The former U.S. president sat down with NBC News' David Gregory at a Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in Denver in Tuesday. Gregory asked about Hillary Clinton' s eyebrow-raising comments about her personal wealth.
"You just have to be transparent," Clinton said. "I don't think most Americans resent somebody else doing well. They resent it if they're not getting a fair deal."
"It is factually true that we were several million dollars in debt," Bill said. "Everyone now assumes that what happened in the intervening years was automatic. I am shocked that it happened. I am shocked that people still want me to come give talks. I am grateful."
Hillary later told The Guardian, "We pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we've done it through dint of hard work."
Bill stressed that his wife understood the needs of "ordinary people."
"She advocated and worked, as a senator, for things that were good for ordinary people. And, before that, all her life," he said.
But he also acknowledged that his wife's comments weren't her "most adept."
"You can say, 'Okay, I gotta clean that up,' which she did," he added.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]