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GOP tries to damage Hillary Clinton in advance of expected 2016 bid (Oh boy)
The Hill ^ | 08/06/13 05:00 AM ET | By Alexander Bolton

Posted on 08/06/2013 2:19:01 AM PDT by onyx

Republicans have begun trying to damage Hillary Clinton’s 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 Clinton’s 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 media’s 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: “Don’t 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 Clinton’s 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 Priebus’s 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 Clinton’s 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 Abedin’s, one of Clinton’s 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, she’s failed to show any leadership in publicly denouncing Weiner’s 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 won’t 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 O’Connell, a GOP strategist who worked on Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign.

“The whole case that Hillary’s trying to make that there’s 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 we’re weaker and they’re 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 Gore’s 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 don’t 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 GOP’s base.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2016; gopreincepriebus; hillary2016; hillaryclinton; nbccnn




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1 posted on 08/06/2013 2:19:01 AM PDT by onyx
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To: onyx

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.


2 posted on 08/06/2013 2:45:33 AM PDT by ri4dc (Cut your cable. You'll need the extra dough later on. 'This war is lost!' The worst is yet to come.)
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To: onyx; Liz; AT7Saluki

3 posted on 08/06/2013 2:56:01 AM PDT by Libloather (The epitome of civility.)
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To: onyx

Hillary is a beat-up Pinto. If you want a Ferrari, look elsewhere.


4 posted on 08/06/2013 2:57:36 AM PDT by windsorknot (>>>)
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To: onyx
Monica Lewinsky's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife For President!!
5 posted on 08/06/2013 3:03:28 AM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: onyx

4 years of listening to this woman’s voice....


6 posted on 08/06/2013 3:13:36 AM PDT by RginTN
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To: onyx

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.


7 posted on 08/06/2013 3:19:19 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: ri4dc

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


8 posted on 08/06/2013 3:19:58 AM PDT by GeronL
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To: windsorknot

They don’t want a Ferrari, they want a clinton, and they will take a hillary to get bill back.


9 posted on 08/06/2013 3:20:37 AM PDT by MestaMachine (My caps work, You gotta earn them.)
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To: onyx; ri4dc

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.


10 posted on 08/06/2013 4:02:45 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: onyx

Will this nightmare ever end?


11 posted on 08/06/2013 4:15:53 AM PDT by Kent1957
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To: ri4dc

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.


12 posted on 08/06/2013 4:16:00 AM PDT by subterfuge (CBS NBC ABC FOX AP-- all no different than Pravda.)
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To: onyx

The DNC and its Media Minions would NEVER try to damage a potential GOP presidential candidate. NEVER. /s


13 posted on 08/06/2013 4:20:47 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: onyx

“Hillary - Your White Obama”


14 posted on 08/06/2013 4:26:06 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: onyx

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?

LLS


15 posted on 08/06/2013 4:41:05 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: onyx

A good political poster would be a picture of Hillary surrounded by her acquaintances who have died mysteriously.


16 posted on 08/06/2013 4:42:55 AM PDT by ryderann
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To: onyx

The only one who can’t see what she is and what she is responsible for is probably a hermit in Iceland.


17 posted on 08/06/2013 4:48:59 AM PDT by DeWalt
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To: onyx

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.


18 posted on 08/06/2013 4:50:05 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will. They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: onyx

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.


19 posted on 08/06/2013 4:58:09 AM PDT by randita
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To: Gaffer

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.


20 posted on 08/06/2013 4:58:27 AM PDT by DeWalt
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To: randita
I don’t think she is in good health and I will be surprised to see her run.

I'm thinking the same. Look at how W and Obeyme aged during their time in office. I don't think Hillary is up for that and Bill is one crispy cream away from the undertaker himself.

21 posted on 08/06/2013 5:03:21 AM PDT by IamConservative (The soul of my lifes journey is Liberty!)
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To: onyx
GOP tries to damage Hillary Clinton in advance of expected 2016 bid (Oh boy)

WHAT difference??

22 posted on 08/06/2013 5:04:51 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Gaffer
She’s having massive reconstruction done so she can come out in 6 months looking Presidential.

I don't know...

The piano wouldn't have much support then.

23 posted on 08/06/2013 5:06:27 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Kent1957

Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?


24 posted on 08/06/2013 5:08:39 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Elsie

Wow...... literature.

Who’d a thunk it?


25 posted on 08/06/2013 5:14:01 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Travon... Felony assault and battery hate crime)
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To: bert

And it came to pass; too!


26 posted on 08/06/2013 5:37:19 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: onyx

“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.”

IMHO, with the current leadership of the GOP, it’s already way past “too late” to beat Hillary. Might as well get ready for four, no, eight years of her.


27 posted on 08/06/2013 5:57:51 AM PDT by FNU LNU (Nothing runs like a Deere, nothing smells like a john)
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To: onyx

Could the networks also run a movie about the unusually bad and often fatal “luck” that has followed the Clinton’s around for their whole political careers?

Personally, that’s the Clinton movie I would like to see.


28 posted on 08/06/2013 6:01:49 AM PDT by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: onyx

She can’t pass the physical. She’ll throw a blood clot that will go to her lungs or brain and she’ll drop like she’s been pole axed. Too much stress.


29 posted on 08/06/2013 6:03:12 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: onyx

Obviously the Democrats were right last year about the Republican “war on women.” Why else would anyone be opposed to someone who is saintlier than Mother Teresa, more glamorous than Princess Diana, more iconic than Martha Washington, and smarter than a Jaywalking All-Star?


30 posted on 08/06/2013 8:48:00 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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