Republicans urged to be 'respectful' of Clinton in hearing
January 23rd, 2013
08:12 AM ET
5 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. Jim Hahn

    Yes there are tough questions to be asked and she is not afraid of them. However, they can be asked in a respectful manner which is something Republicans don't seem to be able to do. This makes them appear painfully juvenile and desperate for some opportunity to make this administration look bad, but unfortunately all they do is make themselves look bad.

    January 23, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. v_mag

    Oscar, she's Secretary of State, not Defense. All your other "facts" are just as confused. How many hours of Fox News per day for you? How about Limbaugh? Don't make a fool of yourself anymore, Big O.

    January 23, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Squigman

    Respect/Republican. Oxymoron in the truest sense of the word.

    January 23, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Daniel

    Republicans aren't even respectful to each other much less a woman.

    January 23, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. RR

    Evidently, the republicans were asked to be nice, but they weren't. As ever, they were nothing more then rude and disrepectful. What a bunch of bullies.

    January 23, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. kdmiller

    I have the highest respect for Hillary Clinton, she has done a great job, and has taken responsibiliy for a accident that was not all her fault, but because she's the boss, she took it all on herself. Respect the office and the good work she has done, She actually works for her paycheck when alot of the senate and Congress vote themselves raises and do mostly nothing but help keep this country bankrupt, that's a situation when you spend more then you have, more debt then income.

    January 23, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Julia

    Republicans, take um to the wood shed.

    January 23, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Thinkergal

    She eviscerated the Repub senators this morning–McCain and Paul especially looked and sounded bitter and small. Do the GOP House committee members think they will fare any better? Hillary, you go, girl.

    January 23, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

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

    Not too suprising that this comment would come from one of GW's most steadfast supporters, is it?

    January 23, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. Jeff O'Dette

    The only solution to this disgrace is to VOTE them out. If the people of this country REALLY want action, really want to solve problems then we need to get out in MASSES and VOTE all repubs and teapartiers OUT!!!! VERY SIMPLE!!! VOTE THEM OUT!!! FOREVER!!!!!

    January 23, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Jill-IN

    Americans have had 5 years of disrespectful GOP – a belly full. I probably will never vote Republican again, for many many reasons.

    January 23, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. George

    Republicans are trying to make this a big deal so they can chastise Obama and Clinton (who they see running in 2016). But where was all their righteous anger at WMDs never found in Iraq? They complain that Obama spends too much, when hello, it's Congress that does the actual passing of bills! And it was under W that Clinton's surplus got spent, plus the revenues during those 8 years plus $13 Trillion. But it's Obama who needs to get spending under control. This GOP has transformed the party of Lincoln into the party of Jefferson Davis.

    January 23, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. lance corporal

    republicans – be nice?

    an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

    it is hard to imagine republicans showing proper respect for ANYONE other than their own........ much less the hated ........ duh duh dunnnnnnnnn clintons (run away run away run away....)

    January 23, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. DCBuck

    As an independent, I care less about treating this stunningly incompetent woman with kid gloves than I am with getting at the truth.

    January 23, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. PJ

    Rand Paul and "One Note" Johnson didn't get the message. They didn't offer anything of relevance to the hearings,
    and, in fact, underwhelmed us with their ramblings and ridiculous "questions". In other words, they lived up to
    our expectations – nothing meaningful or substantive from them.

    January 23, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Brian

    Republicans should also try to be relevant. They always go off on a tangent. Reminds me of Nixon's press conferences. When asked a question about Watergate he would respond about his mother's apple pie and how great the "silent majority" was.

    January 23, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. rs

    Rick McDaniel

    Why should they be respectful of someone who blatantly lied to the American people?
    And your proof, sir? Yeah, I thought so. Meanwhile can we remember a few of the great moments in Republican lead foreign policy?
    As resently as G.W. Bush- lies about WMD, and a faux war in Iraq-4,000 Americans dead, 125,000 innocent Iraqis killed, 2.5 million Iraqi refugees.
    Iran-Contra- Reagan, Bush and Ollie North Selling weapons out of Israeli missle stock to the Iranians to fund the Contra terror war (mostly against Catholic Nuns as it turned out) against leftists- They didn't "remember" playing a role in bolstering a known enemy of the United States.
    How about Reagan and the Marines in Lebanon. Yeah too messy.

    I'll give you this Rick- You KNOW liars.

    January 23, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. Garyinco

    You know you can tell them to be respectful and they may try, but you can't tell them not to be stupid, it's way too late for that.

    January 23, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. Jeff Nove

    At this point, this is a waste of taxpayer dollars–that the republicans Pretend to Care about!!! Along with a 3 month extension on the debt ceiling-another waste of tax payer dollars...!!! How much waste is being endless piled on by the do nothing, obstructionist, distortionists republican party???....Hypocrytes of all time!!!! This congress, especially the republican majority house, is a complete joke!!!! and I will say it again...Wasting time and dollars....

    January 23, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. tonyc

    If you think for one second if Codoleza Rice was in this position the media and the senate would be ripping her apart! you libitards are hypocrites to the 10th degree...The american people deserve answers...not lies and, I hurt my head, Biden says they didnt know anything cmon man up!

    January 23, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. tonyc

    Some advice from hubby...deny. deny deny...from one liar to another ...hahahahaha

    January 23, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. Bill C

    I find it amusing all the disrespectful things said about Republicans in response to this story...ever heard of practice what you preach. I'm not even a Republican. Hillary is praised for being tough as nails, but when the pressure is applied everybody cries fowl. What a double standard.

    January 23, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. Michael

    "Be respectful of Hillary"......typical liberal dribble. What if she happens to get elected president in 2016? Do you think some thug like Putin is going to be "respectful" to her?
    Benghazi was a State Department fiasco and at a minimum Clinton should have resigned and those State Department administrators who denied additional security should be fired. Evidently "firing" a government employee is very difficult. If you screw up in the private sector, you would be fired immediately.

    January 23, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. kim

    How quick we forget. Republicans voted to cut funding for defense of embassies and consulates. Republicans have voted against all womens issues and, in fact, they want to push the rights of women all the way back to colonial times. I hope Hillary exposes these charlatans who think they have a right to question her abilities. They are mostly idiots and opportunists who are trying to further their careers on the dead bodies of those they refused to protect.

    January 23, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  25. Dr Matrix

    You guys are wrong. Republicans do have respect. It is for the glorified image of the non-con savior Ronald Reagan, not for the man or his accomplishments but the fairy tail they worship. I didn't like him as President, but their fairy tail is worse than the reality.

    They are trying to place blame on Secratary Clinton in order to avoid the reality that GOP controlled congress cut back funding for embassy security in their zeal to eliminate the entire federal government except for the military and their own jobs.

    January 23, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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