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. lsd, klamath falls

    To Bea of Hoboken- at least President Bush took action to go to the cells in the Middle East instead of telling the AMerican people not to worry.

    p.s. don't you think that whether or not homeland security tells us about code levels and warns us of plots, most americans will still sit ontheir fat butts, watch tv and go shopping ?

    August 24, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  2. Ann Memphis, TN

    If you want more of the right wing conspiracy, conventional thought and fear vote for Hillary. If you want change, an end to the red state and blue state divide, bipartisanship and common sense VOTE OBAMA.

    August 24, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  3. Chip Celina OH

    Hey, peter, miami, florida; Rick, Chicago Illinois; Shawn, Atlanta, Georgia

    The same thing was used previously? Say it isn't so. My short term memory must be fading faster than I thought, gee, thanks for reminding me. In that case, I guess that justifies Hillary using it.

    Are you not tired of politics as usual?

    Only one of you noticed that Chris Dodd said the same thing I did, of course he's not a "top-tier" candidate so perhaps his views are irrelevant? (if it ain't broke, don't fix it...?) What is that supposed to mean, they're all currently or have been at one time legislators....

    Calling me dramatic! Asking whose campaign I'm working on. Did my comment tip that hat, or are you just suspicious because if I'm against Hillary I must be another candidate's plant or an evil neo-con.

    How would Bush using the same line be "even more distasteful?" Is it because he represents the 'other guys'?

    I think they're equally lame.

    Do you support her actions? Why? Just because the other guy did it isn't a valid answer.

    Best regards,

    Chip

    August 24, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  4. lili, birmingham, mi.

    someone said "if Democrats get elected they won't keep America safe"...

    they will have our soldiers sitting idle, getting paid for doing nothing. well, that sounds really smart.

    August 24, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  5. Anna, Woodbridge, VA

    And with this Administration leaving the Mexican border wide-open and suing any town that tries to reign in the illegal immigration situation. Makes you wonder.

    August 24, 2007 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  6. Paul, Iowa City IA

    Yeah, 4+ years of Clinton partisanship to look forward to. Senator Clinton, the enemy is the terrorists, not Republicans. Why can't we elect a President of the whole United States this time, not just the blue or red half?

    August 24, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  7. Mike, NY

    It's an obvious statement. No need to read too much into it.

    And why are people acting like "the terrorists" will hear about this and plan their entire future upon it? I doubt bin Laden gets cable TV in the mountain caves.

    August 24, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  8. Steven, South Orange, NJ

    Wow Hillary sounds really hmmm whats the word I'm looking for not naive hmmm maybe no not inexperienced. Right because when one candidate tells the american people what they feel its unwise but when Hillary Clinton tells you to vote for her if a terrorist attack happens isn't using fear at all. Fear of terrorists keeping Republicans in power??? I really wish I knew what in the world Hillary was thinking, but we all know she would never tell us because, well she just isn't sincere is she.

    August 24, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. Ron Nebraska

    Just a thought but......why do people continue to say Repugs are stronger on defense when the worst attacked on our soil was executed on their watch? Confusing isn't it?

    August 24, 2007 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  10. Philadelphia, PA

    Terrorist attacks = Endless War = Money for corporations. We'd be better off with Ross Perot as president. At least he would be straightforward about his blatantly opportunistic motives. He said flat-out he would run the country as a corporation. That's much better than allowing some corporation to outfit the war and take the money and run...Everybody's talking about WHY she said what she said–because it's the truth. Does that still matter to conservatives? Or are we supposed to operate on blind faith?

    August 24, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  11. Juanito, Washington, DC

    Hillary Clinton's comment was irresponsible and naive.

    August 25, 2007 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  12. Nadia, Chicago, IL

    That's the kind of fear-mongering I would generally associate with the Bush administration.

    August 25, 2007 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  13. Barry, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    You know it probably wasn't smart to say it but she's right. 9/11 has been very good politically for the Bush administration.

    She feels that, and I have for years. I'm half afraid we'll attack Iran or something as the election nears to scare people into voting Repulican again.

