Clintons push back against Republican critics

Bill and Hillary Clinton are fighting back against critics as if they are waging another campaign, the clearest sign yet that, perhaps, they are.
AP Wire
May 18, 2014

The former secretary of state and her former president husband are defending their records, showing off their health and humor and raising money for fellow Democrats, fresh indications that Hillary Clinton has her eye on running for president in 2016.

The onetime first lady attended her first political event of the year on Thursday, a New York fundraiser for Pennsylvania congressional candidate Marjorie Margolies, who is the mother-in-law of the Clintons' daughter, Chelsea. The former president has been a steady rainmaker for Democrats this year, raising money for candidates from Arkansas to Florida, Kentucky, Michigan and Maryland.

Confronting Republican critics, the Clintons responded with humor and heft to suggestions by Republican strategist Karl Rove that Hillary Clinton may have suffered health problems more serious than she acknowledged after a concussion and hospitalization in late 2012.

The former president mused Wednesday that Rove's doubt-casting on Hillary Clinton's health could be a sign of more attacks to come.

"You can't be too upset about it, it's just the beginning. They'll get better and better at it," Clinton said. "It's just part of the deal." Clinton vouched for his wife's good health.

Rove disputed reports that he suggested Hillary Clinton suffered a brain injury but said her health would be relevant if she runs again in 2016. His comments brought a stinging rebuke from Mrs. Clinton's advisers, the type of response common in a presidential campaign but unusual since Mrs. Clinton left the Obama administration last year.

"They are scared of what she has achieved and what she has to offer," said Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Clinton supporter, said Rove's comments were "an attempt to dissuade Hillary from becoming a candidate" but said the Clinton response should not imply that Hillary Clinton had made any decisions.

"Hillary's people are doing all these things with a hope that she will become a candidate. This is what a candidate should be doing in the early stages, but I don't necessarily think that means she's decided yet," Rendell said.

Republicans have signaled that they will raise the former first lady's health and age — she would turn 69 about a week before the 2016 election — and her record at the State Department, including her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

On Capitol Hill, Republicans offered another reminder Thursday of how they will maintain a steady drumbeat on the Benghazi attacks.

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., renewed a call for a joint select committee, which Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has rejected. They suggested weakness over Clinton's decision to skip a round of Sunday talk shows five days after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack and allow then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to take her place.

"What does that say about Benghazi and her leadership ability?" Graham asked reporters at a news conference.

Clinton is expected to tell her side of the Benghazi story next month, when her new book, "Hard Choices," is released. She has offered a preview in recent speeches, describing her work with Obama to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, lay the foundation for Middle East peace and help Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng.

Bill Clinton, meanwhile, has sought to remind people of his administration's economic record. During a recent Georgetown University speech, he pointed to his creation of nearly 23 million jobs.

More immediately, the Clintons are helping Margolies, a former Pennsylvania congresswoman, leading up to her May 20 primary for a House seat in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Hillary Clinton's event for Margolies was held at the New York home of Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a major donor for her 2008 campaign. Bill Clinton, meanwhile, is appearing in a television ad for Margolies, vouching for her as someone "who will make you proud."

The former president on Tuesday helped rake in $1 million at a Potomac, Md., campaign fundraiser for Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who hopes to succeed outgoing Gov. Martin O'Malley, D-Md. Clinton has appeared at fundraisers for Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Kentucky Democrat challenging Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, and longtime allies like Mike Ross, who is running for Arkansas governor, the office that launched Clinton to the White House.

The former president will headline the Ohio Democratic Party's annual gala on June 13, raising money in one of the nation's premiere presidential battleground states.

That's not to say there isn't some levity in all the speculation. In New York Thursday, Hillary Clinton surprised newswoman Barbara Walters, who was taping her final appearance of "The View." Looking for a scoop, Walters asked Clinton if she was running for president in 2016.

"I am running," smiled Clinton. "Around the park."

Comments

Mystic Michael

Let's face it: Republicans are scared stiff of the prospect of a President Hillary Clinton. So much so that they are desperate to smear her in any way they can - particularly since they have virtually no record of actual constructive accomplishment on which they can run, because they've devoted all of the past five years to nothing but obstruction, nay-saying, foot-dragging - and trying to shut down the government.

You want to know what's really behind the GOP's continual shrieking and screaming about "BEN-GA-ZEE"? There it is: short, sweet and simple. That, plus the renewed ability, under the pretext of some half-baked conspiracy theory, to fleece their flock of naive dittoheads out of millions more dollars.

During the past 20 months since the attack on the US Consulate in Bengazi, there have been 13 Congressional hearings, 50 Administration briefings for members of Congress, and more than 25,000 pages of documents made available. The State Department has already devoted thousands of man-hours to responding to Congressional requests for information, and millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent in pursuit of this partisan witch hunt.

Notwithstanding all of it, not one iota of hard evidence of any Obama Administration / State Department "scandal" has ever been produced. Not a shred. Not a particle. Yet, House Republicans are now preparing to go forward with an EIGHTH Congressional "investigation" into the BEN-GA-ZEE tragedy.

