Archive for the ‘Hillary’ Category
Ed Morrissey’s post about Hillary’s intellectually dishonest statements about who creates jobs is statistically enlightening. Here’s what I’m talking about:
In June 2007, the Household Survey of the BLS showed that the US economy had 146.063 million jobs in June 2007, just before the increase took place. Last month’s data showed that the US economy had 146.6 million jobs, an increase of less than 500,000 in over 7 years, not “millions of jobs” as Hillary claims here. In fact, the 146.6 million is the highest it’s ever gotten since the passage of that law. In the same period, the civilian workforce participation rate has gone from 66% to 62.7%. On a population basis, there are a lot fewer people working after the last minimum wage hike, not more, and wages are actually down, not up.
Compare this to the “trickle-down” era of the Reagan presidency. When Reagan took office in January 1981, the US economy had 99.995 million jobs and the participation rate was 63.9%. By the end of his presidency in January 1989, the US economy had grown more than 16 million jobs (116.708 million total) and the participation rate had leaped to 66.5%. That covers nearly the same length of time since the last minimum wage hike (96 months vs. 89 months), but both include about five years of technical economic recovery.
At the end of the article, Ed made this statement:
At some point, Democrats are going to have to come to grips with the fact that their front-runner is not just a lousy campaigner, but perhaps just as incompetent as the President from which they’re all attempting to run away at the moment.
There’s no doubt that Hillary is a terrible campaigner. That’s a subjective opinion, though. The job creation and labor force participation rates earlier are objective, quantifiable statistics.
Another part of that last commentary is that Democrats will “have to come to grips with the fact that” their frontrunner is just “as incompetent as the President” that they’re running away from. I suspect that they already know that. I’m betting that they simply don’t care whether she’s competent or not. I’m betting that their support for her will be based totally on whether she can win in November, 2016. If the answer to that is yes, they’ll support her. If the answer to that question is no, they’ll try finding a better alternative.
The point I’m making is that today’s Democratic Party is based almost entirely on fulfilling their ideological checklist, not on doing what’s best for America. It certainly isn’t about creating jobs or making life better for the average American.
Republicans everywhere need to repeatedly remind themselves that Democrats are almost totally about gaining, then maintaining control of the levers of government. Public policy is a distant priority that they generally don’t get to.
Here’s the video of Hillary’s boneheaded statements:
It’s terrifying to say but Hillary and Obama are no Bill Clinton. That’s a frightening thought.
Technorati: Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, President Obama, Minimum Wage Increase, Workforce Participation Rate, Democrats, Ronald Reagan, Trickle Down Economics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Capitalism, Conservatism, Election 2016
When Scott Brown defeated Martha Coakley to fill Ted Kennedy’s term, people thought that Brown had pulled the upset to end all upsets. This article suggests that it might be that Martha isn’t that good of a candidate:
A new Boston Globe poll released Friday suggests Baker is pulling 45 percent support to Coakley’s 36 percent among likely voters, the widest margin any poll has shown for either candidate since September. A poll released last week had the two neck-to-neck, with 41 percent support each.
“There is just positive movement in every single metric we can ask around Baker,” SocialSphere executive John Della Volpe, who conducted the poll, told the Globe. “The more voters have gotten to know him, the stronger he performs.”
At some point, Massachusetts Democrats will need to tell Ms. Coakley to hit the road. If she loses again, I can’t see how she’d remain politically viable. Either you’ve got it or you don’t. Apparently, Ms. Coakley, a liberal Democrat, can’t win in deep blue Massachusetts.
The Democratic establishment in Massachusetts largely threw its support behind Coakley’s gubernatorial bid. Both Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are slated to appear with Coakley this morning in Boston.
I’ll be paying attention to the polling after this event. If Coakley doesn’t rebound after holding rallies with the 2 women most likely to run for the Democratic nomination, then she’s hopeless.
In the governor’s race, Baker has picked up momentum with an across-the-board improvement on questions where voters were asked which candidate would do a better job handling certain broad policy areas. For instance, in mid-September, the poll gave him a 15-point lead over Coakley on creating jobs. In this week’s poll, he is ahead by 24 points.
