August 24th, 2007
12:38 PM ET
16 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."

Full story

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Shawn, Atlanta, Georgia

    Hey Chip, stop with all of the drama. Its no secret that political outfits use our fear of a terrorist attack as a way to present one political party as being more concerned with the security of the American homeland. Bush constantly commented during his second campaign that if the Democrats are elected, they won't keep Americans safe. When called on his alarmism, he then switiched to the whole gay marriage mantra. Terror alert levels were always at their highest in airports during the last presidential campaign. I am not sure whose campaign you are working on, but we all know that the Republicans have used the fear factor since Sept. 11th to control the thinking of Americans. Also, if you will remember, when the Iraq War vote went before Congress intially, a number of politicians that voted against it lost their seats during reelection. So stop with the drama. As for Chris Dodd; if it ain't broke, then don't try and fix it. That is, your legislative career is going well; stay there. You are a legislator, not a President.

    August 24, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Maria, Houston

    It is natural that people rally to support their leaders when their homeland is under attack. (Remember the atmosphere after 9/11.) It is the conclusion of her statement that is incorrect. Most of countries (other than Western Europe) operate on traditional principles of having a male leader. Mrs. Clinton might be able to implement some good ideas about education and health care, but she would not be taken seriously in male dominated countries (which are many and I lived in some, too, so I know what I am talking about). Weather we like it or no, this is not about enlightening chauvinistic guys or inspiring oppressed women somewhere in Pakistan. This is about the world's only Superpower being lead by a female, Hillary Clinton, Commander in Chief. To think that this is irrelevant or could be overcome, THAT is truly naive...America is laughed at and hated already, this would create even more division... I can sympatize with her as a woman, but partisan politics aside, she is not the right person for the job...

    August 24, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. jayj, Albany NY

    "What If"? Is this a responsible and experienced presidential candidate speaking "HYPOTHETICALLY" about our national security? I am naievely flip-flopped

    August 24, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. David, Salinas, CA

    To ReadBtwthlins:
    Since you’ve chosen to lift your comments almost word-for-word from a previous post by Tom of Dedham Mass, I’ll give you a paraphrase of my response:

    1)She’s “proud of voting to authorize the president to go to war”
    She’s not proud of the vote, but she has no reason to be ashamed of it either.
    Senator Clinton voted to give the President a tool to use against an enemy. That Bush completely misused that tool is not her fault. Bush bungled the war, not Clinton.

    2) “she's "delighted" that Saddam Hussein was captured”
    Me too. But that doesn’t mean it was worth the terrible price we payed.

    3) “American troops should stay in Iraq for as long as they're needed”
    Yes they should. But we need to put enough pressure on the Iraqi government so we aren’t needed anymore.

    4) “and the postwar fight to secure Iraq is crucial.”
    It is. We shouldn’t have gone to war, but we did. We made a mess of it and we need to help clean it up.

    As to the last comment, it’s about politics, not policy. I’m not sure it was a smart political thing to say, but it’s obviously true.

    Senator Clinton (and the rest of the Democratic candidates) are trying to solve a difficult problem that an incompetent Republican administration has created. They are finally being joined in that effort by rational Republican like John Warner. Misleading innuendo like your posting does a disservice to America in a time of crisis.

    August 24, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. David, Encinitas, CA

    Too bad that Barack Obama's comment about Bush-Cheney lite was so close to the mark. Is Hilary Clinton reading from the Bush playbook the chapter on "let's use fear to scare up support". We're not that stupid, Hilary.

    August 24, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Robert

    Wasn't it Clinton who warned against “hypotheticals” when Obama talked about Pakistan? Now she is creating one of her own. Be careful what you say and who you criticize. She is being a hypothetical hypocrite I say! Why hasn’t CNN reported on this? I wonder?

    Obama in 08' I say!

    August 24, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    Have you all forgotten Ashcroft and his scare tactics of constantly raising the code to orange? Maybe it's because most of you are not from the NYC area, but we had enough of code oranges for unspecified dangers. The Republicans used the "war on terror" as the main reason why people should reelect Bush in 2004. Hillary is just stating the facts.

    August 24, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. Cindy L., Cleveland, OH

    Hillary Clinton ROCKS!

    August 24, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. lynn

    The only way the government is going to move ahead and solve the problems the nation faces from immigration, to terrorism, to the Iraqi war and all the problems that are not solved by a group of divisive, partisan, politically expedient politicians is to vote for leaders who will bring people together.

    These leaders are not running for the Republican side nor is Hilary Clinton. Any of these people as president is to continue the stalmated, unfavorable record of the past.

