How national Republicans plan to talk about Hillary Clinton's book
June 9th, 2014
06:00 AM ET
4 months ago

How national Republicans plan to talk about Hillary Clinton's book

Washington (CNN) - No eye-catching achievement at State. No signature doctrine. No strategy.

Those are just some of the buzzwords and phrases national Republicans are going to be using when describing Hillary Clinton's soon-to-be-out memoir "Hard Choices" and her time as America's top diplomat.

On Monday, the Republican National Committee will distribute a briefing book of talking points for a wide range of Republican-elected officials, campaigns, surrogates and pundits. With the briefing book, which is primarily a compilation of other research documents the party has released, the RNC hopes to hone the Republican message around Clinton's memoir, which is set to hit bookshelves Tuesday.

There are seven areas that national Republicans hope their communicators and politicians will focus on when talking about Clinton's book: Benghazi, Russia, the Arab Spring, Asia, Israel, Iran and her overall management of the State Department.

The 47-page book argues that Clinton, the Democratic Party's likely frontrunner for the 2016 nomination should she run, "shied away from serious diplomacy" in her time at State and attempts to use those areas to prove their point.

"It's clear Hillary Clinton is testing the waters for a 2016 run for the White House but questions continue to surface about her failed record at the State Department from Benghazi to the Russian Reset and Boko Haram," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.

Among the top issues Republicans hope to highlight: Benghazi, an issue they write "continues to be the defining moment of Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State."

The RNC hopes Republican communicators will hit on the fact that "those responsible for the Benghazi attack" have not been brought to justice and that a Senate report from early 2014 found that the attack was "preventable."

In a Senate report put out in January, the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya was deemed "likely preventable" based on known security shortfalls and warnings that the security situation there was deteriorating.

The RNC has also begun a booking operation around the book, according to Kirsten Kukowski, the group's spokesman, that plans to respond to what is likely to be an uptick in Clinton coverage over the next few weeks.

So far, Clinton has agreed to interviews with ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and Fox News. Kukowski said that the RNC has already begun urging those networks to book Republican guests in response to the former first lady.

The research book also stresses tying Clinton to Obama's foreign policy. On issues such as Russia and Asia, the book, using news stories on different issues, ties decisions that Clinton has made with Obama.

"Hillary is trying to have it both ways, trying to distance herself from Obama's failed policies that Americans don't like and using those same policies to try to run for President," Priebus said. "We are going to make sure voters have all the facts about the Clinton-Obama foreign policy."

Pro-Clinton outside groups have argued that Clinton's time at the State Department was a highlight in her career and have tried to trumpet what they see as high points, including negotiating a 2012 cease-fire in Gaza, working to kill Osama bin Laden and helping to end wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"In her four years as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton helped restore America’s leadership and standing in the world," Correct the Record, a pro-Clinton messaging and research group, argues on their website. "Secretary Clinton worked tirelessly to revitalize American diplomacy and strengthen alliances by traveling nearly a million miles to meet with foreign leaders in 112 countries, more than any other secretary of state in history."

CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. just asking

    why can't hillary just fess up and take responsibility for the entire video lie? her state dept. issued a statement even before the attack had fully ended blaming it on the video, when even then they knew it had nothing to do with the video. She is a well known fabricator of lies as we have seen from her bogus sniper story.

    and let's face it, when you get caught with your pants suit down on the anniversary of 9/11 and your direct report is murdered, you start makin ga lot of stuff up to try and save your political future. do we really want another pathological liar in the white house? wasn't obama, mr. liar of the year, enough?

    June 9, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. sonny chapman

    'it will be better that they have millstones tied to their necks & drowned than to mislead." Matthew 18,6.

    June 9, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "why can't hillary just fess up and take responsibility for the entire video lie? her state dept. issued a statement even before the attack had fully ended blaming it on the video, when even then they knew it had nothing to do with the video. She is a well known fabricator of lies as we have seen from her bogus sniper story.

    and let's face it, when you get caught with your pants suit down on the anniversary of 9/11 and your direct report is murdered, you start makin ga lot of stuff up to try and save your political future. do we really want another pathological liar in the white house? wasn't obama, mr. liar of the year, enough?"

    are you even capable of saying things that aren't spoonfed to you?

    June 9, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. JJO

    If you can’t say anything good about someone, you must be talking about Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton will never be President. She is one of the most hated and despised women in the country. Her hate factor is one rung below that of Nancy Pelosi. She has no qualifications to be President, never had a real job, is incompetent, has blood on her hands from the Benghazi murders of four Americans, committed perjury during the Benghazi hearings, as SOS fostered the expansion of Al Qaeda in Egypt, Libya and No. Africa and supported Morsi, the deposed head and terrorist of Egypt. She is still married to scumbag and sleaze ball Bill Clinton who was guilty of adultery, perjury, impeachment and disbarment. The country will never elect Hillary, who has the same ideology as Obama, after the destruction and calamity Obama has caused to the country and middle class. Also, if she is so popular, she would have won the Democratic nomination in 2008 against Obama.

    June 9, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Ol' Yeller

    "Vote republican and free yourself from the high cost of basic goods and services and enjoy personal freedoms and a life you make and be proud and think for youself ."

    Yes, because businessmen (aka-republicants) only raise the price of their goods services because the mean old Dems make them. They are not in the least bit interested in increasing their personal wealth by buying congressmen to keep their hard fought tax cuts. Everything will be free if you will just elect another neo con village idiot for us to start more off the books wars in the middle east so we can get a sweeeet deals on 'our' oil, so we can, of course, turn around and sell it to the American people for dollars on the penny.
    And personal freedoms- well you will definitely keep your right as a woman to either keep your baby or carry it to term and possibly adopt it, when find yourself in an unwanted pregnancy. So, if your 12 y/o grandaughter is abducted and gang-raped she will have the 'personal freedom' to carry that constant reminder of her ordeal to full term... because after all, being raped and getting pregnant is just a 'gift from God' (and you should just lay back and enjoy it).
    You can also keep your right to vote, as long as you present your long form birth certificate, three forms of photo ID, your concealed carry permit will work; but NOT your student ID. You get to watch as the Earth is doomed by global warming deniers who though they know it is happening (or are just too stupid to breathe) refuse to do anything about it because it might cut into the donor corporations bottom line (everyone else can bake and drown).
    Don't forget the 'freedom' you will acquire by their ending Social Security, Medicare, the ACA, and all other government programs which assist Americans.
    You will be free to die in a cardboard box under a bridge, pregnant after being raped with no health care, WIC, or Food stamps as the water rises from the melted ice caps... but do not fear, the republicants will sell you a pair of inflatable water wings guaranteed to last a lifetime (your lifetime) for the low cost of $649.99 (+ tax)

    June 9, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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