Republicans pounce on Margolies' defeat
May 21st, 2014
03:29 PM ET
2 months ago

Republicans pounce on Margolies' defeat

Washington (CNN) – Republicans didn't waste much time in trying to score some political points off of Tuesday's loss by Marjorie Margolies in her bid to re-capture the House seat she lost 20 years ago.

Margolies, the mother-in-law to Chelsea Clinton, was handily defeated as she ran in the Democratic Primary for Pennsylvania's 13th Congressional District. State Representative Brendan Boyle soundly defeated Margolies by 13-percentage points.

After the seat became open, Margolies decided to try to make a political comeback. She was a freshman member of Congress when she cast a politically risk tie-breaking vote in 1993 allowing then President Bill Clinton's major economic program to barely pass the House. She came from a Republican-leaning district at the time and faced a firestorm of criticism for that vote. She was defeated the next year, 1994, when seeking re-election.

Since that time, Margolies and the Clintons relationship continued but evolved as her son, Marc, and Chelsea dated and then married in 2010. Now they are going to be co-grandparents as the couple is expecting their first child this fall.

Minutes after the race was called Tuesday night, the pro-GOP opposition research shop America Rising blasted out a post titled "Clinton Coattails #Fail."

"Bye-Bye Marjorie" read a Republican National Committee email sent out to reporters Wednesday. "Despite a full-court press from Bill and Hillary Clinton, last night Marjorie Margolies suffered a double-digit primary defeat." The email was accompanied by a list of stories recounting the Clintons' efforts on behalf of Margolies.

Bill Clinton held an event with Margolies in the district in April. The former president was also featured in the campaign's final television ad and recorded a robocall trying to help get the vote for her.

"Twenty years ago Marjorie cast the deciding vote on my economic plan," Bill Clinton said in the campaign robocall. "This is an important election. And I know if you'll send Marjorie to Congress she'll make you proud. So please, on Tuesday go to the polls."

Separately, Hillary Clinton headlined a fundraiser for Margolies in New York last week – one in which the candidate actually did not appear so she could campaign in the district.

Democrats don't believe her loss will have any negative impact on the Clintons and their political reputation. "Somewhere below zero," is how former Bill Clinton adviser Paul Begala put it.

In an interview last week with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger, Margolies acknowledged there would be criticism no matter what the Clintons did on her behalf.

"We always knew that if they came in too much we would be blamed for their coming in too much. If they don't come in enough that people would would say they didn't come in enough," Margolies said. "You're kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't. They have done everything we've asked them to do, and I am running on what I have accomplished in the last 20 years and not on my affiliation with the Clintons."

A different opponent of Margolies, Daylin Leach, put up a tv ad criticizing her use of Bill Clinton. "While some cling to the past we just can't go backwards," the candidate's young daughter said in the commercial.

Margollies had been criticized for not campaigning robustly enough early in her candidacy when she was the frontrunner because she had the name recognition. She then participated in more debates. In recent weeks some of her opponents had alleged she had misused some of her campaign funds which she strenuously denied.

“Bill Clinton proved no big help – when she did not make a compelling case herself for re-election,” Terry Madonna, a professor at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, told CNN.


Filed under: 2014 • Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    District. State Representative Brendan Boyle is a Democrat .

    Sorry GOP , we don't eat our own !

    Go Boyle , all the way !

    May 21, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. it must be said

    It probably did not help her having the world's greatest womanizer and cheater, Bill Clinton, campaign for her. You sell your soul to the devil at your own peril.

    May 21, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. CryBabies

    Article pretty much "sums it up".

    May 21, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Yawn. What a load of tea-leaf reading nonsense....but, if the GOP/Teatrolsl are going to spout crap, you can rest assured CNN is going to broadcast it for them.

    "Margollies had been criticized for not campaigning robustly enough early in her candidacy when she was the frontrunner because she had the name recognition"

    Sounds like that trainwreck Coakley when she ran against Brown....or pretended to run. She was a total no-show.

    May 21, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. sonny chapman

    The Sun rises in the East. Ergo: the Sun is situated on the East side of the Earth. What other explanation could there be.

    May 21, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    If the RNC think this is a sign of things to come they're sadly mistaken. The 13 district voted for Romney last year and is a safe republican seat thanks to it being gerrymandered.

    May 21, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. CryBabies

    @ Thomas...you are wrong my friend......Hillary does.

    May 21, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. truth hurts but reailty bites

    Sniffit
    Sounds like that trainwreck Coakley when she ran against Brown....or pretended to run. She was a total no-show.
    -–

    Because it was Massachusetts and in Massachusetts a bowl of fruit salad could get elected as long as it has D after its name on the ballot. The voters messed than one up but not to worry, they voted for the fruit salad named Warren.

