Republicans urged to be 'respectful' of Clinton in hearing
January 23rd, 2013
08:12 AM ET
2 years ago

Republicans urged to be 'respectful' of Clinton in hearing

(CNN) - House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-California, met with Republicans on the committee and urged them to be respectful of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a GOP member of the Committee tells CNN.

Clinton will testify Wednesday before the committee on the U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya in September that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador. She testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier in the day, where she gave her own statement and took questions in the two-and-a-half-hour hearing.

While most lawmakers on both sides of the aisle genuinely do respect Clinton and don't have to be told, there was concern some new House members may try to be combative in order to make an early name for themselves.

Clinton was originally scheduled to testify last month but postponed her appearance as she was treated for illness, a concussion and a blood clot near her brain. The country's top diplomat returned to work just over two weeks ago.

In her Senate testimony earlier Wednesday, most senators praised Clinton for her service over the last four years before they asked their questions. Only a few Republicans delivered somewhat blistering comments to the secretary of state. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said if he had been president, he would have fired her for not reading certain cables about security in Libya.

Clinton mostly maintained a straight-forward tone, though she grew emotional at times when talking about the victims' families. And at one point, Clinton shouted in response to repeated questions from Republican Sen. Ron Johnson about the talking points released after the attack.


VIDEO: Clinton to face broader questions at Benghazi hearing

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Clinton is "going to get some very hard questions" on the State Department's role in handling security for diplomatic security in Libya before the attack, as well as what Clinton was doing the night of the violence.

"We had an ambassador missing for something like seven hours with no assets brought in" for a response, he said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

Asked if her positive reputation in Washington may hinder some lawmakers from grilling the secretary, Chaffetz agreed that she's "held in high esteem" but said she'll still face tough questions.

"Yeah we have a great deal of respect of her, but these are the questions," he said. "My concern is moving forward that we didn't actually solve these problems and that's the deep concern and question for the secretary."

An independent report from the Accountability Review Board ordered by the State Department said it did not find "that any individual U.S. Government employee engaged in misconduct or willfully ignored his or her responsibilities" leading up to the attack. However, one State Department official resigned and three others were placed on administrative leave after the report was released in December.

Two months earlier, as President Barack Obama faced scrutiny over the Libya attack, Clinton said the buck stops at her desk, not his.

"I take responsibility. I'm in charge of the State Department," Clinton told CNN's Elise Labott in October. It was a statement Clinton repeated several times in her Senate testimony.


Filed under: Congress • Hillary Clinton • Libya • State Department
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    The right wing has never called Hillary Clinton a marxist, a king, an illegal immigrant, nor any of the other nasty things that they've called Pres. Obama. Why should they start calling Hillary Clinton names?

    January 23, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F

    That won't happen, after all, Hillary is a woman, and republicans are not much into respect for anyone.

    January 23, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Respect and republican do not belong in the same sentence together. If republicans have to be told to be respectful, it just goes to show you their true nature. You'll have some teatard trying to make a name for themselves until they get put in their place and get reminded that not only is she the Secretary of State, but she is the former FLOTUS. Tread lightly or face the guillotine.

    January 23, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  4. bassman

    Sadly, the Republicans are forced to ask her the tough questions our media never did.

    January 23, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Why should they be respectful of someone who blatantly lied to the American people?

    January 23, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  6. Wake up People!

    Respectful republicans?? What an oxymoron. The only thing that will satisfy these people is if Sec. Clinton were to say Obama led the terrorist attack himself. Now THAT would satisfy them, anything else and they would just continue calling her a liar. I am willing to bet my life that even after she testifies and the charges deemed unfounded, they still won't shut up. What a pathetic group.

    January 23, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Many of the Republicans didn't treat Eric Holder with any respect. Scorn and disdain were on full display for the AG,

    January 23, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    like you should have to be urged to be respectful. When is the "you lie" comment gonna be blurted out as a sign of total disrespect?

