WASHINGTON - Hillary Rodham Clinton's family was "dead broke" and saddled with legal bills when she and her husband left the White House, the former first lady said in an interview that aired Monday.
Republicans immediately seized on the comment and said it demonstrated that Clinton, the Democratic Party's strongest contender for its 2016 presidential nomination, was out of touch.
"We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt," Clinton told ABC News. "We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea's education. You know, it was not easy."
Since leaving the White House, former President Bill Clinton earned a fortune in speaking fees and Hillary Rodham Clinton represented New York in the Senate.
Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate financial disclosure forms, filed for 2000, show assets between $781,000 and almost $1.8 million. The forms allow senators to report assets in broad ranges.
The same form, however, shows the Clintons owed between $2.3 million and $10.6 million in legal fees to four firms. Again, the forms allow senators to report debts in broad ranges.
The Clintons paid off their legal bills by 2004, according to Senate disclosure forms. And by 2009, when Hillary Rodham Clinton was preparing to join President Barack Obama's administration as secretary of state, the Clintons' wealth was somewhere between $10 million and $50 million.
Republicans quickly pounced.
"How out of touch is Hillary Clinton when 'dead broke' (equals) mansions & massive speaking fees?" tweeted Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.
Democrats leveled a similar charge against the GOP's wealthy 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.