    August 25, 2007 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  14. Chima, York, PA

    Hillary is the best prepared to fight terrorists? What is her foreign policy? She showed how smart she is by voting for the Iraq War.

    And I thought Hillary said presidential candidates should not use hypotheticals...so why is she using hypotheticals?

    Yet another flip flop from Hillary....funny how CNN failed to point out her contradictions on hypotheticals.

    August 25, 2007 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  15. Michael James - Illinois

    It sickens me to think that the main thing Hillary seems to be worried about in the event of another terrorist attack is the political impact.

    Also, how many times does this woman tell us that she doesn't want to engage in hypotheticals? Then, she starts theorizing on the hypothetical impact of an attack.

    The Republicans certainly are the standard-bearers when it comes to the politics of fear, but Hillary's whole campaign is pretty much based on scaring people too. That's really the lynchpin of the pitch when she tries to convince everyone that Obama is too inexperienced. After all, if he had enough experience, he'd really be a much better candidate than HRC, wouldn't he?

    Well, guess what? He actually does have enough experience: Obama has held elected office longer, has more legislative accomplishments and can work with Republicans instead of focusing exclusively on fighting them.

    To top it all off, Obama has much better judgment and leadership skills than Hillary. The sooner people start realizing that, the better off we'll all be.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski is absolutely right in saying "Being a former first lady doesn't prepare you to be president," and "There is a need for a fundamental rethinking of how we conduct world affairs and Obama seems to me to have both the guts and the intelligence to address that issue and to change the nature of America's relationship with the world."

    August 25, 2007 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  16. Michael James - Illinois

    It sickens me to think that the main thing Hillary seems to be worried about in the event of another terrorist attack is the political impact.

    Also, how many times does this woman tell us that she doesn't want to engage in hypotheticals? Then, she starts theorizing on the hypothetical impact of an attack. This one is even more blatant than her flip-flop on who to hypothetically nuke.

    The Republicans certainly are the standard-bearers when it comes to the politics of fear, but Hillary's whole campaign is pretty much based on scaring people too. That's really the lynchpin of the pitch when she tries to convince everyone that Obama is too inexperienced. After all, if he had enough experience, he'd really be a much better candidate than HRC, wouldn't he?

    Well, guess what? He actually does have enough experience: Obama has held elected office longer, has more legislative accomplishments and can work with Republicans instead of focusing exclusively on fighting them.

    To top it all off, Obama has much better judgment and leadership skills than Hillary and without all the baggage. The sooner people start realizing that, the better off we'll all be.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski is absolutely right in saying "Being a former first lady doesn't prepare you to be president," and "There is a need for a fundamental rethinking of how we conduct world affairs and Obama seems to me to have both the guts and the intelligence to address that issue and to change the nature of America's relationship with the world."

    August 25, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  17. Izzy, Queens New York

    The stupidity of this remark is beyond my comprehension. Is Clinton reeling of Cheney's 'talking points'?

    August 25, 2007 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  18. A. Macaulay, Kennebunk, ME

    What an irresponsible thing to say. Maybe this experience versus change debate should really be about what constitutes GOOD JUDGEMENT.

    Mrs. Clinton always seems to be the first to criticize others about making reckless assumptions. But she has put it out there—now jeopardizing the races of our other Democratic candidates running in tight ‘08 Congressional races.

    But now that it is out there can’t Democrats and those critical independent voters also speculate by asking, “What if? What if? Certain things happen after Mrs. Clinton has won the nomination but before the general election, particularly with respect to Bill Clinton and any suspected recent infidelities with younger women that might emerge? Wouldn’t that automatically give the Republicans a morale advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world."

    Unfair question? Irresponsible? Bad Taste? You bet it is. But Dan Rather explored that very question on Chris Matthew’s show last weekend. You can be sure that while Mrs. Clinton is now more than willing speculate on the impact another terrorist attack might have on the entire election—she will no doubt get a pass by an equally irresponsible press that will never ask a “what if question” based on what impact any new suspected unfaithfulness by her husband might have on her as a Presidential candidate or on the general election.

    August 25, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  19. David, Jacksonville, Fl

    Still disappointed in Hillary. She is as bad as her husband when it comes to bending to polls and soundbites.