Why? Because they haven't yet received the "answers" to their questions that they wanted to get (even though the answers were accurate). Because it's the closest thing to an actual Obama scandal they've been able to dredge up in more than five years of tireless effort. And because it's about the ONLY potential weapon against Hillary that they've been able to devise thus far.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan allowed 241 Marines to be killed in a suicide car bomb in their barracks in Lebanon - because he refused to take the advice of his Secretary of Defense to get them out of there, and redeploy them to safer quarters. Yet there was never a Congressional investigation. Nothing even close.

In 2003, President George W. Bush took this nation into an unprovoked war of aggression, on false pretenses, against a nation that had not attacked the United States - resulting in thousands of American casualties, and hundred of thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths. During the course of that war, scores if not hundreds of suspected enemy combatants were subjected to state-sponsored torture, either directly or indirectly at the behest of American military & intelligence authorities - in direct, flagrant violation of the Geneva Conventions. Bush & Cheney are documented to have ordered numerous war crimes. Yet there has never been a serious Congressional investigation of either one of them.

Twenty months ago, four US State Department & military people were killed in the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi - and Republicans are shrieking at the tops of their lungs about the Obama Administration having "politicized" their deaths.

Just when it seems that Congressional Republicans could not possibly descend to any greater depths of blatant, craven hypocrisy and sheer chutzpah, they find a way to dig even deeper.

Wingmaster

Please....I hope she runs. I will find it entertaining to watch you lefties become unhinged.

She will not win...run Billary run!

Lanivan

"She will not win...run Billary run!" Your experience during the campaign of 2012, when Karl Rove, Gallup, and Fox News were still predicting a Romney win at 10:00 p.m. the night of the election, when Obama in fact won by 51% - the largest re-election percentage since Eisenhower - should tell you to be very careful with your predictions and boasts of opposition failure.

As for responding to Mystic Michael's comment as a "leftie becoming unhinged": MM's comment is, in fact, a direct, unemotional piece, based on the most pertinent facts drawn from unbiased sources, whereby he supports his premise with out BS or the addition of shiny objects, and is probably the most brilliantly written summation of a comment that readers of the Grand Haven Tribune Online have had the privilege of reading.

Tri-cities realist

Sorry to rain on your parade of "facts" which include "when Obama in fact won by 51% - the largest re-election percentage since Eisenhower".

Apparently you were asleep in 1984, when Reagan won 59% of the popular vote and 525 of 538 electoral college votes.

Beware of "Lani facts"....

Lanivan

Final Tally Shows Obama First Since ’56 to Win 51% Twice

Barack Obama is the first president in more than five decades to win at least 51 percent of the national popular vote twice, according to a revised vote count in New York eight weeks after the Nov. 6 election.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/20...

You seem to pride yourself on nit-picking others' stats (only when they don't jibe with your opinion), when you yourself rarely bother to offer links or statistics, relying on your own biased opinion. Out of respect for the reader, I try to back up my statements as best I can, or I don't make the statement.

Beware of "Tri-cities realist attempts to undermine without justification".

Tri-cities realist

Perhaps you need to choose your words more carefully. I still would like to see your source for this one: " the largest re-election percentage since Eisenhower" since clearly that is NOT a fact. I didn't think it was necessary to show a source for something that is so easily found, so if google isn't working for you, you can find the 1984 election results here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...

I'll admit, I'm a stickler for details, and since you claim to want facts, I thought you would appreciate that. I cite sources for a lot of what I write, and then you denigrate me for hand picking sources, so I guess I can't win with you. But don't worry, I won't be discouraged.

Lanivan

I've used this fact multiple times, providing the appropriate link. It's disconcerting you would have nit-licked this particular part of my comment, consider this as denigrating you, and assuming you can't win with me, and all with such alacrity. The last thing I want is for you to be discouraged about anything, so I guess it's a washout.

Tri-cities realist

Please just admit that "when Obama in fact won by 51% - the largest re-election percentage since Eisenhower" is in fact NOT TRUE, since Reagan won re-election by nearly 59% as was clearly shown in the link I provided.

Admitting you were wrong is the first step...

And to Bloomberg's credit, they did not claim this falsehood, it was you.

Lanivan

Denial. Divide. Delay.

Stats are stats. You conservatives just keep doing it to yourselves. Obamacare was a Republican idea and was promoted heavily by Republicans, and the current edition contains hundreds of Republican amendments. The Earned Tax Credit was a Republican idea, and heavily promoted and supported by Republicans since 1975. The Federal debt increased 186% under Reagan.

These stats do not line up with your carefully and selectively crafted paradigm, so you dismiss them as not true. I wish you well - you will need it.

Tri-cities realist

Denial. Divide. Delay. Yes that does describe your MO.

Shiny object alert Lani!!! Please try to stick to the topic at hand. Please carefully re-read what you wrote, and if you believe it to be true (hint: it is NOT), please provide the source.

