Before she hosts her official Super Tuesday event in Miami tonight, former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton participated in the Tom Joyner Morning Show roundtable with News One’s Roland Martin, Reverend Al Sharpton, CNN’s Don Lemon and Jacque Reid, along with TJMS hosts Tom Joyner, J. Anthony Brown and Sybil Wilkes.
Click the link above to hear the entire interview or read the transcript below:
ROLAND MARTIN, NEWS ONE: Black women launch businesses at a faster rate than any other group in America. Yet in 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported that $23.9 billion dollars in small business loans were handed out and Black folks only got $385 million. We got 8.2% in the last year of Bush, we’ve gotten less than 2% during Barack Obama’s [presidency.] What is your plan to ensure Black people have the capital to start and grow their businesses?
I’ve been talking about this on the campaign trail, because you’re absolutely right. The fastest growing segment of small businesses are African-American women-owned small business and minority small businesses overall. They are forming and they are trying to grow. And young people. Because young people of any background are struggling, because they are not getting the help they need. I’m going to put pressure on traditional lending institutions like banks, to pay more attention to the opportunities posed by small business overall, and in particular, minority small businesses.
I’m going to do what I did when I was a Senator from New York. We’re going to have conferences around the country, helping small businesses understand how they can compete for the federal government’s business. We’re going to have lessons in how you do procurement, so that more small businesses can be on the list and can be participating. Finally, I’m going to do more to encourage more of the new kinds of lending – online and elsewhere to really focus on minority-owned small business, with particular attention to women-owned small business. I want to be a small business president. Two-thirds or more of the jobs in America come from small businesses. So my job is to raise incomes and bring more good jobs [and that] requires us to do more to support small businesses.
REV. AL SHARPTON: The 15 states that face new voting procedures for the first time this year (they were voted on last year but came into effect this year) has seriously been an impediment to a lot of our rights to vote, disproportionately in African-American and Latino communities. It’s a fight that Eric Holder as Attorney General, and then Loretta Lynch, has challenged in several states.
It’s a fight that was also married to the Supreme Court weakening the Voting Rights Act. If elected president, what kind of Attorney General will you appoint that will be committed to voting rights of people that have been disenfranchised, and if you have one or two Supreme Court justice nominees, will you choose someone that is committed to voting rights in a way that is different from this present Court setup?
The answer to that, Rev. Al, is a big resounding ‘Yes’ to both. I’m very proud that Eric Holder has endorsed me – he campaigned for me in South Carolina – because I have the highest regard for him. I think the work that he, and now Attorney General Loretta Lynch, have done to take on the absolutely indefensible efforts to limit the vote, have to be continued. I will do whatever it takes, both with who I’d like to be Attorney General because I think both Attorney Generals Holder and Lynch are pretty good models of what we need, but also working with outside groups to support efforts to make sure people are registered.
I met a 102-year-old woman in Sumter, South Carolina who went to register to vote and they asked her for her birth certificate. And she just looked at me and smiled and said ‘I haven’t seen my birth certificate in 50 years!’ I don’t know what part of democracy these people are afraid of, but we’re going to go right at that. The same with Supreme Court justices; I strongly support President Barack Obama’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court Justice to replace Justice Scalia. I find it absolutely appalling that the Senate has said they refused to even consider it. I’m going to appoint Supreme Court justices, if I have the chance, who care more about a person’s right to vote than billionaire’s right to buy an election. This is going to be a really high priority for me.