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Clinton says family was 'dead broke' after White House (w/ video)

WASHINGTON — On the eve of a cross-country book tour seen as her opening gambit in the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton caused a political flap Monday by saying her family was "dead broke" upon leaving the White House in 2001 and "struggled" to pay their mortgages on two homes.

Republicans seized on the comments to argue that the Democrat — now a multimillionaire who charges $200,000 per speech — is out of touch with middle-class Americans. The episode is the latest reminder of the increasingly partisan aura that surrounds the former secretary of state as she gets closer to making a decision about 2016.

To promote her new memoir, Hard Choices, which hits stores today, Clinton is traveling from coast to coast this month giving speeches, signing copies and sitting for network television interviews. The first, on ABC, aired Monday night.

Clinton was asked about reports that she has made about $5 million delivering speeches since she left the State Department last year and Bill Clinton has made more than $100 million since leaving the White House in 2001.

"We came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt," she said. "We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea's education. You know, it was not easy."

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus tweeted, "How out of touch is Hillary Clinton when 'dead broke' = mansions & massive speaking fees?"

FILE - This May 14, 2014, file photo shows former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaking in Washington. Clinton says she feels emboldened to run for president because of Republican criticism of her handling of the deadly 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton says in an interview with ABC News airing June 9 that she remains undecided about another campaign in 2016. But she says the GOP-led Benghazi inquiry is "more of a reason to run" because she considers the multiple investigations into the attacks "minor league ball" for a country of the United States' stature. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) WX111

FILE - This May 14, 2014, file photo shows former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaking in Washington. Clinton says she feels emboldened to run for president because of Republican criticism of her handling of the deadly 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton says in an interview with ABC News airing June 9 that she remains undecided about another campaign in 2016. But she says the GOP-led Benghazi inquiry is "more of a reason to run" because she considers the multiple investigations into the attacks "minor league ball" for a country of the United States' stature. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) WX111

Clinton says family was 'dead broke' after White House (w/ video) 06/09/14 [Last modified: Monday, June 9, 2014 11:34pm]

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