Goldberg denies urging Clinton to bar Albright, Steinem

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BOSTON – Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, an active supporter of former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, on Tuesday refuted a report that she had suggested two prominent female surrogates ought to be kept off the campaign trail.

Earlier this month, the New York Times posted an item in its New Hampshire primary campaign notebook reporting that Goldberg said, during a conference call with other elected Clinton supporters, that former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem should be “kept away” from Clinton’s campaign after comments they made about young female voters supporting Clinton’s opponent drew widespread criticism.

“That was never said,” Goldberg told the News Service on Tuesday. “I said we need to keep away from statements like that, we need to be persuasive and understanding … That was the only thing I said. I was actually kind of disappointed that it was taken that way.”

The Times cited an anonymous “person briefed on the call” in reporting on Goldberg’s comments.

Albright, the nation’s first female secretary of state and a Clinton surrogate, had said on the campaign trail that, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” apparently in reference to women who support Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is competing against Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“I have been present when Madeleine has said that,” Goldberg said. “It was at a woman’s event and it was older women and I guess it’s a thing that she says. But in the environment of a race, I feel we have to work towards understanding what younger women are thinking about and helping them understand that.”

Steinem, a vocal member of the feminist movement, suggested on a television show that young women who support Sanders do so because, “the boys are with Bernie.”

“I remember when I was 18 years old, I was very idealistic and everything was black and white to me,” the treasurer said. “So it would be like when we would come to elections, my parents would sit us down, they would talk to us and I would listen, but they didn’t tell me what I needed to do.”

As voters prepare to go to the polls on Tuesday, Goldberg said she will be campaigning for Clinton this coming weekend, but will vote early since she will be in Washington, D.C. attending a meeting of the National Association of State Treasurers next week.

On Monday, an Emerson College Polling Society poll of 417 likely Democratic primary voters showed Clinton and Sanders tied with 46 percent of the Bay State vote apiece, with a 4.75 percent margin of error. Goldberg acknowledged that the race in what was once considered staunch “Clinton Country” is likely to be a close one.

“It is neck and neck. Look, this is a competitive Democratic primary, one thing that I’ve been really adamant about when I speak to people is we all have to remember we’re all on the same team,” she said. “So I try to get people to accept the fact that there are two candidates and it’s about the issues and at the end of the day it’s about helping people and our country.”

Because of her breadth of experience, Goldberg said she believes “very strongly that Hillary Clinton will be one of the best presidents that we’ve had in the history of our country.”

Written by Colin A. Young