First on CNN: Republican group ties Clinton to Obama handling on Ukraine
March 5th, 2014
01:24 PM ET
6 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. O'drama ya Mama

    Every time the Republicans go on TV and bash Obama it only emboldens Putin because he sees a division among our government. If anyone is making us look weak its them.

    March 5, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Of the 45 million uninsured, 3 million were allowed to stay on their parents plan, over 5 million have been added to Medicare, and over 4.5 million have signed up for insurance. Of course, if the rest of the red states would allow the Medicaid money, that would add another 3.5 million to have insurance. Even the right wingnuts get to keep their junk policies for this year, so everyone should be happy. So why is Boehner,s house voting for the 50th time to repeal Obamacare?

    March 5, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Tommyk

    Smitty:

    Apparently you have forgotten what Pres. Bush said after he met Putin: "I shook his hand, looked him in the eye and saw his soul." Shortly there after Putin went into Georgia! And another thing you have forgotten: Bush: "Irag has Weapons of Mass Destruction" resulting in a war that should never have been fought. Talk about an admin that had to many loses to count!

    March 5, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. just saying

    the naive, fantasy driven foreign policy of obama and hillary clinton has gotten us to where we are, russia has been given everything, we got nothing except potential allies bullied or invaded. i don't understamd why? i mean obama and hillary pushed the magical russian reset button and everything was supposed to be sugar and honey if we just spoke nicely to putin.

    the fact of the matter is that obama's foreign policy, actually a total lack of one, that was promulgated by hillary clinton, has weakened this nation and emboldened our adversaries. but of course obama ridiculed romney when he stated russia was an geopolitical adversary, accused him of living in the past, well now we have real evidence he was 100% correct and it was obama and clinton that were living in fantasyland, not reality, when it came to russia and putin.

    and they had the previous example of putin invading georgia and still refused to recognize the threat russia and putin posed. this is what happens when you are arrogant and slap people on knees believing the power of your words is somehow magical.

    March 5, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Stuffitu

    Ol Hillary "reset, Benghazi" Clinton should be tied to this. THe democrat liberal "progressives" are trying to foist this crook on to us as the successor to the most corrupt, inept, incompetent president in our history, yet cannot name one thing she has accomplished. That is much like the Kenyan village idiot currently having a tax payer funded party in the Whie House.

    March 5, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Tony

    As long as Republicans are holding Clinton responsible for the "reset" policy, why don't they hold Bush responsible for looking into Putin's eyes and failing to see a thug? Putin came to power in 2000. He and Bush were the best of friends.

    March 5, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    Republican political attack dogs are wasting money on these negative ads. Blaming the Ukraine crisis on Hillary is like blaming her for the bad cold weather. Since Hillary Clinton hasn't officially declared her candidacy, this is a sure sign of fear and desperation.

    March 5, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Samca

    You are so right ya Mama. It is embarrassing to say the least. I am disgusted with Senator McCain and his dear friend.

    March 5, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. DRAKE MALLARD

    Conservatives have been bashing President Obama for telling Vladimir
    Putinto stay out of the Ukraine or consequences would follow. But when
    George Bush was in office and waxed poetically about Putin, they said
    nothing. What a shock,

    March 5, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. rs

    Republicans think comparing Putin to Hitler is bad, but comparing Hillary Clinton, or the President to Neville Chamberlain is somehow appropriate. Naturally, all the while ignoring the obvious parallel to Mr. Bush and Iraq, and ignoring the whole issue with Georgia, which Putin took while Bush fished.

    March 5, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. salty dog

    Odrama, I just told my son the exact thing, the weakness Putin exposed was the gop refusing to work with the president, keeping our nation divided, at all costs. That is our biggest weakness we have currently.

    March 5, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. Jan Nappylotto

    And Clinton is currently... ... ... not in any official or elected political office and does not officially speak for the United States in any way.

    Reality: she is trying to look "strong" with foreign policy for her 2016 Presidential run. Also, she is more than willing to undermine any of Obama's attempts to resolve the problem. Can't wait to see the daggers she is going to plunge into Barack's back after she announces her candidacy.

    March 5, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. smith

    What people need to look at is Ukraine`s interim president`s ties to George Soros.

    March 5, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. salty dog

    Stuffy, just spraying, all I can say is madam president, your outrage will continue until at least 2025, I take great pleasure in your suffering everyday, nothing but whining, lying little baby, you really can't see how much better he is than bush, talk about blind, yikes!

    March 5, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. More bad news..

    Just wait – when it's time to run for President, the Democrats will tear each other up over the handling of Ukraine/Crimea. Just as Jan says, Hillary will be plunging daggers into Obama's political corpse & tearing down his cardboard house when she runs for office.
    Too bad she'll do it at the expense of the Democratic party.

    March 5, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. salty dog

    I love the " failed policies you talk about, stock market setting records, health insurance costs down( I know you struggle with that but I go by what i have experienced). We have a much better standing globally than we ever did with bush, your inability to accept those raw facts, explains a lot. I seen the campaign ad about families insurance rates skyrocketing, then a little investigation, and turns out they were all paid actors, the Koch brothers strike again, your simply not smart enough to be ashamed.