"when Obama in fact won by 51% - the largest re-election percentage since Eisenhower"

Yes he did win twice with over 51% of the vote. That is not in question. Had you just stated it that way, there would be no issue. So if you can admit you made a mistake, we can move on, otherwise you will continue to look silly by denying you made a simple mistake.

I wish YOU well!

truthhurts

only reason he was elected twice was because he is Black. If not the NAACP, ALCU, GH diversity club, etc would have cried foul.

Bloomkberg news lol..that must be reliable! Have another hit of soda

Harry Kovaire

The only "Lani fact"
that I know to be true
is when it comes to the last word
it will never be you.

Lanivan

(I was hoping you'd correct that obvious error....)

There once was a poster named Harry,
with others - namely Lanivan - he would parry.

Never sufficiently wary,
(you see, he was no actuary)

Often commits Hara-Kiri.

Tri-cities realist

As usual the original is better than the sequel, good effort though Lani.

Lanivan

I love Harry's effort, have copied it off, and am sure to use it sometime in future. As for your, uh...kind words to me, I am humbled and gratified to the point I was inspired to dedicate this little limerick to you, TCR.

~ An Ode to Tri-cities realist ~

There once was a nit-picker analyst,
who favored conservatives, individuals and capitalists.

Despite his political views,
which when debated often fall through,

Remains a favorite Lanny antagonist.

Back to the Wall

Not even the toadiest boot licking liberal would be stupid enough to vote for that woman, Hillary Clinton!

Lanivan

Just to show how out of touch with reality you are: Hillary Clinton has received the honor of being both the World and US holder of "Most Admired Woman" more times than any other woman - the last twelve years in a row, 18 times total, breaking all records.

And, by the way, just to throw it out there to get you even more riled up: Obama was voted the World's Most Admired Man by 30% of the vote, the last six years. No one comes close, with Nelson Mandela the 2nd most admired at 3% of the vote.

I guess the world is just full of "toady boot licking stupid liberals". What jerks some people are.

Back to the Wall

That was WAY too easy. I never thought it'd be you to prove my point so succinctly. Gotta remember that a solid half of the population is below average intellegence.

Lanivan

Yeah. That's right.

newsblogger

To state that Barack Obama was voted most admired man 7 yrs in a row is not saying much considering George W Bush also held the very same title the same amount of years (2001-2007). You stated: : Obama was voted the World's Most Admired Man by 30% of the vote, the last six years. The reality is Barack Obama won by:
2007 - 5%
2008 - 32%
2009 - 30%
2010 - 22%
2011 - 17%
2012 - 30%
2013 - 16%

Ronald Reagan was voted Most Admired 8 yrs in a row. (1981-1988)

http://www.gallup.com/poll/1678/...

Tri-cities realist

Apparently I'm not the only nit picker here.

And the Gallup poll could be titled "who is the current US President" and it wouldn't change much. How relevant are the results?

Lanivan

Looks like I was successful in riling you bitter conservatives up! If you took a minute to read up on it, the facts are clearly stated - generally, but not always, the president at the time receives the #1 spot.

The point is that the conservative thought - not sure that's the right word for it - but, anyway, that you represent is not a majority opinion in this country. It is extreme, negative, regressive, devoid of problem-solving or solutions, selfish, bitter, myopic, and can't handle the truth.

Anyway, by how much of a margin do you figure Hillary will win?

Harry Kovaire

I predict she will get 110% of the registered voters in Cuyahoga County Ohio and West Palm Beach Florida.

(Unless more are required.)

Lanivan

No worries about that happening....Even though.."Ohio’s Republican secretary of state, Jon Husted—no voting-rights crusader—slammed the “hyperbole” over voter fraud, acknowledging that it’s not widespread", Ohio Republicans are making sure voters don't get a chance to vote.

"One such place the perennial swing state of Ohio, the most important state in the last three presidential elections. As msnbc reported Tuesday, state Republicans are looking to rush through laws that would cut early and absentee voting, end same-day voter registration, and even reduce the number of voting machines on hand.

Together, the laws are a blueprint for longer lines on Election Day. Voting-rights advocates fear a repeat of 2004, when winding lines in predominantly urban areas of the state kept some voters waiting up to 10 hours. Many gave up in frustration." http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/gop-w...

Hey! You gotta win elections somehow, right? Make up stuff, and then pass laws to support the made-up stuff - "Republican Problem-Solving 101".

Harry Kovaire

Ahhhh... I love the smell of an msnbc quote in the morning.

But then, I am partial to Coopersville too.

Lanivan

Somehow, I always suspected this of you.

And I like to stand downwind of the fish-cleaning station. Could this be something in common? NanaNAnanaNAnana (sung to Twilight Zone theme song while furtively rolling eyes).

truthhurts

she was honored by myself for being one of the most brain dead people of 2013,14. She can't even stand up to her husband, how will she stand up for the American people?

skyking007

Republicans are so afraid of Hillary they have to dream up things against Her. She is much better than any of the clowns running for the GOP.

Real estate maven

Who determines the "world's most admired" man or woman and what is the criteria?

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