    May 21, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. Get a Grip

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA – Take Back the House
    If the RNC think this is a sign of things to come they're sadly mistaken. The 13 district voted for Romney last year and is a safe republican seat thanks to it being gerrymandered.
    --–

    Get rid of Democrat gerrymandering and most of the minority Democrta reps will go bye-bye. Is that what you really want?

    May 21, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Pander Bear

    So a weak candidate did a poor job of campaigning and subsequently lost. And the RWNJs extrapolate that President and Hillary Clinton have no pull with voters. Sounds good. They should just stop worrying about a Hillary campaign for President then. See where that gets them.

    May 21, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Pounce on this. Come 2016 go into hiding, or evolve into something in touch with the times and the people. Until then you are toast.

    May 21, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. This is a BAD SIGN

    Democrats should be worried. Resurrecting artifacts from the 1990s and expecting them to get elected didn't work. Maybe that artifact named Hillary Clinton should remain buried in the past? She has already brought forth the evil spirit of Monica. Who knows what other plague she will bring forth from the past?

    May 21, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. Dbleagle77

    The point is that this woman seemed to take for granted that being associated with Bill and Hill was going to be enough. Clearly the voters resented her arrogance of voting against their will the last time, and voting with Bill. Isn't it interesting that every time an election goes against the democrats, they write it off as an aberration? But, every time an election goes their way, it is a clear sign of things to come.

    May 21, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    GOPers are pouncing, eh? Kinda like showing their muscles or something?

    May 21, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Why do Republicans like to kick people when they are down?

    May 21, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    We need to see that Hillary fails.......just as significantly, in her effort to run for the WH.

    May 21, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Because it was Massachusetts and in Massachusetts a bowl of fruit salad could get elected as long as it has D after its name on the ballot. The voters messed than one up but not to worry, they voted for the fruit salad named Warren."

    Do you realize how ridiculous you argument just was? You just argued a fruit salad could get elected with a D after it's name in MA, but Coakley failing to get elected against Brown while doing almost nothing disproves that. Then you mention Warren, who ran a very active and highly publicized campaign...and won against Brown...suggesting she did, in fact, have to be more than just a fruit salad with a D after its name. So yeah, total logic fail on your part.

    May 21, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. Democrat Dinosaur Hunter

    Hmmmmm.... A Democrat dinosaur from the 1990s didn't make it. What other Democrat dinosaurs from the 1990s could there be lurking beneath the soil, waiting to spring forth and declare themselves a new age dinosaur? There is talk of a Hillasaurus sighting. Lock up the children because they have been known to associate with the dreaded SlickWillasauras, a known child predator and cigar eater.

    May 21, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. PaulCat

    Can the GOP please do something about JOB?
    You guys really have no business being in Congress !!!!!
    Will you ever go to work for the american people. Why do you run for office?
    We all know how much you hate Obama, but it's past time for you to get to work
    +++++people, this november, please vote for someone that will earn their $200,000 yrly paycheck+++++++++++++

    May 21, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. truth hurts but reailty bites

    Sniffit
    --
    "Because it was Massachusetts and in Massachusetts a bowl of fruit salad could get elected as long as it has D after its name on the ballot. The voters messed than one up but not to worry, they voted for the fruit salad named Warren."
    -–
    Do you realize how ridiculous you argument just was? You just argued a fruit salad could get elected with a D after it's name in MA, but Coakley failing to get elected against Brown while doing almost nothing disproves that. Then you mention Warren, who ran a very active and highly publicized campaign...and won against Brown...suggesting she did, in fact, have to be more than just a fruit salad with a D after its name. So yeah, total logic fail on your part.
    -–

    No, the point was that eveyrbody in Massacusetts just assumes the Democrat will always win in these state wide elections. So much so, that even the Democrat candidates have a hard time going through the motions and Democrats have a hard time getting off the couch to vote. Brown won in a special election and we all know how lazy Democrats are when it comes to special elections, especially when the outcomes are practically pre-determined in those Democrat bastions of liberal insanity.

    May 21, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. ChrisM

    Unlike republicans , Democrats support our candidates when they win primaries.

    May 21, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Thomas

    CryBabies
    @ Thomas...you are wrong my friend......Hillary does.

    ===

    It must be painful when you see Sarah Palin , when is her new book " Cooking with Ted Cruz "going to be released ?

    May 21, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Democrats should be worried. Resurrecting artifacts from the 1990s and expecting them to get elected didn't work."

    LOL. She lost the Dem primary against another Dem (who I happen to like better and is clearly more popular). There is no reason whatsoever for this to make anyone "worried." Do you even pay attention to the articles?

    May 21, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |