August 24th, 2007
12:38 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton: Terrorist attack will help GOP

Clinton campaigned in New Hampshire Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - She says she is the Democrat best equipped to fight terrorists, but White House hopeful Hillary Clinton told New Hampshire voters Thursday that another attack on the United States would likely help Republican candidates at the polls.

"It's a horrible prospect to ask yourself, 'What if? What if?'" Clinton told a house party in Concord, first reported by the New York Post and the Associated Press and confirmed by her campaign. "But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world."

Clinton added that if such a scenario occurred, she is the best Democratic presidential candidate "to deal with that."

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- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Mike C, San Diego Ca

    And she want to be the chief executive officer of the United States and like the other two top Democratic candidates has NEVER run a State, a City, or even a business. How is she at all qualified to be President?

    August 24, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. cb

    She's exactly right and just stating the obvious. Nice to see someone do that for a change.

    However, if there is another terrorist attack prior to the elections, it only means that the Bush's war on terror has failed and that Republicans can't keep us safe.

    August 24, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Caren

    Hillary is right. Why is it when people tell you the truth you want to crucify the messenger. Then turn and say why don't they just tell us the truth. Why? Cause they know you can't handle THE TRUTH.
    The GOP win because they are best at using fear to win. They've done it for the last almost seven years. Don't get mad at Hillary for telling the truth. She's warning Dems to be ever viligent be ready to take on the GOP if they play that card. If you can stop hating on her long enough you'll see that she's right.

    August 24, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. peter, miami, florida

    Dear Chip:
    Dont you remember Cheney saying if we vote for democrats the reality is we will be hit and hit hard by terrorist. how about that for a calculated approach to our fears?

    have a nice weekend

    August 24, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Angela, Ankeny, Iowa

    Lovely...Hillary plays the terror card. Is Karl Rove hiding under her dress, feeding her those lines? Why would she disparage her entire party like that? She's perpetuating the ridiculous lies that Cheney and Bush spread when Kerry ran; that a vote for a Dem means that Al Queda will be at your front porch. I've been a Democrat my entire life and I can't imagine why Hillary would prop herself up by positioning the Dems as weak on terror, while suggesting that the Republicans as the only ones who can keep us safe if a terror attack happens. I will vote for anyone but Hillary. If she's the nominee, I'm going third party or staying home. We don't need another warmongering, neocon who refuses to denounce their Iraq-war vote and trounces about the country stating that "war with Iran is not off the table". We need a true leader who can save our democracy, our civil rights and be a rational, diplomatic leader. We don't need Hillary.

    August 24, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. Rod Herz, Los Angeles, CA

    Everybody already knew that...

    For Reps is a political advantage...

    For Dems is a political disadvantage...

    For ALL of Us is a Shame and Disgrace.

    August 24, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Lee Mullen

    If she felt inclined to list things that would help republicans why not mention a victory in Iraq or the strongest economy in decades. this is just a message to al qaeda not to attack us until after the election. Her advisors probably told her that the only thing between her and victory is a major terror attack. There is no other reason to say this. She is clearly talking to the terrorist – how could anyone see it differntly?

    August 24, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Ron, TX

    Nice to see that Clinton has faith in her ability to affect policy change in government. Last time the terrorists attacked, who voted for the wrong war again? Oh. That's right... a democrat with the initials HRC.

    I'm very much afraid that if we do get attacked again, she will continue to make the same mistakes. Nice leadership Hillary! We -really- need Obama to get the nomination. Really badly...

    August 24, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Columbus, OH ... "constant flip flopping"?

    Wasn't it Dubya who spoke out AGAINST using our military for foreign nation building before his 2000 election?

    Wasn't it Dubya who said "I don't think you can win it" in reference to a war on terror BEFORE he said we were "absoliutely" winning it?"

    And did not he say that REPEATEDLY up until the Nov 7th elections which was before his newly hired Sec of Defense said we WERENT winning in Iraq?

    And didn't he just compare the conflict in Iraq to Vietnam after telling us for years that there was no comparison?

    Or were all those just LIES rather than flip flops?

    Tell us wont you?

    August 24, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    Jon from Sacramento,

    Where do you get that the Bush administration has gone after Osama Bin Laden??? Now if you told me we went after the leader of a sovereign nation that had nothing to do with 9/11 (Fact: None of the terrorists on board the planes that hit us on 9/11 were Iraqi) then I'd say you are correct! Unfortunately that is not exactly pursuing Osama Bin Laden my friend, which is what you all criticized Barack Obama for wanting to do. We need to scale back our presence in Iraq to aid and assist the training of the Iraqi forces and escalate our presence in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan to capture and/or execute Osama Bin Laden

    August 24, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Jim, Jacksonville, FL

    Way to point out the obvious Mrs Clinton. Maybe this wouldn't be true if Jimmy Carter and Billy Boy hadn't shown us how well doing nothing works.