Voters still think Coakley would do better ensuring high-quality, affordable health care, but the 15-point edge she had in mid-September is now down to 6 points.
“What we’ve seen from mid-September through today is that Baker has either extended his lead or closed a gap in which he was deficient,” Della Volpe said, adding, “Based on that, I’m not surprised that he was able to…create a lead, and some distance for the first time.”
The poll’s volatility can’t be ignored. Then, too, Baker’s lead can’t just be explained away, either.
Among independents, Baker has nearly triple the support that Coakley has, 57 percent to 20 percent. In mid-September, when Coakley had an overall lead of 39 percent to 36 percent, Baker had secured 43 percent of the independent vote, to Coakley’s 24 percent.
Republicans can’t win in Massachusetts if they don’t decisively with independents. Baker is apparently winning independents quite handily.
If she loses, history will record this as Ms. Coakley’s exit from the political stage.
At a DNC fundraiser in New York last night, President Obama said that the world isn’t falling apart, it’s just that social media is making him look bad:
President Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart.”
“I can see why a lot of folks are troubled,” Obama told a group of donors gathered at a Democratic National Committee barbecue in Purchase, N.Y. But the president said that current foreign policy crises across the world are not comparable to the challenges the U.S. faced during the Cold War.
There’s no question that social media spreads the news around quickly. That doesn’t explain away the multitude of crises that’ve started during President Obama’s administration or the threat posed by ISIL.
President Putin doesn’t take him seriously. At best, the Obama administration is an afterthought to Putin. America’s allies don’t trust us because of amateurish moves like dissing allies like Egypt in attempting to broker a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians.
Egypt and the UAE hit Libyan targets without informing the Obama administration:
CAIRO — Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly launched airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation of a regional power struggle set off by Arab Spring revolts.
The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied to American diplomats that their military played any role in the operation, the officials said, in what appeared a new blow to already strained relations between Washington and Cairo.
America’s enemies don’t fear us. Iran and Russia laugh at the Obama administration. Putin keeps trying to rebuild the former Soviet empire and Iran continues on its path to a nuclear weapon.
Worst of all, ISIL is the biggest terrorist threat in history. They’re exceptionally well-financed. They have a military capable of dominating the Arabian Peninsula. They’re training fighters who have European and/or American passports.
No, Mr. President, it isn’t that social media is spotlighting the usual things. It’s that they’re highlighting your administration’s multitude of mistakes. Mr. President, there’s wide consensus that your administration is the worst foreign policy/national security administration since WWII.
Then-Sen. Obama and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton both railed against President Bush’s confrontation of terrorists where they lived. They both preached the gospel of “smart diplomacy.” Six years later, we now know that “smart diplomacy” is just a euphemism for appeasement and retreat, if not outright isolationim.
Nowhere is the failure of the Obama-Clinton “smart diplomacy” foreign policy more apparent than in Libya. Walter Russell Mead’s article highlights that failure succinctly by quoting a State Department travel advisory:
The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable and unstable. The Libyan government has not been able to adequately build its military and police forces and improve security following the 2011 revolution. Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private individuals, including antiaircraft weapons that may be used against civilian aviation. Crime levels remain high in many parts of the country. In addition to the threat of crime, various groups have called for attacks against U.S. citizens and U.S. interests in Libya. Extremist groups in Libya have made several specific threats this year against U.S. government officials, citizens, and interests in Libya. Because of the presumption that foreigners, especially U.S. citizens, in Libya may be associated with the U.S. government or U.S. NGOs, travelers should be aware that they may be targeted for kidnapping, violent attacks, or death. U.S. citizens currently in Libya should exercise extreme caution and depart immediately.
Sporadic episodes of civil unrest have occurred throughout the country and attacks by armed groups can occur in many different areas; hotels frequented by westerners have been caught in the crossfire. Armed clashes have occurred in the areas near Tripoli International Airport, Airport Road, and Swani Road. Checkpoints controlled by militias are common outside of Tripoli, and at times inside the capital. Closures or threats of closures of international airports occur regularly, whether for maintenance, labor, or security-related incidents. Along with airports, seaports and roads can close with little or no warning. U.S. citizens should closely monitor news and check with airlines to try to travel out of Libya as quickly and safely as possible.
