Bill Clinton says Hillary 'not out of touch' on wealth

DENVER, June 24 Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:34pm EDT

DENVER, June 24 (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said on Tuesday that his wife, Hillary, is "not out of touch," after criticism that she had mishandled media questions about their personal wealth.

Hillary Clinton told ABC News earlier this month that the couple had been "dead broke" after leaving the White House in 2001 and then drew more fire after suggesting to The Guardian last weekend that the Clintons are not "truly well off."

"It is factually true that we were several million dollars in debt," Bill Clinton said Tuesday of the couple's financial situation. He was speaking to NBC News' David Gregory, in an interview that will air on Sunday.

Bill Clinton said his wife, a former secretary of state and likely Democratic presidential contender in 2016, has been working to reduce poverty for as long as he has known her, and that this was reflected in her tenure in the U.S. Senate.

The Clintons are in Denver for a Clinton Global Initiative conference, where Hillary Clinton is slated to announce corporate partnerships that could demonstrate how she uses her proximity to wealth and influence to help underserved communities.

The Clintons' financial situation has become a tricky subject for her possible White House ambitions. Since leaving the State Department in 2013, Hillary Clinton has given a series of speeches that earn her up to $250,000 each.

Bill Clinton also delivers lucrative speeches around the world, and tax returns released in 2007 showed the two had earned $109 million jointly since 2000. The couple owns two homes - one in Washington and one in New York. (Reporting by Gabriel Debenedetti; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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