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. Cd

    Let's see...the phone rings at 3 am the morning of 12 September 2012....does Hillary answer? Not! Can't hear the phone due to the c-pap hook up. Oops.."where's my special glasses? Can't find the phone!". "Bill, did you put batteries in my hearing aide?". Maybe just took too much NyQuil that night.

    May 18, 2014 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  2. An American with a Brain

    WASHINGTON (Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is an evil genius capable of masterminding the most elaborate cover-up in U.S. history and is also a frail old woman with brain damage, leading Republicans charged on Sunday.

    Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus led the attack while appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he said that the American people should be wary of electing a woman who is capable of orchestrating the complex conspiracy to whitewash Benghazi while, at the same time, being too old, feeble, and brain damaged to serve in the Oval Office.

    “These two aspects of Secretary Clinton would have me very concerned,” he said.

    Mr. Priebus said he saw “no contradiction” between the portrayals of Secretary Clinton as an evil mastermind and a brain-damaged crone, explaining, “The one part of Secretary Clinton’s brain that works perfectly well is the part that creates elaborate cover-ups, and that is the part of her brain that is currently covering up the fact that she is brain damaged.”

    The R.N.C. chairman said he was confident that once the American people realized Secretary Clinton is both an evil mastermind and a frail old woman with brain damage, they would reject her at the ballot box.

    “The one thing the American people will not tolerate is double-talk,” he said

    May 18, 2014 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  3. Just

    Does the USA really need another unaccomplished POTUS?

    May 18, 2014 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  4. matt

    Kills four people... why is she not in jail?!

    May 18, 2014 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  5. Michael Perrin

    Rove, a man with only a high school diploma, and Cheney, the man with no discernible heart, both allowed 911 to happen, and they are trying desperately to get a headline when the fact is, time has passed them by.

    Rove's delusional call for Romney on election night is only one sign of dementia for him, while Cheney shoots his host in the face and then makes him apologize for getting in the way, is only one sign of a sociopath for him.

    Interesting to watch a major national party commit suicide publicly. This is how the Whigs were replaced by the Republicans. Wonder if someone sane will replace them?

    May 18, 2014 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  6. jeremiah

    If you vote for Hillary for president you are a traitor to this country. She is a war mongering liar!

    May 18, 2014 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  7. CryBabies

    I didn't realize the Democrats were so thin skinned. Oh the outrage, the outrage!!!!

    May 19, 2014 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  8. PharmGrl

    Those who think Hillary will have a cake walk campaign are in for a big surprise.
    Democrats are truly up the creek on the politically toxic employer mandate, which will dump an HHS projected 80 million into Obamacare. 80 million people who were told they could keep their plans.
    20% or 17 million of those people will get tax hikes big enough to bankroll their neighbors subsidy. 17 million who were told "If you make less than $250k your taxes won't go up." We are talking 10s of millions of Jet Fueled Anger Voters.
    Democrats are damned if they implement the employer mandate because it destroys elections, damned if they don't because without it Obamacare becomes a fiscal Black Hole.

    May 19, 2014 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  9. Really?

    Its 2014 most of the voters have yet to decide a thing! any educated person knows both of the sides schemes and we try to ignore them as much as possilbe. She will run a good race to bad its just a "race"

    May 19, 2014 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  10. What's it matter anyway?

    The Democrats and Hillary are done for. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't know what the heck is going on in our country and need to ask themselves why they're democrat. Is it cause it's the cool thing to do? Or is it the free ride? Maybe they really think you're a racist if you're a Republican? They're too consumed watching CNN and NBC push their own agendas down idiots throats while trying to win the hearts of these fools with sympathetic stories instead of real problems we can fix. Their idea of a TOP story is "Pamela Anderson was abused". Or "California chrome might not race." Heck, CNN has entertainment set up before politics, cause it's cool and keeps you from reading what's really going on. Have they found that damn plane yet? Seriously.

    May 19, 2014 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  11. Winkaz

    What I don't understand is why the media is making a big deal about her.I mean it like 900 or so days before the next elections.And by then she she will be so old that I wouldn't want her in.Heck look who is Vice President now.God help us if something happens.And then you have the scandals the cover-up.And another thing that the media isn't talking about is when she was Secretary of State how many countries she went too.Its as if it was a big vacation on the taxpayers dime.Look it up you won't find out how much money she spent while Secretary of state.And really what did she do while being secretary of state and also a Congress women.Really think on this one.I really dont see any real accomplishments if you really look at it.By all means if you look at other world leaders and their leadership she fails in all categories.Hey people she isn't for America she's all about the Clinton legacy.And look what that really got us?

