At a televised New Hampshire town hall, Hillary Clinton took a hard line against House Republicans investigating the Benghazi terrorist attack calling the Benghazi Select Committee highly politicized. Clinton also pushed back at critics regarding her use of a private server during her tenure as Secretary of State saying she would not have investigated a Republican if the situation was reversed.
Report from The Hill
Hillary Clinton on Monday ripped Republicans for politicizing the Benghazi terror attack and declared herself the front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, displaying some of the fire Democrats believe has so far been lacking from her campaign.
In a nationally televised New Hampshire town hall event broadcast on NBC’s “Today,” Clinton accused Republicans of exploiting the deaths of four Americans in the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, to score political points against her, crowed about her national and early-voting state polling leads and made impassioned liberal arguments for gun control and income equality.
Clinton’s strongest moment came when she was angered by a suggestion from co-anchor Savannah Guthrie that if the roles were reversed, she would investigate a member of the Republican administration for using a personal email account and server.
“I would never have done that,” Clinton shot back. “Look at the situation they chose to exploit to go after me for political reasons, the death of four Americans in Benghazi. I knew [Ambassador Christopher Stevens]. I identified him. I asked him to go there. I asked the president to nominate him.”
Clinton said seven nonpartisan investigations concluded that “I and nobody did anything wrong, but there were changes we could make.”
She seized on a comment made last week by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) linking the House Select Committee on Benghazi with her falling poll numbers as a GOP accomplishment.
“This committee was set up, as they have admitted, for the purpose of making a partisan political issue out of the deaths of four Americans,” Clinton said. “I would never have done that. If I were president and there were Republicans or Democrats thinking about that, I would have done everything to shut it down.”
Clinton will testify in front of the committee later this month in what will be a critical moment for her presidential hopes.
With the possible threat of Joe Biden entering the race and the first Democratic debate coming up next Wednesday, the need for Hillary to start pushing back hard could not be more clear. She’s lagging in some early state polls against Bernie Sanders and the aura of inevitability seems to have vanished, depending on who you ask.
Polling indicates she’s hemorrhaging support over the steady drip of email server stories which continue to surface almost weekly. If there’s ever a time for Hillary to go on offense to try and steady the ship, it must be before the national spotlight is turned on the entire Democratic field next Wednesday on CNN.