The status of the country’s interim government remains uncertain. The newly elected Council of Representatives is scheduled to convene by August 4, but political jockeying continues over where and when to seat the parliament. Heavy clashes between rival factions erupted in May 2014 in Benghazi and other eastern cities. In Tripoli, armed groups have contested territory near Tripoli International Airport since July 13, rendering the airport non-operational. State security institutions lack basic capabilities to prevent conflict, and there remains a possibility of further escalation.
TRANSLATION: Libya is a disaster. Contrary to President Obama’s statement that al-Qa’ida is on the run, terrorist organizations, aka militias, control Libya. In September, 2012, Benghazi was a hot spot. These days, the entire country is a hot spot.
“Smart diplomacy” has become a punch line, and the dream Team Obama had of making Democrats the go-to national security party is as dead as the passenger pigeon.
President Obama is in way over his head. He’s never been interested in learning about the different actors on the world stage. That can’t be said about Hillary. She’s been interested in the different actors on the world stage. She just hasn’t been that bright. She could’ve stood up to President Obama but she didn’t. She acquiesced in the name of political considerations.
Libya isn’t a fight that needed to be fought, though it definitely needed monitoring. Killing militias would’ve been much more advisable than killing Khadaffi.
President Obama’s favorite foreign policy straw man is that there are only 2 options: all out war or isolationism. That’s either proof that he’s a liar or that he doesn’t have a clue. It might be proof of both.
Taking out Khadaffi was stupid. Not confronting Putin is equally foolish. Smart diplomacy isn’t as smart as arming people who would love to fight for their own freedom. Why President Obama prefers giving Putin free run of eastern Europe but insists on killing north African dictators is beyond me.
It used to be said that Bill Clinton’s support was a mile wide and an inch deep. Lest anyon think that that’s true with Hillary, this should put that to rest:
A Hillary Clinton donor who serves as dean of the University of Arkansas libraries has banned the Washington Free Beacon from the school’s special collections archives, after the news outlet published revealing stories about Hillary Clinton based on documents available at the university library.
The ban came days after the Free Beacon ran a story about Clinton’s 1975 defense of a child rapist that drew from audio recordings available at the University of Arkansas library’s special collections archives.
However, the ban was not mentioned in a June 16 email to this reporter from Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations at the university.
I’m betting Hillary didn’t have to contact Dean Voorhies to stop the Washington Free Beacon’s investigation. I’m betting he’s trained well enough to do that without Hillary contacting him.
The important thing is that the WFB article exposes Hillary as someone who didn’t hesitate in destroying an innocent person, then gloating about it afterwards:
The Taylor case was a minor episode in the lengthy career of Clinton, who writes in Living History, before moving on to other topics, that the trial inspired her co-founding of the first rape crisis hotline in Fayetteville.
Clinton and her supporters highlight her decades of advocacy on behalf of women and children, from her legal work at the Children’s Defense Fund to her women’s rights initiatives at the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
This part especially bothers me:
Clinton and her supporters highlight her decades of advocacy on behalf of women and children…
That’s irrelevant. That’s like the liberals looking the other way to Ted Kennedy’s and Christopher Dodd’s waitress sandwich:
Those to the manner born who’ve been in trouble, Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd, for instance, who participated in the famous “waitress sandwich” at La Brasserie in 1985, while their dates were in the bathroom, have tended to get out of it by claiming that their boyish high jinks had simply gotten out of hand.
Hillary is as disgusting as Ted Kennedy or Christopher Dodd.
When Clinton returned to Arkansas, she said she gave the prosecutor a clipping of the New York forensic investigator’s “Who’s Who.” “I handed it to Gibson, and I said, ‘Well this guy’s ready to come up from New York to prevent this miscarriage of justice,’” said Clinton, breaking into laughter. “So we were gonna plea bargain,” she continued.
When she went before Judge Cummings to present the plea, he asked her to leave the room while he interrogated her client, she said. “I said, ‘Judge I can’t leave the room, I’m his lawyer,’” said Clinton, laughing. “He said, ‘I know but I don’t want to talk about this in front of you.’” “So that was Maupin [Cummings], we had a lot of fun with Maupin,” Clinton added.