    May 19, 2014 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  12. Name. willard

    Keep out of hillary clinton 2016 cause she make 50 perencent of lied story what happened about benghizina

    May 19, 2014 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  13. J.V.Hodgson

    Hello bloggers can we keep on topic i.e HRC health?
    MMMmm... now, set stage, Republicans upset about the NSA and Snowden's invasions of privacy disclosures.
    Enter Carl Rove who claims to have inside access to HRC medical records.... oops some of the most protected data even in US criminal investigations.
    HRC has not declared her intention to run and until she does her medical records good or bad are, hello private... they could conceivably make her decide not to run or to run. If she does not run they remain private and no one can prove it was part of her decision to run or not.
    Media gossip around this matter is a disgrace to American principles and media integrity, to report the facts and truth not salacious gossip!!

    May 19, 2014 05:38 am at 5:38 am |

    Can't wait to see Tom Tillis,Sheldon Adelson,Rupert Mourdoch,Rove,Grover Norquist and the GOP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea party's throats EXACTLY like they stuffed Romney down. The drumbeat is getting louder.

    May 19, 2014 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  15. Zeke

    Hillary Clinton, the enabler in chief for Bill Clinton and they wants sympathy from the public. Hillary looked the other way while Willy was playing the field. Also remember she said that the Monica Lewinski story was from "some right wing radicals" and had to eat big time crow on that one. She abandoned the four dead American's families after her lack of leadership led to the deaths of four Americans.

    May 19, 2014 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  16. TJeff1776

    Benghazi reminds me of the Battle of the Bulge. No American General was ever reprimanded over that one. With "Ike" it was a "win some-lose some". WW2 historians dismiss the matter as more a German error than an
    American mistake. One can't shore up the line everywhere. For Repubs to even attempt to paint illusions that Hilliary is responsible is laughable and the "Benghazi" affair simply an invention. When they must pull mythical scandals out of the hat, it poses the question- how desperate can ya get ????

    May 19, 2014 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  17. john

    She failed on her foreign policy she will as president also!!

    May 19, 2014 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  18. Sam Cee

    So much hate from some on the right out of politicall bias for someone who has served her country in multiple capacities as first lady, but senator and secretary of state. And these same people call themselves patriots. You may not agree with her politics and you don't have to vote for her, but refrain from assassinatino her character for political gain. Show her, and this country, some respect.

    May 19, 2014 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  19. qckslvr

    Bengazi-A tragedy Republicans want to turn into a scandal.Shame on them!

    May 19, 2014 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  20. rla

    Hillary had her chance in 08 and got beat by a community organizer and then got suckered into being sec of state which was anything but distinguished... She had a health issue and fainting spells something not conducive to getting that call at 4 AM do you think,, The dimocrats have a one trick pony– the wife of Bill nothing else!

    May 19, 2014 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  21. Jeff

    So tell me again what great political achievement HIllary has done in her career that qualifies her to be President?

    May 19, 2014 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  22. DC Observer

    If Hillary were to be elected President, we would have 4 more years of bickering, blaming, partisanship, and gridlock. That just comes with Hillary. You can blame the GOP if you wish, or blame Hillary and the Dems, but whatever, we will get the gridlock and 4 more wasted years.

    Isn't it time we got some fresh faces in DC – from both the left and the right? Why go back to Clinton, and just throw away 4 years ... makes NO sense. Hillary has no vision; no goals; no history of success; and zero leadership skills. All we will get is the right attacking her and Bill defending her, and both Clintons blaming Bush for everything. A Hillary presidency would be a total waste of time and the would hurt the US here at home and abroad.

    May 19, 2014 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  23. Faye

    Ditto sbird....I'll definitely vote for her. Hope she runs....Yee Ha...This article is just an attempt to swear her and Obama....I will never, ever vote for a Republican...They're just greedy, rich money hoarders who hate the oppressed and poor which is where God's heart is....Remember, it's easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into the gates of Heaven....I give to charities that help the poor, hungry and suffering as much as I can.

    May 19, 2014 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  24. marjee123

    Aren't we republicans just a little bit jealous of Hillary Clinton. They can not stand the fact that Democrats are honored all over the world even and they can't get a decent word said about any republican even their stumbling bumbling Reagan.

    May 19, 2014 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  25. John

    Like her or not, get used to the idea she is our next POTUS. Who else is both qualified and serious? Liz Warren needs a bit more professional seasoning, but not much. Joe Biden has a GREAT resume for it but has an unhappy reputation as sort of a clown. He reminds me of the Fonz.

    And then, of curse, who on the other side is not totally a clown, as well as a fool, a nitwit, and also a mean and ugly, ugly little person?

    It will be Hillary Clinton, by default.

    May 19, 2014 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
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