Skip to comments.GOP tries to damage Hillary Clinton in advance of expected 2016 bid (Oh boy)
Posted on 08/06/2013 2:19:01 AM PDT by onyx
Republicans have begun trying to damage Hillary Clintons political image ahead of her expected 2016 White House bid.
The GOP calculates that it needs to make an early start in ramping up public scrutiny of Clinton and that it will be too late if it waits much longer.
The party assumes Clinton will announce a presidential campaign in early 2015 but sees that preparations are well underway and fears that the media have already begun to rally to the Democratic banner.
Its efforts are intended to make sure Clinton does not have the same big head start in 2016 that President Obama enjoyed in 2012. And it is focused on the media, which Republicans fear will rally to Clintons cause in the same way it embraced Obama in 2008.
As an initial step, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Monday pushed back against what he worries is the positive narrative beginning to take shape around Clinton.
He sent letters to the heads of NBC and CNN calling on them to cancel their plans to air a miniseries and a documentary, respectively, that one GOP official called infomercials for Clinton.
Priebus warned that if the networks do not cancel the programming by Aug. 14, he will seek a vote of the RNC to end its partnership with them for the 2016 Republican primary debates.
Their actions to promote Secretary Clinton are disturbing and disappointing, Priebus said in a statement. I hope Americans will question the credibility of these networks and that NBC and CNN will reconsider their partisan actions and cancel these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment.
Conservatives were dismayed by the medias coverage of the 2012 presidential cycle, which focused on the squabbling of the Republican primaries, and treated Obama, in their view, sympathetically. Republican delegates who attended the 2012 convention in Tampa, Florida, were greeted by a billboard sponsored by the conservative Media Research Center, urging them: Dont believe the liberal media!
Your company has expressly stated that your choice to air the miniseries in the near future would avoid concerns of running afoul of equal time election laws, Priebus wrote to Robert Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC Entertainment. This suggests a deliberate attempt at influencing American political opinion in favor of a preferred candidate, not to mention a guilty conscience.
Priebus told Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN Worldwide: Your credibility as a supposedly unbiased news network will most certainly be jeopardized by the decision to show political favoritism and produce an extended commercial for Secretary Clintons nascent campaign.
The networks seemed caught off guard by the sharp criticism.
CNN said the RNC should reserve judgment until it knows more about the Clinton documentary. Should they decide not to participate in debates on CNN, we would find it curious, as limiting their debate participation seems to be the ultimate disservice to voters, CNN said in a statement.
NBC News distanced itself from the Clinton miniseries, which is to star Diane Lane.
NBC News is completely independent of NBC Entertainment and has no involvement in this project, NBC said in a statement.
A Republican official said Priebuss letter highlights GOP concerns the media will give Clinton an edge. Our job is to ensure that the best playing field created for our candidates to compete, said the official.
The Republican official said the letters to CNN and NBC were not intended as an effort to tear down Clinton but acknowledged the party needs to begin chipping away at her popularity.
A spokesman for Clinton did not respond to a request for comment.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday showed Clinton and Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, the two hottest politicians in the country right now.
Republicans have tried to dim Clintons star by linking her to scandal-marred New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. GOP strategists have highlighted ties between Clinton and Weiner, who is married to Huma Abedins, one of Clintons top aides.
In a memo to reporters Friday, a group of GOP communications strategists faulted Clinton for not disavowing Weiner.
Hillary Clinton, has stayed mum about all of it. For someone who has not-so-veiled aspirations to lead her party, shes failed to show any leadership in publicly denouncing Weiners habits or his candidacy, they wrote.
Republicans say they want to ratchet up the scrutiny on Clinton to create fatigue among voters by the time she launches her bid in 2015.
The GOP worries that they wont have the opportunity to get a fair shake with a large majority of the voters to make their case by the time they actually have a Republican presidential nominee, said Ford OConnell, a GOP strategist who worked on Sen. John McCains (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign.
