May 18th, 2014
03:34 PM ET
6 years ago

Political Chatter: Hillary Clinton is talk of the town

Hillary Clinton was the subject that consumed the political talk shows, as questions continued to be raised about Karl Rove’s comments regarding her health.

While Republicans attacked the noncandidate, Democrats defended her but also expressed concern over her strategy so far in advance of the next presidential election.

If you missed the Sunday political talk shows, we’ll get you up to speed on the latest events and opinion in Washington with this comprehensive roundup of all things political:

Hillary Clinton: It’s widely accepted that it hasn’t been a good couple of weeks for Hillary Clinton. She is being attacked by Republicans over various foreign policy problems, including Benghazi and Boko Haram; her approval ratings are sliding, Monica Lewinsky spoke out, and Bill Clinton’s vocal defense could be making things worse.

And now some Democrats are questioning aspects of her strategy.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said he is concerned about the “inevitability” factor with a potential Clinton nomination.

“I do worry about the inevitability thing,” Patrick said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” adding that it’s “off-putting to the … average voter.”

“I think that was an element of her campaign the last time,” he said, without having to specify how that turned out (Barack Obama won). “I just hope that the people around her pay attention to that this time around.”

Clinton said she was going to take it easy and catch up on her sleep after she stepped down as secretary of state last year, but she took little downtime and immediately turned to writing a book, “Hard Choices,” that is to be released next month. She has also been traveling the country to make paid speeches, stoking speculation that she is strategically plotting a presidential run.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, expressed concerns similar to Patrick’s.

“I did talk with her and thought it would be better that she not get out there early, because her favorability was so high, that all that could happen in this is go down,” Feinstein said on “State of the Union.”

Feinstein was right. Clinton’s approval rating has slipped.

California Gov. Jerry Brown, who is dealing with severe wildfires in his state, said on ABC’s “This Week” that while Clinton is the “overwhelming favorite” for the Democrats in 2016, front-runner status comes with challenges.

“Being a front-runner is being on a perch that everyone else is going to try to knock you off of,” he said on ABC’s “This Week,” adding that Clinton needs to be “wise” on how she proceeds.

Feinstein, however, is still a fan. She said Republican strategist Karl Rove’s public speculation that Clinton might have brain damage is “pathetic.”

“She’s in the prime of her political life,” Feinstein said.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Rove said the Clintons are hypocritical for crying foul.

“I love President Clinton’s comments the other day,” Rove said. “Let’s remember, this is a guy who ran for office savaging Bob Dole.”

“I love being lectured by Bill Clinton,” Rove said sarcastically.

Bill Clinton didn’t necessarily lecture Rove, but he did defend his wife last week, saying she is “strong.” But the former president might have made the situation worse for his wife by saying she had a “terrible” concussion that took six months to get over. That is the first time anyone from her team has said it was a six-month recovery.

“Karl Rove is struggling to be relevant,” Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri shot back on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” calling the former Bush adviser’s super PAC, which spent more than $175 million trying to elect Republican Mitt Romney, an “abject failure.”

McCaskill - who has had a complicated relationship with Hillary Clinton ever since the 2008 campaign, when she backed Clinton’s challenger, then-Sen. Barack Obama - called Rove’s remarks “a cheap political shot.”

While the Rove talking point was a central point of discussion, Republicans on the talk shows didn’t jump to defend him.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent, said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that Rove’s remarks were “outrageous and over the pale.”
On Fox, former Vice President Dick Cheney - who has had severe health problems, including five heart attacks - didn’t question Clinton’s health but said, “Any presidential candidate … is going to have to answer questions about their health.”

Cheney’s take was similar to the one by Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee, but neither refused an opportunity to criticize Clinton - which brings us to Benghazi.

Benghazi: “I think she clearly bears responsibility for whatever the State Department did or didn’t know about it,” Cheney said about Clinton and the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. “I do think it’s a major issue. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of it yet.”

Priebus said Clinton’s health isn’t an issue for him, but that she “is trying to sweep Benghazi under the rug.”

Democrats, who have dismissed Republicans’ ongoing attempts to find more damaging information on Benghazi, played down the GOP’s criticisms again.

