June 5th, 2014
03:46 PM ET
6 months ago

The groups that have Hillary's back

Washington (CNN) - It's a daily war of words playing out on multiple battlefields from the cable news networks to social media - pro-Republican groups criticize Hillary Clinton.

The fire is quickly returned by pro-Democratic groups that defend the former secretary of state, who's seriously considering a 2016 White House run.

And the frequency of the skirmishes are increasing with "Hard Choices," Clinton's much anticipated memoir of her years as America's top diplomat, hitting bookshelves next week.

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The Republican National Committee and the pro-GOP opposition research shop America Rising have been at the forefront of the Clinton anti-Clinton assault, which mainly focuses on the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.

"Find out the TRUTH about @HillaryClinton," tweeted America Rising, which in a pre-buttal is going up with an e-book titled "Failed Choices" that's a critique of Clinton's tenure at the State Department.

What's behind stepped up GOP attacks on Clinton

Correct the Record responded with a post headlined "Shame On America Rising for Willfully Misleading Americans On Secretary Clinton's Record."

Correct the Record was launched last year by American Bridge, the leading Democratic opposition research outfit. Correct the Record was created to defend the records of potential Democratic presidential candidates. In reality, that means protecting Clinton, who has said she'll decide by the end of this year on a presidential bid, and would instantly become the overwhelming frontrunner for the Democratic nomination if she runs.

The group is run by some former top Clinton advisers, but says it doesn't coordinate in any way with the former secretary of state or her top aides.

Correct the Record officials say they're not doing anything special for the release of the book and the ensuing coast to coast book tour by Clinton.

"We're operating business as usual. We are continuing to do what we do every day, defending Secretary Clinton's strong record of accomplishments from baseless, right-wing attacks," Adrienne Elrod, the group's chief spokeswoman, told CNN.

Last weekend the group held media training sessions for surrogates going on television to discuss the book and Clinton's record.

"It wasn't only for the book. The purpose of the media training was to make sure that our surrogates, people who are on TV, active on TV, are able to articulate her positions effectively. Especially her accomplishments as Secretary of State," a Correct the Record official told CNN.

The Democratic National Committee's also playing a role when it comes to defending Clinton.

The DNC has a mandate to protect the Democratic brand, and Clinton was, and continues to be a major player in that brand. The DNC, of course, also plays a major role in defending President Barack Obama and his administration. And GOP attacks on Clinton that target her record at State are also attacks on the President.

"With the recent Republican attacks on Hillary Clinton, you've seen them really focus on foreign policy, attacking the President's foreign policy," said a Democratic Party official. "Hillary's book is about her work with the President during his first term. It's about the Obama administration's foreign policy accomplishments and what we've seen is Republicans trying to distort every aspect of the President's foreign policy accomplishments."

It was no surprise then that Clinton aides deferred to the DNC when it came to responding to the America Rising e-book.

West Wing involvement

In another sign of stepped up cooperation, Democratic surrogates and communicators who publicly support both Obama and Clinton met at the White House recently with Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes to talk about a number of issues, including Benghazi and Clinton's upcoming book, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

While the topic was not on the official meeting agenda, one surrogate asked about it and the President's aides made clear they want no daylight between Obama and Clinton on foreign policy issues as the book rolls out, the source added. The messaging, according to the source, is this: Obama's team of rivals became an unrivaled team.

And Tommy Vietor, a communications veteran of the 2008 Obama campaign who served as National Security Council spokesman during the President's first term, has been brought on by the Clinton team to coordinate and assist in the response to the book.

In addition to working with the White House, the Clinton camp has stepped up their messaging around the book's release to include a coordinated surrogate operation.

Clinton's team, according to sources familiar with the book rollout, tapped Kiki McLean, a former Clinton senior adviser and veteran of five presidential campaigns, to lend a hand with the surrogate operation.

This group includes a war room of former diplomats who stand ready to respond to criticism of Clinton's tenure at the State Department, according to the source.

From book tour to bus tour

Also upping their game as the book releases is Ready for Hillary, the pro-Clinton super PAC that concentrates on grassroots outreach.

The group, which over past year has organized demonstrations in support of Clinton outside of many of her speaking events, says it will step up its presence on during the book tour.