    March 5, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. Jinx9to88

    GOP would blame Obama for the weather if it would score them political points.

    March 5, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. salty dog

    Anymore failed policies and I'm buying a new boat, thanks rich guys. With all the freebies, I can live like a king, you guys kill me .

    March 5, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Bill from GA

    Fair is Fair – " Let Obama do nothing all by himself. "

    I'm glad we have a level-headed President for a change.

    He hasn't let most of us in on the total picture, as apparently he has you, but I don't think that we will be sending troops half way around the world on a whim, wasting thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.

    BTW, since you apparently think we need more Bush-like action, are you ready to raise taxes to pay for it? Or maybe to pay for W's idiotic, UNFUNDED war?
    ------–
    Think you might have missed my point, Bill. Simply put, there is NOTHING we can do about it. Nothing. Taking up resolutions, voting on it in the house, the senate, the PTO meeting, polling your local girl scout – all a colossal waste of time.

    March 5, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Don't forget the renewed START Treaty regarding nuclear proliferation, which the GOP/Teatrolls promptly filibustered as a means of forcing the Bush tax cuts to remain in place, thereby slapping Putin in the face in their own special way.

    "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"

    Her comments on Putin and Hitler were 100% historically accurate: Hitler used the presence of German nationals in other countries as an excuse for invading sovereign nations and Putin is doing the same thing right now, claiming that he has to protect ethnic Russians in Crimea. The analogy was so apt, in fact, that even McCain and Rubio have been forced to publicly admit it (followed, of course, by ranting and raving criticism of Clinton and Obama to make sure their base knows they haven't become RINOs).

    March 5, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Wake up People!

    I concur O'Drama...... And I've been saying the same thing for the past 5 years. It's pathetic.

    March 5, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    -just saying

    the naive, fantasy driven foreign policy of obama and hillary clinton has gotten us to where we are, russia has been given everything, we got nothing except potential allies bullied or invaded. i don't understamd why? i mean obama and hillary pushed the magical russian reset button and everything was supposed to be sugar and honey if we just spoke nicely to putin.

    the fact of the matter is that obama's foreign policy, actually a total lack of one, that was promulgated by hillary clinton, has weakened this nation and emboldened our adversaries. but of course obama ridiculed romney when he stated russia was an geopolitical adversary, accused him of living in the past, well now we have real evidence he was 100% correct and it was obama and clinton that were living in fantasyland, not reality, when it came to russia and putin.

    and they had the previous example of putin invading georgia and still refused to recognize the threat russia and putin posed. this is what happens when you are arrogant and slap people on knees believing the power of your words is somehow magical.
    *********************
    Yes, candidate Romney said those things, as is candidate Clinton. Its remarkable that you seek to blame Hilary for having intemperate remarks when the Mormon aristocrat did the same thing. As I recall, too, there was precious little outrage from the Right when Russia invaded Georgia on W's watch because you were all so worried about upsetting your idol Putin. The truth is that, unlike what the Right seems to think, Putin will do what he wants regardless of who is in power. He's not afraid of the feckless Right in this country because they are just as limited in their options as the Left is. Please spare us the farcical notion that somehow the GOP scares your hero, the ex KGB killer, because he will do what he pleases. By the way, can you name one foreignpolicy accomplishment of the Right in the last quarter century that did not involve either cooked intelligence or an invasion? Rather limited skill set coming from the Right in terms of foreign policy-actually, for everything. You ridicle the power of words? Thats a hoot coming from the " Mission Accomplished" gang.

    March 5, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Silence DoGood

    @Fair is Fair
    Bill from GA

    Fair is Fair – " Let Obama do nothing all by himself. "

    I'm glad we have a level-headed President for a change.

    He hasn't let most of us in on the total picture, as apparently he has you, but I don't think that we will be sending troops half way around the world on a whim, wasting thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.

    BTW, since you apparently think we need more Bush-like action, are you ready to raise taxes to pay for it? Or maybe to pay for W's idiotic, UNFUNDED war?
    --–
    Think you might have missed my point, Bill. Simply put, there is NOTHING we can do about it. Nothing. Taking up resolutions, voting on it in the house, the senate, the PTO meeting, polling your local girl scout – all a colossal waste of time.
    ---------
    GOP: "See our program of NO and nothing finally has an application!"

    March 5, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Oh Boo Hoo Hoo! Woe Is Me! I love listening to the frustrated knuckle draggers attack Ms. Clinton and President Obama. Hope they enjoy seeing her face on television every night when she is elected POTUS!

    March 5, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Who cares what the GOP clowns say, the GOP warmongers will be out of business after November and have NO POWERS and we won't have to pay any attention to these IDIOTS anymore, by the way GOP fools , are you STILL HIDING BEHIND OBAMACARE??????

    March 5, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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