January 23rd, 2013
03:24 PM ET
10 years ago

#whatdifferencedoesitmake: Clinton quote goes viral on Twitter

(CNN) - If Hillary Clinton decides to run for president in 2016, some critics on Twitter already know what slogan she should use: "What difference does it make?"

In a heated moment of anger, the secretary of state asked the question as she fought back criticism before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday during a hearing on last year's U.S. consulate attack in Libya.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson grilled Clinton on the erroneous, initial talking points that claimed the attack stemmed from a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam video, though the administration later defined it as a terrorist attack and said a protest never happened.

After beating back the repeated questions, Clinton erupted.

"With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans," she said. "Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator."

But the Twitter-sphere quickly seized on the outburst.

[tweet https://twitter.com/NeVet1/status/294105360141275136%5D

Not only did the hashtag spread, but so did a graphic of Clinton's 2008 campaign sign juxtaposed with the phrase "What difference does it make?"

[tweet https://twitter.com/withthetroops/status/294129477263433728%5D

Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin jumped on the train, as well.

[tweet https://twitter.com/michellemalkin/statuses/294105716149612544%5D

Within hours the hashtag was "trending" on Twitter.

Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation also tweeted the phrase, along with video of U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, who became the face of the erroneous talking points after she used them on numerous Sunday morning talk shows last September.

[tweet https://twitter.com/Heritage/status/294132116885753857%5D

Others took to humor, as this Twitter user, who tweaked a famous statement made by her husband when he was called to testify before a grand jury about the Monica Lewinsky affair.

[tweet https://twitter.com/SmokeEater1978/status/294166772360294400%5D

- CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Senate • Twitter
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Kevin

    It amazes me how many idiots think that this wasn't a cover up to win the election. This country is in deep deep trouble with sooooo many morons living here. Keep listening to the left wing media you stupid sheep.

    January 23, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. LIP

    Just read Sniffits post above mine and gotta say this...you mock Bush about the deaths of innocents ,but say nothing about those same innocents that are dying from non-discriminating drone attacks with likewise thousands of deaths. You can't criticize one without pointing the finger at the current President or can you find a way around this as well? Let me see you rationalize please.

    January 23, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. PaganScorp

    Your country needs to vote for this woman in 2016! It doesn't make one bit of difference how it happened. Why it happened is the real issue. Good for her.

    Hillary Clinton in 2016!!!

    January 23, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Just asking

    I'm just an outsider from another country, but even I know what Sec. Clinton mean't when she uttered those words. Why don't the Republican "powers that be" know? Of course they do. Those poor souls are dead, whether it was an uprising over a movie or terrorism, and they were dead before the administration made any statements about it, so there was no coverup. Watching from afar, the Republican Party is looking "sillier and sillier".

    January 23, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. RMC

    Taken out of context and paraphrased. Only the idiots will run with this as actually meaning anything important... Breaking News on Fox!!!

    If the 4 lives lost meant anything going into this, they don't now.

    Worry not HRC, these people didn't plan on voting for you anyhow.

    January 23, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "If we can blame Bush for a hurricane hitting New Orleans and the failure of FEMA and state agencies to respond properly to the crisis, then we can certainly hold this administration accountable for it's failures over the Benghazi attack. "

    Except the evidence for the former existed and the evidence for the latter really doesn't. The GOP/Teatrolls in Congress are grandstanding with long speeches and few questions during their "turns" and that clearly shows they don't really want to get answers to questions...beacuse the answers won't be what they want to hear. When the chairman opens up the hearing with accusations amounting to him having already made his decisions about what happened prior to the hearing, then you know you're in for a kangaroo court.

    January 23, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    To bad it wasn't Johnson the gop bafoon party stooge in Libya ,but he's a coward !!!!

    January 23, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Deficits don't matter"


    January 23, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Bilk

    It is not a party issue. We should not allow the government to LIE to us. That is why it matters.

    January 23, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. deb0155

    What difference does it make? The fact is there are four dead Americans, it was a terrorist attack, and the American people were lied to. And we do have to find out why this happened and who was responsible and who did not make the decision to either get these people out of the country or get more people to defend them.

    Yes, Hillary, it makes a hell of a difference and you were covering up for Obama's re-election.

    Aren't we all just tired of the lies coming out of Washington? When does it end? When do we, the American people, demand that our politicians who are riding on the backs of the American people stop the lies and do what is right for us. While they lead the good life in Washington – the rest of the country is really suffering. I'm tired of the BS about hair and dresses – I want action taken to protect all Americans either abroad or here in the states.

    I am disgusted with all of our politicians no matter which side of the aisle they sit.

    January 23, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. mb2010a

    Where was all the Republican indignation when the following attacks occurred? Not a peep from them back then...

    Where was all that concern for our men and women serving in embassies and consulates across the globe when all the other attacks and killings occurred?

    Like in 2002 when the US Consulate in the Karachi, Pakistan, was attacked and 10 were killed?

    Or in 2004 when the US embassy in Uzbekistan was attacked and two were killed and another nine injured?

    How about in 2004, when the US Consulate in Saudi Arabia was stormed and 8 lost their lives?

    There is more: In 2006, armed men attacked the US Embassy in Syria and one was murdered.

    Then in 2007 a grenade was thrown at the US Embassy in Athens.

    In 2008, the US Embassy in Serbia was set on fire.

    In 2008, bombings in the US Embassy in Yemen killed 10.

    Notice the dates, all before the Obama administration. Guess who was president?

    This is to say nothing about the 2001 Twin Towers attack in which 3000 Americans died on our home turf and yet no investigations from the Republicans. Methinks I smell a rat...

    January 23, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. kinglywarrior

    Not sure how anyone fails to see that she is right. What the attack was called AFTER it occurred makes no difference in the deaths of 4 Americans. If they called it a "drive by shooting by clown car", it woudl still be 4 dead Americans and a need to find a way to prevent it happening again.

    January 23, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. Brett

    Oh the poor Republican Party...they really are desperate aren't they? I mean it just shows, it's so pathetic. I pity them. I will especially pity them in 2016 when they only receive about 20 votes.

    January 23, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. kinglywarrior

    There sure are a lot of stupid people on Twitter

    January 23, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. Zedlok

    Originally we thought it was related to that damn video. Ya know, the one that sparked worldwide riots and killed FORTY other people. It made sense, but turns out the original supposition was logical but wrong.

    Republicans want to blame Obama for that. They goes as far as took cookup a coverup conspiracy theory. Four Americans are dead, now are we going to do something about that or play political dodgeball? Screw the GOP. So much for "country first."

    January 23, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. smithdp

    I remember all of these conservatives being so up in arms when 2000 Americans died on 9/11 and it was later known that Bush had received a memo stating that terrorists who wanted to attack us with airplanes were "already" in the country. Not really, then it was all about "we need to stay united, we were just attacked". The hypocrisy is ludicrous.

    January 23, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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