Hillary’s laughter is inappropriate in this situation. Laughing that she was about to get a rapist off with a year in jail is exceptionally odd behavior for a supposed child advocate. It’s one thing to zealously represent her client. It’s another to laugh about the outcome.
If there was ever a doubt that Hillary was as despicable as Bill, her laughing at getting a rapist a reduced sentence after he raped a 12-year-old girl ends that debate. Hillary’s laughter suggests that she didn’t care about the 12-year-old’s rape. She couldn’t have cared.
Hillary is a reprehensible, disgusting person. This nation needs a person of integrity inhabiting the Oval Office. We don’t need someone who laughs while a thug gets off after raping a 12-year-old.
Technorati: Hillary Clinton, Steve Voorhies, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, Thomas Alfred Taylor, Child Rapist, Presidential Campaign, Bill Clinton, Rapid Response Team, Democrats, Election 2016
Even before Jonathan Last’s newsletter, people knew that Hillary wasn’t helping herself. Last’s newsletter just highlights Hillary’s missteps:
By just about every account, her book is uninteresting and unreflective, a carefully contrived piece of positioning. Yet instead of owning that, she insisted at an event that she was “done with being really careful about what to say.” And that was before uttering inanities about how “the American political system is the most difficult, even brutal, in the world.” (She might look at Egypt, for instance. Or Venezuela. Or China. Or Greece. Or Russia. Or any country where instability and chaos is the norm and the children of former presidents aren’t given $600,000 sinecures from independent_”independent”?_media conglomerates.)
I wrote this article last night to highlight Hillary’s unforced mistakes from her interview with Bret Baier and Greta van Susteren. Here’s the first of Hillary’s unforced errors:
Ms. van Susteren asked Hillary if she would’ve traded the Taliban 5 for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Secretary Clinton replied that she had worked on a different deal to free Sgt. Bergdahl. When Ms. van Susteren said that people were shocked that Hillary said the Taliban 5 didn’t pose a threat to Americans, Hillary replied that “As long as they’re in Qatar, they don’t post a threat to Americans.” Van Susteren replied, saying “Well, bin Laden was never in the United States.”
Hillary knew this question was coming. What’s interesting is that Hillary used the Obama administration’s chanting points rather than distance herself from that disaster. It’s one thing to be loyal. It’s another to walk the plank for the Obama administration on one of their biggest, and most recent, foreign policy disasters.
If there’s anything we’ve learned about the Clintons throughout the years, it’s that they’re loyal to themselves. They aren’t even loyal to each other. Hillary isn’t stupid. That begs this question: Why would Hillary stay loyal to the Democrats’ chanting points? The only explanation that makes sense is that she’s buttering up Obama’s base supporters.
The anti-war doves are President Obama’s political base love the thought of closing Gitmo. Was Hillary making a play for President Obama’s base?
Whatever the reason, the truth is that she’s helping the Biden campaign through her book tour. If she wants to be president, she needs to stop granting interviews to serious news organizations because she’s doing terribly in those interviews.
Joe Lisbon’s LTE is typical progressive chanting points stuff. Lisbon apparently put little thought into his LTE because it’s reciting the same stuff for the gazillionth time. Here’s the opening of his LTE:
Republican opposition to Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, has become an embarrassment for the GOP, and conservatives seeking political advantage need to fire up their donor base for fundraising.
Thsi is of the same tone as saying this is a political witch hunt, that there’s been a gazillion investigations into Benghazi, that there’s nothing new to learn. If they kept it pithy, they’d say it’s time to move onto something the American people cared about.
First, the “Republican base” is fired up and then some. It’s been fired up for over a year. Poll after poll shows how the GOP is on the right side of the enthusiasm gap. That’s why professional political predictors like Charlie Cook, Michael Barone and Larry Sabato think Republicans will have another strong election cycle.
Right after the 2012 elections, Nancy Pelosi started talking about retaking the majority in the House. From time to time, you’d hear those mumblings resurface. Then came the IRS scandal, the DOJ spying on reporters scandal and the VA Hospital scandal. That’s in addition to the Benghazi scandal.
