosen for the special treatment since his employer encompasses two stations, WPRI (Channel 12) and Fox 64. While the decision didn't please WJAR's Bill Rappleye, it marked a coup for White (disclosure: White is a friend, and I'm an unpaid weekly panelist on WPRI/WNAC-TV's Newsmakers).

Anyway, you can watch the five-plus minutes of one-on-one interview footage (second selection, under "Top story videos" on WPRI's Web site.

To me, the most interesting thing is the plastic speak offered by Clinton in response to White's questions about Cicilline. She might be presenting a more feisty persona on the campaign trail, but this stuff is typical evasive boilerplate. The questions below are my paraphrases of the original.

What's your reaction to the mayor reconsidering his support?

Well, Mayor Cicilline is a friend of mine. He has been a longtime supporter whom I value, and I appreciate that support. He and I talked just yesterday. And I know how much he loves and is committed to the city, so I'm looking forward to seeing him sometime in the very near future.

What was the conversation about, and were you able to secure his support?

We just talked on a personal basis. We just talked about our long friendship and our support for one another, and how both of us are committed to doing what we can, he for the city and I for our country. And we hope to be able to work together to make the changes that we know are necessary.

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