McCaskill again defended Clinton with a huge compliment - perhaps a public attempt at mending their relationship with a slight against Obama: “She has got the strongest resume for president of anyone who had run in a very long time.”

Feinstein said the special committee on Benghazi launched by House Republicans is “ridiculous.”

“It’s a hunting mission for a lynch mob,” she said on “State of the Union.” She pointed to the previous four reports, numerous hearings, and thousand-page document reviews as proof that there is nothing left to uncover.

But Republicans know that keeping Benghazi in the spotlight could, at best, peel away at Clinton’s favorability and, at worst, implicate her for her role. Given that, Priebus was out with a bold prediction: “Given the month she just had, I actually doubt very much whether she actually will run for president in 2016.”

The VA: Amid the growing scandal about wait times and care at veterans' hospitals, President Obama's chief of staff, Dennis McDonough, said the President is "madder than hell and I have got the scars to prove it."

But the head of the Veterans Affairs Department, Eric Shinseki, received tepid support.

Dr. Samuel Foote, the retired VA doctor who first spoke to CNN about this story, said on “Fox News Sunday” that firing Shinseki wouldn’t solve much.

Rights group calls VA official 'scapegoat' in scandal over wait times, care

“It we switch secretaries then the focus will get away from fixing the problem to who the new secretary’s going to be. And then he’ll have three- or six-month or a nine-month grace period because he’s the new guy,” Foote said. “Our best bet at this point is to keep the (current) secretary on board, but I think the President needs to keep him on a pretty short leash and be sure that he's doing the job."

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger had a different take, saying Shinseki should go. “We need to get somebody there … that knows how to fix the problem,” he said.

Offering assurance that Shinseki will keep his job – for now – McDonough said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" that the VA head will "continue to work these issues until they're fixed."

Kicker: Feinstein said her relationship with the CIA isn’t any better since she publicized the feud between the agency and her oversight committee over alleged spying on her staff’s computers.

“I’m not there to be the most popular person in any building,” she said. “When there’s something going on that shouldn’t be, we do something about it.”

Filed under: Dick Cheney • Hillary Clinton • Karl Rove
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. paul reynolds

    Folks – Let's keep Benghazi in proper Perspective!
    * 4 Brave Americans died on Active Duty serving their Country in dangers they accepted
    It's not like over 3000 Innocent American Civilians, Kids and Babies were killed in the worst Attack ever on American Soil because our President ignored Warnings while on months of "Vacation" and "Clearin' Brush" on his fake Dude Ranch instead of Protecting Americans..!!
    How many Issa Hearings on Republicons ignoring Warnings – None.!???

    May 18, 2014 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. -Gloves Donahue

    The Arkansas Grifters back in the White House!

    There's a good idea . Bring back Cigar Bill and his longtime lying "wife."
    After Obama, America needs a long hot shower.

    May 18, 2014 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    The recent attacks on Hillary backfired and generated sympathy votes for Hillary. Benghazi is so old news. Rove and RNC Chairman Priebus only added seniors to the list of voters the Republican Party offended.

    May 18, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. bigdoglv

    More fluff from the Clinton News Network.

    May 18, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. Robert constant

    From the beginning the Benghazi "hearings" charade and the resurrection of Monica Lewinsky have been Karl Rove style pre emptive strikes at Hillary Clinton. It is GOP gutter politics as usual.

    May 18, 2014 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  6. McBob79

    I'm so sick of hearing about this woman. Our country is so divided and she is so polarizing that we would keep going down hill with her in office.

    May 18, 2014 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Tony

    She was a wonderful Vice President and will make a great President. History will be made!

    May 18, 2014 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. pjoe

    She's not brain damaged. Her supporters are.

    May 18, 2014 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. Independent Thought

    Just what we need, another incompetent, power-hungry, dishonest, bitter, old, political hack.

    Democrats must be scraping the bottom of the barrel, and Biden, Pelosi, and Reid are strikeouts.

    So they'll go for nostalgia and throw another Clinton, with no experience, no accomplishments, hoping to win over the geriatric set.

    I don't think the 'War on Women' will work. She vilified all of Bill Clinton's bimbos, only to have claim after claim proven.

    What difference does it make? Progressive's have proved to be incompetent at anything but lying and cover-ups.