    Isn't it ironic that at one time Democrates were viewed as tough on National Defense, but John Kennedy was a different breed of Democrat and nothing like the majority of the jellyfish that the Democrates have running around now.

    August 24, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. matt

    That's a surprisingly candid statement coming from the Dems frontrunner. Does she know something we don't? Hmmm...

    today @ 5 PM

    August 24, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Bill

    Gotta love the logic here. If terrorists attack under the Republican watch, it helps the Republicans. Nevermind the intelligence incompetence that would allow such a thing to occur. No one shines quite the illusion of safety as those Republicans!

    And yes, this was a stupid move on Hillary's part.

    August 24, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Mary, Beaver, PA

    The more that woman talks, the more she puts her foot in it.

    August 24, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. Liz in Davis, CA

    She's right. I'm just not so sure I would have phrased it the way she did. But Bush, his cronies and other GOPs repeatedly use fear to keep us voting for them. They also use it as a way to distract us from the real issues.

    The argument that terrorists will put off attacking us to get a democrat in office is pretty silly. The Bush administration has done more work to errode the world's opinion of US than any Clinton I know of. We are making enemies faster than we can kill them. How about electing a president that will keep us from being attacked?

    August 24, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. Mike, Decatur GA

    Hillary's comment reflects the unfortunate fact that, in wartime, one of our major parties is not serious about defeating the enemy. Rather, Democrats would prefer to focus on health care and the environment. How much better off would we all be if both sides were truly interested in finding and eliminating the terrorist threat?

    Aren't politics supposed to stop at the water's edge? Just reading some of the posts above remind me of how much dissent the Democrats have chosen to sow with respect to nearly every anti-terror measure the President has employed. Wake up, people.

    August 24, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. MGS

    Dear God, the woman could say she had Eggs Benedict for breakfast and you'd find someway to attack that! She will be the Democratic nominee for President, get used to it. The question is, which old cronie from the right will go up against her?

    August 24, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    While I am not certain this is a wise thing to say, it is what most people already believe.

    If you don't believe that Karl the Rover or other conservative strategists have already worked out how to take political advantage of a successful terrorist attack (while simultaneously absolving Bush/Cheney of any responsibility), then you probably believe there are still WMDs in Iraq.

    August 24, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. Andy J., Upstate, NY

    She's no better than Bush. I dislike them both, and even after all that Bush has messed up, I would rather see him than Hillary as president. I don't trust her as far as i can throw her. She's a real snake in the grass, just you wait and see.

    August 24, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Dave, NC .. Hillary stating a simple astoundingly obvious FACT to those who have a brain in their heads is "playing the terror card"?

    Which party do you think will jump all over another attack with their "SEE! I told you we were in constant threat from the terrorists we need to get over THERE before they come here!" rhetoric?

    Hint: They got fleeced on Nov 7th last year and they're run largely on a campaign of FEAR since its all they have to run on.

    James, Conshohocken PA .. isn't it even more odd that it's the TRUTH?

    Chip .. it's even more distasteful to see that Dubya used that very line of reasoning to get re-elected isn't it?

    Jon, Sacramento Ca .. yep .. BRILLIANT in its astounding simplicity: Republicans LOVE terror – it's kept their Commander in Thief in office and makes their politically connected companies richer.

    August 24, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. cliff jones, honolulu hi

    This is the kind of rhetoric that we don't need. She is taking a page from the Bush campaign. She is beginning to show her true colors.

    August 24, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Josue Romano, Buena Park, CA

    Didn't bush got re-elected in 2004 for this fact. The real reason America voted for these two fools is that America felt more secured with a GOP candidate, bush kept scaring the Nation about terror and this is why we all got to pay for our mistake as a Nation for voting for whats his face? by the way I'm independent.

    August 24, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Billl W, Coatesville, PA

    Then I hope they so us a big favor and carry out another attack. If that's what it takes to get rid of this woman once and for all.

    Anybody but Hillary.

    August 24, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Mary C., Austin TX

    I'm speachless... What a horrible thing to say. Although, I could just be over sensitive. I'd like to hear her repeat that on national TV. I'd like to see what the American people would have to say.

    August 24, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. zeke

    Lets put it in this perspective Hillary girl, if the U.S. has another terrorist attack in the next year and a half or beyond, we all lose. If we do not have another terrorist attack we all win.

    Look beyond the politics into the lives of people in our great country. Who wants to elect someone that is focused on party advantage from an attack? I want someone who is focused on keeping myself and my family safe.

    August 24, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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