First on CNN: Republican group ties Clinton to Obama handling on Ukraine
March 5th, 2014
01:24 PM ET
10 months ago

First on CNN: Republican group ties Clinton to Obama handling on Ukraine

Updated 2:57 p.m. ET 3/5/2014

Washington (CNN) – As Hillary Clinton made waves for her remarks about Russian incursions into Ukraine, a Republican super PAC sought to tie the former secretary of state to the Obama administration's handling of the unfolding crisis.

A 30-second web video by America Rising PAC stitches together public statements by then-Secretary of State Clinton and President Barack Obama on their attempted reset of U.S. relations with Russia. The video includes a 2009 meeting when Clinton famously presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red "reset" button to signify the start of closer ties between the two superpowers.

The clips are juxtaposed with recent news reports about Russian forces moving into Crimea following a popular uprising that overthrew Ukraine's president.

The strife in Ukraine is only the latest thorn to develop in the U.S.-Russian relationship. The Obama administration was upset when Russia last year granted asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Clinton served as secretary of state under Obama from 2009 through early last year.

The video release follows remarks Clinton reportedly made Tuesday comparing Russian President Vladimir Putin's rhetoric on Ukraine to Adolf Hitler's justifications for Nazi Germany's annexing of neighboring Austria and Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland in 1938, just prior to the start of World War II.

According to a reporter for the Long Beach Press-Telegram who attended the closed Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach fundraiser, Clinton said Putin's rush to protect anyone of Russian descent in Crimea is reminiscent of the way Hitler sought to unite ethnic Germans before the Second World War.

"Now if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the 30s," Clinton said, according to the report. "All the Germans that were ... the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they're not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that's what's gotten everybody so nervous."

America Rising PAC Executive Director Tim Miller said criticizing Clinton over the situation in Ukraine was fair game.

"Secretary Clinton was the face of the failed Russia 'reset' policy, the naïveté of which is now plain for the world to see," Miller said. "Her clumsy attempt to try to overcompensate for this failure by comparing Putin to Hitler only further illustrates just how misguided the reset policy was and what a weak political position she's in."

A spokesman for a political organization aimed at defending Clinton’s record called the video “another attempt by the right wing to distract and divert attention away from Secretary Clinton’s strong record on foreign policy.”

Adrienne Elrod, vice president of communications for Correct the Record, said Clinton had repeatedly voiced concerns about Putin during her tenure at the State Department.

“Her concerns about Putin are consistent, calling him untrustworthy in 2008 and expressing concerns again in 2012 that Putin was attempting to re-Sovietize Eastern Europe,” Elrod said.

"Within this construct, Secretary Clinton worked to advance America’s relations with Russia. In fact, she secured Russia’s cooperation to reduce terrorism in Afghanistan, worked with Russia to secure critical and crippling sanctions against Iran, and negotiated the New START Treaty, reducing nuclear weapons and making us all safer.”

Proponents say the "reset" with Russia did yield some benefits for the US. Russia did not move to block a United Nations vote on military airstrikes in Libya in 2011. The country also worked with the U.S. on securing a deal for the Syrian government to surrender its chemical weapons last year.

CNN Producer Dan Merica contributed to this report.


Filed under: America Rising • Hillary Clinton • President Obama • Russia
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    Proponents say the "reset" with Russia did yield some benefits for the US. Russia did not move to block a United Nations vote on military airstrikes in Libya in 2011. The country also worked with the U.S. on securing a deal for the Syrian government to surrender its chemical weapons last year.
    -------------------------------------
    Republicans, meet FACTS! Where were all these critics when Russia invaded Georgia in 2008?

    March 5, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Let me directly ask these Rethuglicans, what is wrong with Obama's stance in Ukraine? Do you want Obama to declare war with Russia when Vladimir Putin clearly says he has no interest to annex, and clearly said president Yanukovych asked him to rescue Russians there. Do you know the cost of the war? Nonsense. This president is very smart. I am glad he is not listening this crab.

    March 5, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. rs

    The GOP is nuts! They cannot blame the foreign policy of another nation in regards to its former territory on anything this nation has or has not done- there is no logic in that. Especially as they raise not a peep when Putin took Georgia, and George Bush went fishing.

    Meanwhile, keen observers will note that the GOP has offered neither a solution of their own or advice- just their usual politicization of events that lie well beyond the control of our nation and its government.

    March 5, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    With all the shivering going on in the republican rank, because they know they are toast come November, it's going to be an ongoing thing to read a paper or look at the news and not see some kind of yellow stain remark coming from the right. It's going to continue and it's going to get damned old. It might backfire big time. I hope it does.

    March 5, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    How do so many stupid right wing people get the money to run attack ads and lies? Republicans have no solutions, no accomplishments, no plan to move America forward.

    March 5, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Comrade Clinton

    Obama, Clinton, Putin. Communist birds of a feather

    March 5, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Ol' Yeller

    Yes, let us politicize a serious matter such as this. I'm sure it will help republicants when Putin continues to cite the Bush Doctrine as the justification for his actions.
    It is amusing to watch the party of bush who did this same exact thing and was/is applauded and defended by his party (yeah, you guys) for the invasion of a country who had done nothing to them. I actually think Putin has a stronger argument than the neocons did in regards to Iraq.