    Chip wrote:Who actually tries to 'calculate' which party will gain an advantage in the wake of such an unspeakable event? Then assert that "I'm your girl" afterward.

    I think he makes a great point here.
    Unfortuneatly, this seems to be the standard bill of fare that we get from all the candidates, from both parties.

    If we keep having candidates of this quality running for office, we will end up like France, a socialist nightmare that keeps finding new ways to become worse.

    August 25, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Peg, Brookeland, Texas

    If Hillary gets in the White House, she will find it much more difficult to handle the terrorists than if her husband had taken bin Laden after he was captured by another country and served to him on a silver platter. He also could have taken him when snipers had him in sight, but he was too wishy-washy to give the command. Will Hillary have the guts to do what her husband wouldn't? Perhaps she learned a lesson from him. If so, it came at the high price of 3,000 lives.

    After reading these posts, I'm expecting an "explanation" from her since it's been such an unpopular thing for her to have said.

    PS: What is a neocon that people refer to so much in these posts? I really don't know?

    August 25, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    This indeed was the most bizarre comment I've heard from Hillary so far, "naïve" and "irresponsible". Not surprised however.

    RichG, Los: you must be from the same planet that Michael Moore is from.

    August 25, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. Chris Chicago, IL

    Consider that there is the possibility that terrorism isn't just the muslim extremists strapping on bombs. Maybe there is another kind of terror going on. Maybe Christianity preaching a judgment coming that already occured is a bit of a terrorist act in itself. Maybe you are stuck in a cause and effect parabola. Maybe it includes an american capitulation to unfair trade agreements. Maybe that agreement is hidden somewhere behind: 2 fish, 5 loaves, 12 baskets full of scraps.
    Oh, I know, I know!
    ME ME ME!
    Big fish exhumed to collect tax.

    August 25, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Peg, Brookeland, Texas .. learn to read!

    Your explanation was given by several people on this thread above you.

    But I'll paraphrase for ya ..

    Since Republicans thrive on F-E-A-R and use it to get elected, they would jump all over another terrorist attack saying "SEE! We're under constant the threat of terror .. which is why we need to keep getting them THERE before they come HERE!"

    Of course this would be yet another major foreign terrorist attack under Republican watch that would disprove the theory of "you can get them there before they come here", but never mind.

    People are generally too stupid to grasp THAT flaw when their all emotional following an attack, an attack that even Republicans said is going to come soon.

    Oh, and by the way, Sudan offered to send Osama to SAUDI ARABIA, and SAUDI ARABIA refused him. Sudan never offered bin Laden to Clinton or the United States.

    In fact, the 9-11 Commission "Staff Statement No. 5," rejected the Sudanese claim. On page 109 of its report, the 911 Commission states: "Sudan's minister of defense, Fatih Erwa, has claimed that Sudan offered to hand Bin Ladin over to the United States. The Commission has found no credible evidence that this was so."

    See, just cuz Sean Hannity says it on FOX news, doesn't MAKE it so.

    And, by the way, how's that search for Osama coming AFTER he put an extra 3,000 life bounty on his head? Was he ever found "dead OR alive"? And do you think that Dubya's letting him escape from Tora Bora or disbanding the terrorism unit in charge of finding him might have something to do with that?

    August 25, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Ron Nebraska

    If the Repugs are so good at defense how come the biggest terrorist attack on our soil was executed on their watch?

    August 25, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  25. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Rick from Chicago, this 9-11 report that you speak of, did it have all the facts or did someone steal some documents????

    Now Sean Hannitty asked me to ask you, what did Sandy Berger steal (remember, Bill Clinton signed off on him going to the archives) from the national archives before the 9-11 commission was to meet?

    Stuffing documents in your socks and briefcase on MULTIPLE VISITS, hiding them under a trailer and then when the coast was clear, retrieving them and then (here's the money shot) DESTROYING them.

    Now since I watch CNN, MSNBC (it is for the humor) and FOX, they also would like to hear your spin on this question.

    Bush sucks and he blew it with OBL, but your boy Billy can cry all he wants to Chris Wallace, he blew it too.

    Fair and balanced hammering.

    August 25, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
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