On October 22, 2016, Democratic frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. The supposed scandal has already claimed one scalp—just not hers. Would-have-been House Speaker Kevin McCarthy abandoned his campaign for the gavel after providing Clinton and the Democrats with a talking point that exposed the sham that is the entire Republican witch hunt:
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today?”
To be sure, McCarthy’s Kinsley gaffe (the kind in which “a politician tells the truth”) presents a real problem for Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and his laughable claim that “this investigation has never been about her and never will be.” After all, his is the eighth probe into the tragic September 11, 2012 killings of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three
Americans. Like the previous six investigations by the State Department, internal watchdogs and other Congressional panels, the GOP-controlled House Intelligence Committee in late 2014 concluded there had been no stand-down order, no CIA intelligence failure, and no cover-up after the four were murdered in Libya. (For those inconvenient truths, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz called Republican Mike Rogers’ report “full of crap.”) As for Clinton’s use of a personal email server while at the State Department, a decision she acknowledged was a “mistake,” there remains no evidence of wrong-doing, willful or otherwise.
Still, Kevin McCarthy’s sound bite isn’t the only one Hillary Clinton could deploy on her behalf. (That said, she’s deploying it well. Even as the House Republican caucus is imploding over choosing a new leadership team, Team Clinton immediately featured McCarthy’s admission in a new campaign ad.) As it turns out, the Bush administration and its GOP allies relied on a wide array of deceptions, misdirections, and tried and untrue talking points to survive disasters from 9/11, Iraq, and the escape of Osama Bin Laden to its prosecutors purge, illicit domestic surveillance, detainee torture, and email imbroglios of its own.
Here, then, are 15 other GOP talking points Hillary Clinton could use to fend off Trey Gowdy’s House Select Committee on Benghazi. Could use, that is, if she were a Republican.
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