If you’re going to write an LTE, you shouldn’t put this BS in it:
The GOP says there is a coverup of internal discussions of whether to call the attack “terror” or “terrorism” because the White House did not want to admit al-Qaida was behind the attack. Except, of course, nobody has shown al-Qaida was behind it, nor have they claimed credit.
There’a huge problem with that statement. Within the first 24 hours of the start of the attack, the Libyan president said that Ansar al-Shariah, an affialiate of al-Qa’ida, had taken credit for the precision terrorist attack.
Forgive me but the Libyan president is definitely a somebody.
Gen. Robert Lovell testified that it was clear it was a terrorist attack:
Lovell said that as intelligence was streaming into command, it became “quickly evident” to AFRICOM that terrorists, namely Ansar al-Sharia, were behind the attack.
“What we did know quite early on was that this was a hostile action,” he said. “This was no demonstration gone terribly awry.”
In other words, the spin coming from Jay Carney and Susan Rice was BS from the earliest moments of the attack.
This Republican kangaroo court’s purpose is just to make misleading or false political headlines about Clinton and Obama. I doubt there is a Fox News Channel viewer who even recalls that Benghazi occurred in the wake of Cairo. There were eight demonstrations on the same day at other U.S. embassies, 40 worldwide in major cities — which, at one point, were thought to be about an Internet video.
As someone who watches Fox News, I know that the military should’ve been put on high alert on 9/10 Egyptian time because the Blind Sheikh’s son announced that he was going to attempt to take the Cairo embassy staff hostage, then barter those hostages to get his father, the planner of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, released.
Not only do Fox News viewers know about the other demonstrations but they know that there never were any protests outside the Benghazi compound. We know that because of Gen. Lovell’s testimony and Greg Hicks’ dramatic testimony. This statement is disgusting but predictable:
No one inside the Fox bubble cares about the millions spent on the 54 repeal votes on Obamacare, or the millions spent on closing down the government, or that Mitt Romney on the day of the attack was grandstanding about Benghazi for political advantage before he had the facts of what happened.
Mitt Romney’s statement, the one which he’s accused of grandstanding about, was a reaction to the administration’s statement:
“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims, as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”
Jay Carney repeatedly took to the podium, saying that intelligence was still coming in. Later, Carney said that the administration’s story changed as that intel came in. Apparently, Mr. Lisbon doesn’t think the administration was grandstanding when it issued a statement about the video within an hour of the start of the Cairo protests.
We know that President Obama thought this wasn’t a big deal because he never went to the White House Situation Room that night. We don’t know whether he received hourly updates as the terrorist attack continued. That isn’t to say he didn’t. It’s just that we don’t have proof of President Obama receiving updates.
Lisbon is a political hack who does what he’s told. This closing paragraph is proof of that:
At this point, anyone who is flogging this as a scandal has BDDS, Benghazi Delusional Derangement Syndrome. The only way to keep these shenanigans from happening is to vote Republicans out of office.
Shame on Mr. Lisbon for reading the Democrats’ chanting points rather than thinking for himself.
Byron York’s article explains in wonderful detail why Republicans are skeptical of Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi obfuscations. Here’s the key part of Hillary’s testimony from York’s article:
But some lawmakers on Capitol Hill got the chance. In an appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January 2013, Clinton testified under oath that she did not see the cable.
“That cable did not come to my attention,” Clinton said. “I have made it very clear that the security cables did not come to my attention or above the assistant-secretary level, where the Accountability Review Board placed responsibility.”
What struck some Republicans as odd, and still does, is that Clinton nonetheless knew about the conditions that prompted the Aug. 16 cable. “I was aware of certain incidents at our facility and the attack on the British diplomat,” she testified. “I was briefed on steps taken to repair the breach in the perimeter wall after the June bombing. …”
Clinton also testified she was “engaged” in what she called the “issues related to the deteriorating threat environment, particularly in Libya.”
It’s implausible for Hillary to say that she got detailed security briefings on the Benghazi facility, then say she didn’t know about Christopher Stevens’ August 16th cable. This testimony makes Hillary’s testimony totally implausible:
In an appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee, both former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey testified they knew about it.