    Voters need to seek out reasonable, nation first candidates or who knows where this country will be in five years.

    August 24, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |

    This is not a stupid remark. She is so correct that it is scarry. The republicans do nothing better than use terrorism to keep the American people right where they want them. Any time it is close to any election, you can count on the "The Terror Color Code" being "BLAZING RED". Come on people wise up to the manipulation. Hillary how ever crazy that comment might sound to some you are definitely right.

    August 24, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca


    Evan Esteves – you wrote, "Where do you get that the Bush administration has gone after Osama Bin Laden??? "

    Perhaps you missed the whole Afghanistan engagement? You remember – where we told the Taliban to turn over Bin Laden. They refused. We went into Afghanistan, removed the Taliban, killed high-value Al Qaeda targets, tracked OBL to mountain caves (Bora Bora) and still have an ongoing presence seeking OBL's death? Is that all news to you?

    Rick ~ Chicago

    You wrote, "BRILLIANT in its astounding simplicity: Republicans LOVE terror – it's kept their Commander in Thief in office and makes their politically connected companies richer."

    Awww Ricky – here I thought we were going to be friends! First – let me compliment you ... you ARE a very knowledgeable person – and I assume a fairly honest guy. SO... how about you and I set the record STRAIGHT:

    In 1997 the Clinton Administration put up for bid the LOGCAP (U.S. Army Logistics Civil Augmentation Program) for the Balkans. The present company doing the contract was Halliburton. The lowest bidder in 1997 was Dyncorp. WHO DID PRESIDENT CLINTON AWARD THE CONTRACT TO?

    Just want to make sure when you start touting how Republicans make sure "their" companies (ala Halliburton) get all the big contracts – you stay intellectually honest here.

    August 24, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. Dan, TX

    I'm sorry, but I have to reorder my preference for the democratic candidates. Note: this is just my voting, it is perfectly reasonable for people to conclude to support any of the candidates, I am not criticizing.

    My preferences

    1. Obama (retains my first choice) Obviously sincere, experienced, tremendous leader. Very detailed policy statements clearly articulated in speeches and on web site. I KNOW where he stands and what he'll do. I have never been more excited to support a candidate.

    2. Biden (up from third). Very detailed policies I KNOW where he stands and I trust him.

    3. Clinton (down from second). Where's the experience? She has almost no clearly articulated plans. Just look at her web site. In her most recent speech available on her web site, she promises a comprehensive health plan next month. I'm sure she is studying Obama's and Biden's web sites for the excellent health care policies they have explained in detail there. I'm losing faith in her, she is a lightning rod for partisanship. The statement reported here doesn't bode well. I just don't see her earning the trust of the republican side to allow compromise, in part because I don't see her ever trusting the republican side. She also seems rather hypocritical in doing the saying the things that she criticizes Obama for saying – nukes, hypotheticals, etc.

    4. Richardson (retaining 4th). Again, just not enough details to judge. Vague plans relative to Obama and Biden.

    August 24, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. Ron, TX

    Obama just received the endorsement of the top democratic foreign policy experts: Brzezinski. The only person to endorse HRC's foreign policy statements: HRC.

    August 24, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. David, Los Angeles, CA

    So glad Hillary is not afraid to keeping speaking the truth. Finally, a candidate who is not afraid to be controversial.

    The GOP is so hypocritical it hurts. Neocons have been using terrorism to scare up votes for years, and now they blast Hillary for pointing it out? Who are these people kidding.

    I think they're just terrified they've finally met the Democrat who can (and will) beat them at their own game. The view ain't so good from the other side, huh?

    August 24, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. VanReuter NY NY

    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….
    Posted By Lynn, Tucson, AZ : August 24, 2007 3:22 pm

    Want to know who's, "sick and twisted", your disgusting psychotic post.


    August 24, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  16. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    I guess there is no getting through to die hard Republicans. They will stay loyal and true at whatever cost. They will see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear, and keep praising Bush and his administration for the imaginary accomplishments they see in their fairy tale world.

    So go ahead, put another Republican in office. And when your next Republican leader continues to destroy all you hold sacred, you can go again to your safe fairy tale world and pretend all is well and good in America.

    In my world, the terrorists do not create as much fear or dread as the Republicans.

    August 24, 2007 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  17. Claude, Mesa AZ

    Good Ole Hillary....using a hypothetical. She has alot of nerve trashing Obama. Double standard at it's best! True leaders stay focused and Hillary is not one of them.