The most visible way is with what they call "The Hillary Bus."

"The Bus will travel from coast to coast, channeling the enthusiasm around a potential Hillary 2016 candidacy to activate supporters in the 2014 midterms, while further building a grassroots army of supporters who are encouraging her to run and ready to help her win," the group said earlier this week.

Ready for Hillary says that throughout the summer, their bus will also visit events other than the "Hard Choices" book tour, such as Democratic party gatherings, state fairs and community festivals. And that come the autumn, the bus will head to college campuses and states with key contests in this November's midterm elections.

The group touts that their bus "is a mobile advertisement allowing our organization to reach new supporters in every corner of America as Hillary backers who see the Bus are prompted to sign up at readyforhillary.com. The Bus will also allow Ready for Hillary to dispatch volunteers and sign up new supporters at designated stops."

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Smitty

    Hilly, just like Obambie, not up to the task.

    June 5, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Bob Thompson

    Let's be clear about one thing. Hillary Clinton is not running for President. She has an undisclosed health condition which she has every right to keep private, but this condition was evident during her final days as Secretary of State. Unless she wants to make her medical condition public, she will not run. Right now, her handlers are trying to figure out a way to make her condition palatable to the American people just like they did with FDR and JFK. Having a medical condition does not bar a person from office. But she will also be a grandmother and because she is retired and looking forward to being a grandmother, this is a second incentive not to run. By not running or being President, she can help raise and watch her grandchildren grow like a respectable and responsible grandparent should.

    Let’s discuss a second fine point. CNN is the voice of the corporate media and represents Wall Street corporate elites, just like the Democratic Party. There is nothing “liberal” about the media, including MSNBC which just spouts the Democratic Party line. The democrats are a conservative party representing Wall Street corporate elites and if you need proof, look at how much the stock market improved during the Obama and Clinton administrations. The Democrats do not represent Main Street. Obama has more in common with Reagan than he does with JFK.

    The Republicans on the other hand are an ultranationalist, right-wing, theocratic, totalitarian party that keeps moving further and further to the right, bordering on becoming outright fascist. The last party that was like this was outlawed in Germany.

    When most Americans consider themselves centralists, neither party represents the beliefs and values of most Americans. There is no “left-wing” or “liberal” party to counter the balance of the right wing majority. McCarthy-ism destroyed the so-called “left wing” in this country. Both “parties” are big business and they have essentially jerry-rigged the system in such a way that a third party, or any opposition party to the establishment, cannot take hold.

    What would be the progressive thing to do for the liberal media would be to consider candidates other than dinosaurs and politicians from a by-gone era like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden. But in the world of corporate media, doing so is to think outside the box.

    June 5, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Greg

    Several books have been written about Hiliary and Bill. Read any one of them and you would stop being a Hiliary backer

    June 5, 2014 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. bert f.

    Clinton lost the Democratic nominations to a former block coordinator in 2008 and she expects to win in 2016? Only if she is the only candidate running.

    June 5, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. Name

    too bad both parties suck, we need the youth to band together and realize the falicy of both of these groups.

    June 5, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. richard

    Hillary Clinton is anoying.

    June 5, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. Sven Moshen

    Well it's either her, or Biden, and i don't think he could win.

    June 5, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. sly

    Most powerful woman in the world, and her progressive policies are contrary to the GOP (who apparently still think there are 'white only' fountains in 2014).

    Of course the GOP will attack – we've seen their corrupt lies since the old fake Swift Boat campaign. They'll throw Birth Certificates and 20 year old VA problems and fake hostage issues – heck today Ted Cruz criticized Obama for his work-out routine.

    I'll go with the wise and respected Hillary Clinton – one of the strongest leaders in Washington, and a shoo-in for President.

    June 5, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. Sam Sabu

    Do we really want the Clinton's back in the White House? Do we need more rounds of wild Willy and his wh0res and cigars? How quickly we forget the Clinton's pardon of known of tax cheats, fraudsters, criminals, and pedophiles collectively known as Pardongate.

    June 5, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    The truth about Hillary is going to come out........just as the truth about Bergdahl has come out.

    June 5, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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