NEW YORK — Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said Tuesday she is “sorry” for using a private email server, going further than ever before to express remorse for the controversy that has rocked her campaign.
“I’m sorry about that,” Clinton said in an at-times emotional interview on ABC News’ “World News Tonight with David Muir,” acknowledging that she should have used separate accounts for work and personal business. “I take responsibility and I am trying to be as transparent as I possibly can.”
Clinton later issued a slightly different apology in the interview, saying she was “sorry that it has raised all these questions.”
Though Clinton has taken responsibility for her exclusive use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, she told The Associated Press on Monday in Iowa that she doesn’t need to apologize for her nagging email controversy because “what I did was allowed.”
Clinton defended her practices again on ABC, saying that everyone she emailed in the White House and Obama administration knew she used a private account. She also disputed that she ever traded information over email that was marked classified at the time.
The Democratic front-runner got choked up at one point, when speaking of her late mother and how hard it is to campaign “24/7.”
“It’s something that just demands everything — physically, emotionally, spiritually,” she said. “I can have a perfectly fine life not being president.”
It was a moment reminiscent of when she teared up in the days before the New Hampshire primary in 2008, which some outsiders said contributed to her come-from-behind victory in the state.
Clinton also offered praise for potential rival Vice President Joe Biden, who is mulling a 2016 bid.
“I think he could be a good president, there’s no doubt about that,” she said.
Biden’s opening comes as Clinton’s poll numbers have sagged in the wake of the email controversy.
In an interview with MSNBC earlier this month, Clinton apologized for the “confusion” around her exclusive use of a private email server as secretary of state and took responsibility for the controversy, but declined to directly apologize for the email set up.
Clinton’s aides have argued that she didn’t need to apologize, given what she did was allowed by the State Department, but Clinton’s answer on Tuesday seems further than she has gone before.
Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department earlier this year, but the email controversy has not gone away, partly because of a congressional inquiry into the terrorist attacks in Benghazi has also focused on Clinton’s email set up.
David Axelrod, a former top campaign adviser to President Barack Obama, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” Tuesday that Clinton’s evolving answers on the subject have been costly.
“Her answers have evolved over time and have prolonged this story,” said Axelrod, who is a CNN senior political commentator. “She’s trying to bring this thing to an end so she can be heard on other subjects, but she needs a consistent answer.”