The whole case that Hillarys trying to make that theres something distinct and historic about her candidacy, he added. She wants to make Hillary 2.0 become History 2.0, meaning the first black president followed by the first woman president. The GOP wants to say, Not so fast, he added.
Republicans have sought to keep the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, in the news in an effort to maintain scrutiny on Clinton.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the attack, which happened while Clinton was serving as secretary of State, has emboldened al Qaeda.
They attacked our consulate, they killed an ambassador, a year has passed, and nobody has paid a price, he told CNN Sunday. After Benghazi, these al Qaeda types are really on steroids thinking were weaker and theyre stronger.
Graham predicted earlier this year that Clinton will held partly responsible for the breakdown in security, which resulted in the death of ambassador Chris Stevens.
Benghazi is right at the list of challenges that Secretary Clinton will face. It happened on her watch and there are a great many remaining unanswered questions, said Whit Ayres, a Republican strategist and pollster.
Chris Lehane, a Democratic strategist who worked on Al Gores 2000 presidential campaign, said Republicans are going negative because their party brand is too tarnished to run a positive message.
It reflects the lack of a coherent strategy or an overarching brand for the Republican Party, he said. They dont have a lot that they themselves can talk about that is affirmative or that voters are looking for. So they default to what is a line of attack that presumably works with their own base voters.
He said the lines of attack would have limited traction beyond the GOPs base.
The problem with American politics is this bought and sold notion that Hitlary should need any help with damaging her reputation. Why ANY living soul, let alone MILLIONS, thinks she is qualified in any capacity to lead this country anywhere but toward more disaster IS the problem. The fact that the GOP cannot embrace and promote a smart articulate principled conservative who can navigate around the media and petition the American electorate directly IS the problem. The rest is pure theater. This woman should not even be on a stage on Broadway, let alone the world stage. The voters have read too much National Enquirer to choose a proper leader anymore.
Hillary is a beat-up Pinto. If you want a Ferrari, look elsewhere.
4 years of listening to this woman’s voice....
I say hit her hard and keep hitting while she’s down. Anyone actually seen her in news lately (since she left the State Department?)
She’s probably been to every plastic surgeon and heavy lifting liposuction expert in the country. She’s having massive reconstruction done so she can come out in 6 months looking Presidential. We’ll barely be able to recognize her and we certainly won’t see that long haired monster that showed up at the Benghazi hearings pounding her fist.
Exactly. How this helps the GOPe for the 2016 campaign I have no idea. I seriously think the GOPers are already trying to throw the next election.
Nobody thinks the GOPe would boycott debates
They don’t want a Ferrari, they want a clinton, and they will take a hillary to get bill back.
I heard a report very recently in which Joe Biden said that he is not out of the race for the presidency. Assuming he didn’t mean that is foolish.
Joe Biden is in a great position to covertly initiate operations against Hillary.
Will this nightmare ever end?
For the very reasons you list i welcome the production of the HilLiary movies. They will either be hilarious or obvious lies, or most likely both. Repubs should use them to create the HilLiary fatigue and to ridicule her AND the networks.
The DNC and its Media Minions would NEVER try to damage a potential GOP presidential candidate. NEVER. /s
“Hillary - Your White Obama”
How do you damage a rusted out 1951 Chevy with a blown engine and stripped transmission and not a straight quarter panel on the junker?
A good political poster would be a picture of Hillary surrounded by her acquaintances who have died mysteriously.
The only one who can’t see what she is and what she is responsible for is probably a hermit in Iceland.
Halloween is coming soon. Let everyone with photoshop loose on Hillary. No better time than Halloween. The Witch riding her broom into oblivion should be the theme.
I don’t think she is in good health and I will be surprised to see her run. She looked so haggard and unkempt after four years as SOS. I can’t imagine her surviving the rigors of a long campaign.
My thought is that the Clintons want to stay in the game as long as possible so as to be power brokers.
But I may be wrong.
If Hillary worries the republicans then they should turn out the lights and go home. The only one with more baggage than her is Obama and if they can’t find a better target than that then piss on the fire and call in the dogs.