From Clinton nemesis to defender
March 25th, 2014
05:20 PM ET
7 months ago

From Clinton nemesis to defender

Washington (CNN) - A former Clinton antagonist-turned-aggressive defender warned Tuesday that the infamous “vast right-wing conspiracy” is already gearing up for 2016.

“The conservatives of today have no program to offer the vast majority of Americans,” prominent Clinton supporter David Brock told an audience in Little Rock, Arkansas, according to prepared remarks. “So we see them running scared, and once again, cultivating a culture of Clinton hatred, in Hillary’s case - as you can see - with a heavy dose of misogyny.”

As a young writer in the 1990s, Brock led the charge against the Clintons as they ascended to the national stage. He published stories harshly critical of the first couple’s record and activities stemming from Bill Clinton’s tenure as Arkansas governor and after he became president.

But years later, while the Clintons were still in the White House, Brock had a dramatic change of heart. Now he has become a full-throated defender of the former first couple, working through two organizations he founded: American Bridge, a Super PAC that tracks Republican candidates and includes an offshoot, Correct the Record, specifically targeted to defend Hillary Clinton from partisan attacks, as well as Media Matters, which seeks to counter “conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”

In his speech Tuesday at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Brock lambasted what he cast as the politics of personal destruction he once relished.

“At its root, I realized, Clinton-hating had nothing to do with what the Clintons did or did not do,” he said. “It had everything to do with fear of the change they represented on the one hand - and on the other a newly brutal form of partisan power politics.”

“Those same reactionary forces are still at work today, abetted at times by the mainstream,” he said.

Brock criticized billionaire conservative donors the Koch brothers, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus and conservative radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh as leading a “recalcitrant, backward-looking conservative movement” that misleads voters about its opponents.

He singled out Republican Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, who is considering his own run for president, for suggesting voters should consider Bill Clinton’s sexual history as a factor in a possible Hillary Clinton campaign.

Brock called the suggestion “bizarre” and “retro” and warned, “Those who want to throw stones ought to be very careful about setting the rules of the game in such a way that a candidate is responsible for the behavior of those closest to them.”

His Super PAC, American Bridge, boasted success in the 2012 election cycle by trailing Republican candidates and widely publicizing clips - such as then-Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s use of the phrase “legitimate rape” - in an effort to raise questions about Republican politicians.

Although Hillary Clinton has not said whether she will run for president in 2016, Brock said he had high hopes for her chances if she did run.

“There’s probably no better place than Little Rock for me to say: I know from personal experience that the best efforts of the right-wing to market political smut did not defeat the Clintons,” he said. “The truth won out in the end, and it will again.”


Filed under: 2016 • Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. smith

    Well of course the GOP smear machine will be out in force. However, so will the Democrat smear machine.

    March 25, 2014 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. Pete

    Thank God somebody's on Hillary,Bills side for once..The bible toting ,sanctumonious ,racist ones mostly illiterate hypocrites not ever stating facts and you know who you are descend on democrates like vultures on a piece of road kill not knowing what it is until they start dining on it,that's stupidity ,but that's republicans...

    March 25, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Silence DoGood

    “So we see them running scared, and once again, cultivating a culture of Clinton hatred, in Hillary’s case – as you can see – with a heavy dose of misogyny.”
    ----------
    Yup. Here they come! Tin foil hats firmly in place. "Imaginary sickness, Benghazi, Foster, Whitewater, Area 51, space aliens and I am sure there will be at least one birth certificate demand there in the back."

    March 25, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Tampa Tim

    . . . "Brock criticized billionaire conservative donors the Koch brothers, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus and conservative radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh as leading a “recalcitrant, backward-looking conservative movement” that misleads voters about its opponents."
    -----
    Recalcitrant, backward looking, that misleads pretty much sums up all the GOBaggers have.

    March 25, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Donald Trump will ask the birther question, "Was Illinois a state when Hillary was born?"

    March 25, 2014 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    David Brock awoke from a dark place and walked into the light. Even a right wing extremist can be saved proving that the truth will set you free.

    March 25, 2014 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    GOP is total dead....

    March 25, 2014 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. kurt

    "Well of course the GOP smear machine will be out in force. However, so will the Democrat smear machine."

    True. Of course Clinton has been in the public eye for so long that very few of these smears are new to the voting public.

    While the GOP challenger will likely not be someone who has been raked over the coals by a presidential campaign yet. The Democratic smears will likely find the mark better because they will be "fresh" to the media consumers.

    March 25, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. Silence DoGood

    @smith
    Well of course the GOP smear machine will be out in force. However, so will the Democrat smear machine.
    ------------------–
    Yeah but the GOP machine is loony. Let's compare:
    – The left blamed Bush for his response to hurricane Katrina.
    – The conspiracy right blamed Obama for actually causing the storm to happen. Google it. I'm serious.

    March 25, 2014 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  10. RetNavy

    This guy sounds like a real wacko.

    March 25, 2014 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. Chris-E...al

    The dems only truth said might be uttered on the last breath and that word would be the word suckers ! I never new you .

    March 25, 2014 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  12. Tony D

    Media Matters, which seeks to counter “conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”
    --

    This clown runs one of the worse far left smear machines on the planet. It figures he's schilling for Hillary Clinton. Keep those lies a comin' lefties! We know it is all you got.

    March 25, 2014 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  13. aSouthernMan

    So , Silence DG, you think Benghazi was clearly explained, and Foster suicide as well. Even though it was known he did not die where his body was found. And now, due to your support of the worst president on Us history, we are about to enter an energy crises with a possible nuclear moment with Russia. I'm not a republican, but am totally convinced that the Dems have totally eclIpsed Bush in lies and bad decisions, and have no answers.

    March 25, 2014 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  14. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Sorry Smith. I hate to disappoint you but I really started paying attention to politics during the Clinton years. I adored him and still do. And guess what? I even knew who Barack Obama was prior to him running for POTUS. Imagine that? Whether you were talking about Clinton or Bush, neither was disrespected like President Obama. Neither of them ever had their birth place questioned or their citizenship. Also neither opposing party refused to work with them. But then why would they, they looked like all the rest of them. But I have to give it to you, you do a good job of pretending this all has nothing to do with race. That's exactly how it's still in existence today.

    I wonder which mods are on this morning, the ones that let me post or those that zap everything I say. I guess we'll find out in a minute.

    March 26, 2014 06:40 am at 6:40 am |