August 24th, 2007
12:38 PM ET
14 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. Eric, Huntington Beach, CA

    I knew Hillary was more of the same, but I have to say I'm surprised to see her using the politics of fear. Republicans aren't any better at tracking down terrorists and bringing them to justice, they're just more willing to sacrifice our civil rights for that end. Instead of challenging conventional wisdom, Hillary Clinton is just pointing out why you should be scared into voting for her. Obama is the candidate who is challenging the conventional wisdom.

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

    Republicans made the world more dangerous? What about that sissy Carter or her two timing husband?

    August 24, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. Tim, El Cerrito CA

    Jon – that's not what she is saying. That was a stretch of the imagination. And Mike she wasn't playing the fear card either. Your posts totally mischaracterized her statement. If your going to discuss or debate something at least try and use some semblance of logic. Give us a break.

    August 24, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. HomeoftheBrave

    ie..., wait unti after the election, then we'll be sitting on our thumbs and doing nothing to stop you.

    August 24, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Susan, Fort Pierce, Florida

    Hillary is right. People are so stupid that another terrorists attack would probably help the Republicans. This is dispite the fact that the Republican administration has made our world a much moore dangerous place and bungled things badly! The fact that the Republicans are still viewed by many people to be "stronger on terrorism" shows how stupid they are.

    August 24, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. GC, Portland, OR

    Ok, since 911 we have not been attacked, is that due to them not wanting to mess with Bush? Is it because they have not been able to plan and impliment? It sounds like Hillary is saying: The terrorist are afraid of the GOP staying in office so they will not attack. If the DEM get office we can look forward to being attacked because they do not fear the Democrats.

    August 24, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Al, KS

    Clinton voted to authorize the Iraq war...doesn't seem as if she's the best candidate to react to a terrorist attack.

    August 24, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Chris Chicago, IL

    Her redhead headdress collapses. Try not to forget about that.

    http://www.golden-lamp.com

    August 24, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Dan, Milwaukee WI

    It's absolutely true – and every other candidate and pundit are thinking the exact same thing....but not speaking it. The Republicans have worked this very message for the past eight years and know all too well the implications of another attack. Like it or not – it's a fact of life in American politics now.

    August 24, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Rick Willams Mineral Bluff, Ga.

    she is absolutely right....
    The terror attack in Madrid's Etocha Station is a perfect example of how terrorist attacks can and will effect elections.

    August 24, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Linda, McHenry, IL

    It's a sad state of affairs when you have to use fear tactics to win an election. Is that all we have going for us? If it is, we're doomed.

    August 24, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. Craig form her NY home town, New York

    An enemy of my enemy is my friend? In a very strange way, are the Terrorists the GOP Stealth Friends? I hope the electorate disavow themselves of such stealth alliances. Our hopes will triumph over our fears, so Hillary, you are wrong. Hillary,if you want to be our President you will have to trust our evolved judgement. We trusted you on the Iraq war vote and you got it wrong.If our judgement is better than yours, we will not blindly sanction any stealth alliances and the next President will demonstrate the capacity not just fear tactics leading us through such challenging times.

    August 24, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Chris, Austin TX

    Why is this controversial? Isn't she right?

    August 24, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Lynn, Tucson, AZ

    Somehow I can just see her on her knees, hands folded on her bed at night praying for a terrorist attack...she's as sick and twisted as her husband....

    August 24, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. RichG, Los

    The Terrorist is our Government. They planned 9/11, and they're planning another attack on their people. It's all part of the Project for a New America. We are never leaving the middle-east, as a part of the New World Order.
    http://www.newamericancentury.org

    Google The American Empire, David Ray Griffin.

    Americans have been fooled and continue to be fooled.

    Peace, and good luck.

    August 24, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. C.Nilsen

    You may be right that her comment was tasteless; however, sometimes the truth must speak irregardless!!

    August 24, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Dan, TX

    WHAT? Isn't this the person who distains hypotheticals as evidence of being naive and inexperienced?

    August 24, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. Kathy, Loomis, California

    MS.Clinton's comments were not only tasteless, but frightening...let us not forget that we are talking about electing a PRESIDENT here. As a presidential candidate, she should be demonstrating her best behavior, discretion and judgment. To make such unguarded and unwise remarks surely raises questions about her ability to control her words, and by extension, her actions & reactions.

    If elected, she would be dealing with untold amounts of information that would need to be closely guarded. National security concerns are only one issue. Diplomatic meetings, contacts with other heads of state and governments, as well as with other political leaders & constituents make discretion & foresight essential.

    Ms. Clinton appears to "shoot from the hip" & react to situations, rather than having the ability to carefully weigh her words before thinking. Too often,she appears to put expediency & situational concerns before the wiser course of considering long term implications.

    Do we really want this type of behavior representing our country on the world stage?

    I think not.

    August 24, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. SL Tampa, FL

    I love the way people always have an issue when a politician states the obvious! Stop trying so hard to be politically correct. Us regular American folk want truth, not pretty words and niceties.
    Signed,
    Republican

    August 24, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. Robert M. Reidy, Tillson, N.Y.

    I think that the candidates should leave these hypotheticles about attacks out of the debate as much as possible for it centers attention on attacking us. If it does happen both parties will have to deal with the issue anyway and we the people will decide whom we shall pick as the best leadership to handle our future and in this area I actually think that the Dems. can hold there own when it comes to defense, after all the Republicans got us deeper into this mess and have created more terrorists with the invasion of Iraq.

    Help is on the way!

    BaROCK the vote !!!

    August 24, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. Don, Rio rancho NM

    Hillary is just Bush-lite! she will just continue the head games of the bush adminstration

    August 24, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    What you missed after Dodd said it was "Tasteless", is where he mumbled "but true."

    She isn't playing the fear card as the republicans do on a daily basis. She is simply stating the obvious truth when asked a question.

    Telling it like I see it,
    Wynter

    August 24, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. Cable King Pittsburgh Pa

    1. Hillary – this was simply an unbecoming remark, even though the other side has been doing it since 9/11.

    2. Why do those bloggers who whine about CNN keep coming back?

    August 24, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. SP, Phoenix AZ

    She's probably correct in that assertion, the question is whether or not she should have said it. Was it a foot-in-mouth moment for Hillary? She seems to choose her words pretty carefully, she knows the ears of the world are listening. Maybe she's trying to draw a reaction from the Republican candidates, since all they seem to want to talk about is abortion and gay marriage.

    Republicans, of course, are more than happy to use the fear of terrorism as an election tactic. Nobody ever brings this up, but remember before the 2004 election all the "terrorism alerts" issued by the Dept. of Homeland Security? Seemed like every time Bush's numbers dipped, Homeland would issue another alert. There was one right before the Fouth of July weekend about exploding beer coolers! As far as I know, nobody ever investigated this abuse or mentioned it again, and we haven't had an "alert" since the election.

    I suspect Hillary is trying to stay a step ahead of the GOP and frame the debate her way. John Kerry spent his campaign defending himself, and poorly at that. Hillary seems well aware of the lows the GOP will go to smear a Democrat, and she won't let herself be swift-boated.

    August 24, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. ReadBtwthlins

    Clinton is:
    proud of voting to authorize the president to go to war;
    delighted that Saddam Hussein was captured;
    thinks American troops should stay in Iraq for as long as they're needed, and at higher levels than present, if necessary;
    thinks that the postwar fight to secure Iraq is crucial.

    And yet, for some reason, she also thinks a terrorist attack is good for the GOP??

    August 24, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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