Hillary Clinton on the Issues

Where the Likely 2016 Presidential Candidate Stands

Hillary Clinton is leading the field of Democrats who are believed to be strongly considering a run for president in the 2016 election.

Related Story: 7 Hillary Clinton Scandals and Controversies

So where does the former U.S. senator from New York and secretary of state under President Barack Obama stand on the most important and controversial issues of the day - issues such as same-sex marriage, climate change, healthcare, the economy and the federal deficit?

Here's a look at what Hillary Clinton has said about those issues.

Same Sex Marriage

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Ramin Talaie/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Clinton's position on same-sex marriage has evolved over time. During her 2008 bid for her party's nomination, she would not support same-sex marriage. But she reversed course and endorsed same-sex marriage in March 2013, saying that "gay rights are human rights."

Key quote on same-sex marriage:

"LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage."

Clinton has said she believes the Earth's temperature is warming because of pollutants released into the atmosphere by man's use of fossil fuels. She has supported cap-and-trade proposals to auction off pollution permits and using the proceeds to invest in green technology.

But while she was secretary of state she also indicated the department was "inclined" to give its seal of approval to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which environmentalists believe would result in an environmental catastrophe and increased pollution leading to global warming.

Key quote on the Keystone XL pipeline:

"We're either going to be dependent on dirty oil from the Gulf or dirty oil from Canada. And until we can get our act together as a country and figure out that clean, renewable energy is in both our economic interests and the interests of our planet, I mean, I don't think it will come as a surprise to anyone how deeply disappointed the President and I are about our inability to get the kind of legislation through the Senate that the United States was seeking."
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During the 2008 Democratic primary, Clinton was asked how she would deploy her husband, former President Bill Clinton if she were to be elected president.

Key quote on her husband:

"Bill Clinton, my dear husband, will be one of the people who will be sent around the world as a roving ambassador to make it very clear to the rest of the world that we're back to a policy of reaching out and working and trying to make friends and allies and stopping the alienation of the rest of the world. There's not a problem we face, from global terrorism to global warming or HIV-AIDS or bird flu or tuberculosis, where we don't need friends and allies.
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Clinton supports universal health care and championed her cause unsuccessfully during her husband's presidency in 1993 and 1994. Clinton has said she still carries scars from her political battle to provide health care for all Americans.

Key quote on health care:

"From my perspective, we have to lower costs, improve quality and cover everybody. What's important and what I learned in the previous effort is you've got to have the political will - a broad coalition of business and labor, doctors, nurses, hospitals, everybody - standing firm when the inevitable attacks come from the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies that don't want to change they system because they make so much money out of it.
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Clinton has repeatedly called for universal health care and lowering the costs of college tuition, raising taxes on wealthy Americans and helping struggling middle-class homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Key quote on helping the middle class by raising taxes on the wealthy:

"One of the issues that I have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner — especially from the elites in every country. It is a fact that the elites in every country are making money. There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries."
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Government Spending

Clinton has raised concerns about the federal deficit and growing national debt during her tenure in President Barack Obama's administration.

Key quote on the national debt:

"It poses a national security threat in two ways: it undermines our capacity to act in our own interest, and it does constrain us where constraint may be undesirable."

Clinton did not blame Obama, however. Instead, she accused his predecessor, Republican President George W. Bush, of running up the debt by launching two wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the same time he successfully pushed through tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest Americans.

Key quote on Bush"

"It is fair to say that we fought two wars without paying for them and we had tax cuts that were not paid for either, and that has been a very deadly combination to fiscal sanity and responsibility."

Gun Control

Clinton has said she supports the right to bear arms as spelled out in the Constitution's Second Amendment. But she has called for limits on who is able to obtain firearms. For example, Clinton has supported tougher laws to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable.

Clinton has said she supports "comprehensive" immigration reform measures that include tougher security along the nation's borders and issuing stiffer penalties on employers who hire immigrants who are in the United States illegally. In 2007, Clinton said she supported the idea of finding immigrants living in American illegally, making them pay back taxes, learn English and then "stand in line to be eligible for legal status in this country."

As a U.S. senator, Clinton supported a 2007 measure that would have granted immigrants living in the United States illegally a path to citizenship and established a new guest worker program. As First Lady, Clinton supported the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which expanded the use of deportation and made it tough to appeal. More »

Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart's controversial employment practices have come under fire over the years. Clinton was asked whether she thought the giant retailer was good or bad for America.

Key quote on Wal-Mart:

"Well, it's a mixed blessing ... because when Wal-Mart started, it brought goods into rural areas, like rural Arkansas, where I was happy to live for 18 years, and gave people a chance to stretch their dollar further. As they grew much bigger, though, they have raised serious questions about the responsibility of corporations and how they need to be a leader when it comes to providing health care and having, you know, safe working conditions and not discriminating on the basis of sex or race or any other category."

Abortion

Clinton supports a woman's right to have an abortion but has said she is personally opposed to the procedure and that it is a "sad, even tragic choice to many, many women." Clinton has repeatedly spoken out against government interfering with the reproductive rights and decisions of women and families, and has she supports the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade.

Key quote on abortion:

"There is no reason why government cannot do more to educate and inform and provide assistance so that the choice guaranteed under our constitution either does not ever have to be exercised or only in very rare circumstances."