    August 24, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. rickedmonds - Burlington, VT

    That statement is right out of the Bush playbook for the last election. It was distasteful when they used it and still is today.

    August 24, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    $1000 bucks says ReadBtwthlins doesn't respond to the verbal bashing he's endured on this thread!

    He continually posts a comment, then cut and runs away at the slightest hint of confrontation.

    1000 more bucks says he's a republican!

    August 24, 2007 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  20. Ryan, Provo,UT

    I'm a democrat and while this may be true its utterly disgusting for Hillary to be thinking about and talking about things like this. If there's anything holy left lets please not frame a domestic terror attack in terms of who stands to "benefit" from it. Please!

    I've never been a huge Hillary fan but this comment has pretty much sealed the deal. If she's the Democratic candidate, I may just stay home. We don't need more of that kind of divisiveness in America.

    August 24, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  21. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Jon, Sacramento,

    "Since it's been the Republican administration (Bush) that has used our military to pursue OBL, Al Qaeda, and terrorists"

    Ummm ... Would that be the same Bush administration that promised to get OBL "dead or alive" (insert more bad-azz, cowboy statements as you see fit here) .. and then called off American troops when he had OBL pinned down in Tora Bora?

    Would that be the SAME Bush administration that then disbanded the terrorist tracking unit that was looking for him?

    Would that be the very ummm ... same Bush administration that HAS YET TO FIND HIM?

    And would this be the same Bush administration that is now responsible for Al Queda's presence in Iraq – a place where they formerly couldn't reside when Saddam was in power? Who is now nation building in Iraq with our military after criticizing Clinton for doing so with peacekeeping missions in Haiti, Somalia and the Balkans?


    Would this ALSO be the same Bush administration that said "I don't think you can win it" in reference to the very War on Terror that they started, with OTHER (under-armored) kids lives, to secure those stockpiles of WMDS that they were in a rush to NOT find?

    LOL ... better luck next time coming up with some Bush "positives" that I can't tear down quite so incredibly easily.

    August 24, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. Carolina Dude

    Now she's done it. Inciting terrorism, even if indirectly, is a very bad move on her part.

    I bet the repubs really are worried now, because Hillary has just lost a large percentage of her "in the bag" supporters, because of this outrageous comment. And the repubs were hoping SHE would be the nominee, because she would be easiest to beat (compared to Edwards and Obama).

    She's crossed the line on this one, and am glad she did. Putting her foot in her mouth about Iraq didn't seem to be enough, now's she got BOTH feet in there. She'll never get the Democratic nod with "incite-ful" comments like that. She should just withdraw, or at least leave her feet in her mouth.

    It's looking brighter for Edwards and Obama every day !!!

    August 24, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. john, des moines iowa

    Did Clinton really say that terrorist attacks would "help" any group or person? Why would any candidate say that?

    That Democratic Rep. Clyburn (sp?) said last week that winning in Iraq would not be a good thing for Democrats. Oh that's really a good one too.

    August 24, 2007 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  24. I love my country, Ohio

    Even though it's a difficult concept to fathom, I believe that using fear and setting up a situation to illicit fear is exactly what benefits someone who does everything they can to get elected and to achieve thier ideology. Hitler dressed up his soldiers in Polish uniforms and had them storm into a German radio station killing Germans so that he would be able to acquire Poland. This created much fear in his country and he then was able to "defend" his country against Poland as a result. Little did the Germans know that is what Hitler was up to. We can be quite blind when it comes to fear and manipulation. I do believe the 2004 vote was a result of this very same fear and manipulation. Terror warnings were used to pull people back into the Bush frame of mind. A video of Osama bin Laden came out right before the election which virtually solidified Bush's reelection; of course there was also much talk of gay marriages that brought the right wing conservation bible belt out to vote. I can't for the life of me understand how that could take precedence over a war, but it did for some. I also wonder how much of 911 was staged, or at least known beforehand, so as to acquire the Bush ideology called PNAC. If people would just do a little bit of research, you would see that not all of the events of 911 add up. It's really quite scary to research this stuff. NO, it doesn't make a person anti-American to do so. It takes a very smart person to question things that don't add up and to do what is right for their country. We cannot afford to play into this fear hand, or we will end up losing all freedoms that remain. We have lost enough already.

    August 24, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. sahee brooklyn, ny

    So Hillary can't stand on her convictions; she can't win on her vast experience with foreign matters, her financial savvy and military expertise? She thinks people will really think higher of her if she says a terrorist attack will help Republicans?

    August 24, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
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