    March 5, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    The Bush Doctrine plays well with Fox media, which is over 10% Saudi owned. Listening to the mouth that roared (Lindsay Graham) is a sure way to give McCain his wish, World War III.

    March 5, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Weak President

    Overreaction is bad. I'm happy Obama hasn't bombed anyone.
    However, the real story is this:
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Clinton, Obama did nothing to prevent this from happening either.
    Backing the new coup government was very foolish. I'm guessing they wouldn't feel too happy about giving up their jobs if protesters parked out from of the White House.

    March 5, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    Listen at how hypocritical republicans sound. I'm not saying that what Russia is doing is right. But how about looking into the mirror. Were we "JUSTIFIED" in invading Iraq? Don't throw stones when you live in a glass house.

    March 5, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. Trevor I

    The Republican Party is grasping for straws. The want to to everything to Hillary Clinton. What's next?? Is she responsible for the cold weather in the South? Get a grip people. She will win in 2016! Mark my word. Repubs, you never can win when you're dirty.

    March 5, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. John

    GOP has made national unity and patriotism, in times of crisis......a thing of the past...........pathetic

    March 5, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Teacher

    Gurgyl

    Let me directly ask these Rethuglicans, what is wrong with Obama's stance in Ukraine? Do you want Obama to declare war with Russia when Vladimir Putin clearly says he has no interest to annex, and clearly said president Yanukovych asked him to rescue Russians there.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Wow! Really? Just like the poor Sudeten Germans asked Hitler to come in and save them from the evil Czechs. Unbelievable that some people have no knowledge of history. Nobody wants a war, but history is repeating itself.

    March 5, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Bill from GA

    Those repugs are half right – Hillary is an embarrassment to this Nation.

    I imagine President Obama is regretting the day he offered her the position of Secretary of State. Her comments on Putin and Hitler are about 99% off-base, and an insult to the people of Eastern Europe who suffered through the Nazi Invasion. From what I hear, the people of Crimea mostly welcome the Russians.

    The lack of understanding of the idea of Diplomacy she shows by her recent remarks demonstrates her incompetence to hold any position of leadership. i would expect such comments from McCain or Palin, but not from one who is supposedly on the same side as our President.

    Go away, Hillary. Just Go Away!

    March 5, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. rs

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Clinton, Obama did nothing to prevent this from happening either.
    ____________________________
    And just what would that have looked like, eh?

    March 5, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. Bill

    The GOP is incapable of articulating a policy in any arena. They oppose, they blame, they object, they block, they complain, but they say nothing and offer no viable prescriptions for anything to better the country. And they wonder why they can not win the White House. The clown car rolls on.

    March 5, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. rs

    Republicans just have to show off to Putin how much they hate their own government with their nonsense.

    March 5, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Bill from GA

    Ol' Yeller – " It is amusing to watch the party of bush who did this same exact thing "

    Actually, Bush sent our military half way around the world for HIS invasion, and on much slimmer grounds (LIES). Putin is going next door, and is probably welcome by most of the people Crimean.

    March 5, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. sonny chapman

    Gurgyl-I'll answer your question. Repubs HATE Obama more than their Sel-Professed Love of Country. When the Repubs. HATED Bill Clinton, I tried to rationally, figure out Why. My conclusion: Bill Clinton had taken THEIR White House from them.

    March 5, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. Jinx9to88

    Once again the GOP answer to a disagreement is war. It's none of our business. GOP have no problem sending other people kids into war. I suggest Graham and McCain grab their children and a gun and take the next flight to Russia. All these so called experts on this blog make me laugh. What ever happened to the country not having money? Some conservatives you people claim to be. LMAO!

    March 5, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Smitty

    Hilly and the reset button didn't work ??? LOL The dems cant even open a website and you want them going against Putin ??? This whole admin has way too many loses to count.

    March 5, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. king

    its amazing how repubs are all over themselves about who encouraged this invasion. i wonder if it was so long ago to forget that Putin is following in the footstep of george bush. i wonder if the repubs can take a second to look in the mirror. oh no they will be scared out of their wits to see who staring back in their face. someone else is using their own policy to invade a country. i wonder if George Bush didn't use this policy, i wonder if Russia would be so bold to start that precedent.

    March 5, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    GOP = Desperate.

    March 5, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Dan5404

    Thanks, GOP, for recognizing that there are two leading Democrats that have the intelligence to agree on stopping this political crisis from escalating into a major nuclear war. Now, let's hear the GOP plan to stop Putin. The only plan I've ever heard from them on any confrontation is the good old IRA motto: "Fire!". That has solved so many problems in America, the murder champion of the world, so let's adopt it internationally.

    March 5, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Tampa Tim

    Republicans have no website, no plans, no accomplishments, are war mongers, gave Putin Georgia, and left us the biggest mess since the Great Depression.

    March 5, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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