    May 18, 2014 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  10. Winnona Mitty

    You think, in office, she'll run from imaginary snipers? She did in Bosnia!

    May 18, 2014 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. mike

    Rove saying Clinton might have brain damage is like Bush saying Einstein might of had brain damage.

    May 18, 2014 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. Geezer

    I will vote for a rock before I every vote republican again. Hillary 2016

    May 18, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  13. Tim

    Hillary Clinton is a loser – corrupt and incompetent.

    May 18, 2014 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. MaryM

    The question is, do the republicans have anyone that can beat the Clintons. No the republicans don't

    May 18, 2014 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Wade

    Talk of the town. LAUGH ! She is an old ugly hag that failed at everything and is a liar, a fraud, a brain damaged mor** that supports men who abuse woman. She is at least an accessory to 4 murders and a total cover up artist. Talk of the town OK. Too bad for her it is all negative! LOL....

    May 18, 2014 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. elucidated1

    The dork above, the "HC butcher of benghazi is going to be pretty frustrated when Hillary wins, and she will, and then begins appointing SC justices. But ignorance is bliss.

    May 18, 2014 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. Kathy Bell

    Trolls are out on every Hillary article they can find. So pathetic. Benghazi is the best you have? How about W missing 9/11 warnings. If I use your logic 9/11 is his fault and he murdered 4,000 Americans. Not to mention thousand of dead and maimed soldiers in a made up war. Hundreds of thousands of dead and displaced Iraqis. Reagan missed the Libyan Embassy bombing and Iran Contra. God forbid you'd blame the perpetrators. Hillary. One word sends you crapping your diapers.

    May 18, 2014 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  18. linford young

    I am a registered Democrat and I don't think Hillary should run for president. I think we need some new names. Nomore Bush nomore Clinton.Moreover Biden should get a shot. He is the V.P.for crying out loud. Clinton only want to run on name recognition, And if she run and win what do we do with Bill Clinton.I hope she don't run. And any Democrat that we put up should able to beat there best looney on the Right.

    May 18, 2014 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Namelinda

    Republicans have always campaigned dirty. They try to exploit everthing to their advantage throgh lies and deceit. Karl Rove is a racist redneck that speaks on behalf of the Republican Party and they wonder why Minorities don't vote Republican. They call the first Black President of the US names and expect our vote. Minority voters will vote for Hillary Clinton if she runs for President. Supressing the Minority vote will not win the Republicans an election in 2016. God is in control and not man.

    May 18, 2014 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  20. fran

    November 2014. Dont Get

    May 18, 2014 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  21. Larry L

    @Hillary Clinton – Butcher of Benghazi

    "This incompetent accomplice to murder should be in jail, not the White House."
    It appears you may be believing the unethical, dishonest, sleazy political conspiracy the right-wing created rather than actually do anything to help America solve it's problems. How about explaining the Republican denial for the funds needed to provide the additional security to Benghazi? How about actually reading the testimony from the already repeated investigations of the Republican witch hunt?

    May 18, 2014 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  22. Larry L

    @Rick McDaniel

    The Dem media are talking up Hillary at every turn, while everyone ELSE is talking about her lack of any significant accomplishments.
    By "everyone else" you mean Fox News – the only media source the right-wing considers "fair and balanced". As usual you're repeating sound-bites from right-wing conspiracies. Have you ever considered trying to list the productive things the GOP has done for the past five years? How did they help end the recession they started? How about the wars they started? Did they try to help the auto, banking or housing industries? How about immigration reform, healthcare, Social Security or Medicare? What did the contribute beyond obstructionism and conspiracies? Give us a list.

    May 18, 2014 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  23. blakenaustin

    First Obama, now Hillary. Two of the very worst available options for president. What is wrong with the American people? Do you like people who can't be trusted? Marxists? People with no regard for our constitution? Incompetence? Fiscal irresponsibility? Far left nonsense? Criminals? People with no moral compass? Wake up America!

    May 18, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. guest007

    Hillary Clinton is a joke... she refuse to call attack on benghazi as terrorist now she refuses to call boko haram as a terrorists group that is terrorizing children right now

    May 18, 2014 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |

    Hillary Clinton / Anthonny Weiner


    May 18, 2014 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
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