    January 23, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  9. Randy

    Respect is something you earn

    January 23, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  10. Disgusted

    I'm sure Bill has coached her well on how to avoid answering any questions. He probably said" Make sure you know what the definition of 'is' is before you answer anything.

    January 23, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  11. Pete

    Darrell Issa was the silent partner who's committes cut the defense funds thus cutting security for these embassies,they had embassies hire locals and train them for security..Quit the witchhunt Issa you did the same spending millions but getting nowhere with the Fast,Furious political witchhunt against EricHolder and look what it got him,nowhere..Issa and republicans are scared Hillary is going to run for the presidency in 2016 and they know republicans don't have a chance but think this will frame her as irresponsible but what's funny its ignorent, arrogent republicans who'll forget by election time and ultimitly vote for her because no matter what is said at the investigations all will be for nothing ,just money irresponsibly spent...Just another in a long line in republican debacles,its pathedic that by now they'd learn better from their mistakes but they're republicans,out of smarts,out of touch!!

    January 23, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  12. plain&simple

    It will be interesting to see some newbie try and make a name for themselves against this lifelong political veteran. What that would show is a very large lack of judgement.....and the name wouldn't be one their momma would like!!!! So let's hope one tries.

    January 23, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. Don

    Respect is not in the GOP vocabulary.

    January 23, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  14. rs

    Yup, sign of the times. Republicans have to be reminded to act like adults. Meanwhile they wonder why their approval rating hovers at 9%.

    January 23, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Being respectful from some Republicans is unlikely. I believe that many are but aren't heard from because they don't make the wild accusations.

    January 23, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  16. Mark in Seattle

    Don't count on it.

    January 23, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. ED FL

    Typical GOP method , pick on and try to blame Appointed positions for the failures of the Committees that should try to find /blame errors of the working stiffs that are not given the funds or support from the so called BIG shots that love to pick on women. Looks like Hillary is more than holding her own but is showing up the HATE MONGERING GOP that are trying to make headway by attempting to blame her for situations that occured by the GOP government that are the real villians.

    January 23, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Secretary Clinton should receive tough questions from both sides of the aisle. What she doesn't deserve is disrespect and rudeness from new members, presumably from Republican Tea Party and neo-conservatives. The election is over and the safety of our diplomats should not be used for political gain by either parties.

    January 23, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. Phattee

    Paul's shameful grandstanding is a new low for the TGOP.

    January 23, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Big_D

    This whole issue is a GOP dog and pony show. I hope she mops the floor with their careers and sends old take a bribe Keating 5 McCain out to pasture. McCain should be in jail in the first place for taking bribes.

    January 23, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Oscar

    If she was a Republican they would have ripped her heart out without medication. So be it for the Secretary of Defense to not be able to do her job and have accountability. Clinton would have been totally eviscerated by the media prior to even stepping into the hearing if it was any other administration.

    January 23, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. Donna

    Well, respect flows both ways. If she respects our elected officials and tells them the truth and everything she knows, then she will get respect in return. If she ducks, dodges and doesn't come clean, then she deserves no respect from anybody. She will just be another lying politician that got people killed.

    January 23, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. Jack

    Give 'em hell, Hil. These nasty old men just can't deal with strong, intelligent women. They're just like a bunch of schoolyard bullies. Pitiful. And they are making themselves look very very foolish.

    January 23, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. v_mag

    Rick McDaniel, do you respect any of the following:

    George W. Bush – Lied about WMD, Sadaam/Al Qaida connection. Cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
    Ronald Reagan – Lied about Iran/Contra connection. Traded arms to our enemy Iran and supported repression in Nicaragua.
    Richard Nixon – Lied about damned near everything and collected his government handout to the end of his life.
    Any number of sitting Republican Senators and Congressmen – Lied about "wide stance", paying off mistresses, and a million other things.

    January 23, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. yogi

    Where was the GOP outrage after 9/11, and the countless attacks abroad on Americans during the Bush years? What a bunch of hypocrites!

    January 23, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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