“You were aware that Ambassador Stevens — of his cable that said that the consulate could not withstand a coordinated attack, is that right?” asked Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte.
“Correct,” said Panetta.
Turning to Dempsey, Ayotte said, “General, you had said that you previously were aware of that?” “Yes, I was aware of the communication back to the State Department,” Dempsey answered.
Hillary cited the fact that “1.43 million cables a year come to the State Department” and that they’re “all addressed to me” before saying that they don’t all make it to her desk.
I don’t doubt that there’s a screening process involved with these cables. Undoubtedly, they’re prioritized so she isn’t deluged with cables. It’s inconceivable, though, that a cable from the US ambassador in Libya talking about the deteriorating security conditions and increasing terrorist threats wouldn’t have gotten Hillary’s attention.
That’s the type of communication that should’ve screamed ‘Urgent…highest priority.’
The ARB affixed blame on mid-level State Department officials for not bringing this cable to Hillary’s attention. That’s either BS or it’s proof that Hillary ran the most disfunctional State Department operation in recent history.
Neither speaks well of her qualifications to be the next commander-in-chief.
Finally, it’s one thing to have mid-level State Department personnel to hire security teams for the various diplomatic outposts. It’s quite another to have mid-level State Department personnel to make security policy decisions for those diplomatic installations.
Either way, Hillary’s story doesn’t add up. That’s why the investigation must continue.
Technorati: Hillary Clinton, Benghazi Terrorist Attack, , Leon Panetta, Defense Department, Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Christopher Stevens, Terrorist Threats, Accountability Review Board, Accountability, Investigation
According to Sam Stein’s article for the Huffington Post, Hillary has already answered questions that Trey Gowdy wants to ask her. Specifically, Hillary has said why the State Department hadn’t abandoned Benghazi:
But I was also engaged, and I think this is what Deputy Secretary Burns was referring to, in the issues related to the deteriorating threat environment, particularly in Libya. There were other places across the region. We were also watching to try to see what we could do to support the Libyan government to improve the overall stability of their country to deal with the many militias. We have many programs and actions that we were working on. I had a number of conversations with leading Libyan officials. I went to Libya in October of 2011. In fact, shortly before the attack on Benghazi we approved Libya for substantial funding from a joint State/DOD account for border security, CT capabilities and WMD efforts.
Earlier in her testimony, Hillary said that she’d been fully briefed on Benghazi’s deteriorating security situation. Combine that information with this information and another important question jumps to mind. Here’s the specific question: Given the fact that Hillary had been briefed on Benghazi’s deteriorating security and given that Hillary said that the administration was working to “improve the overall stability” in Libya, why wasn’t Africom prepared to respond to a crisis on the anniversary of 9/11?
Here’s another important question that hasn’t been answered: Did Leon Panetta pre-position and alert troops prior to the anniversary of 9/11? If not, why not? If he didn’t pre-position and alert troops, was it because President Obama told him not to?
I’d love knowing which programs the administration implemented prior to the ambassador’s assassination. Did they reflect the Obama campaign’s rhetoric of al-Qa’ida being on the run? Did they reflect the reality of the “deteriorating threat environment”?
Finally, shouldn’t the fact that the administration knew of a “deteriorating threat environment” have instructed them to question the story that the terrorist attack started as a protest that turned violent? The first question I’d have in that situation would be why the administration, including Susan Rice, didn’t immediately think this was a pre-planned terrorist attack.
Hillary’s testimony raises more questions than it answered.
This transcript from Sunday’s Fox News Sundays shows how Chris Wallace caught Xavier Becerra’s spin. Here’s a perfect example of that:
WALLACE: Congressman Becerra, you have been talking about the committee as a kangaroo court, your words. First of all, how do you know that before it even begins meeting? And do you really believe that all the questions about Benghazi have been answered?
HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS CHAIRMAN XAVIER BECERRA, D-CALIF.: Well, what leads us to believe it could be a kangaroo court or a smokescreen from having to deal with the real issues Americans want to deal with like job creation and so forth, is that we’ve done these investigations some seven times, five of the investigations coming out of five of the House Republican committees.
Rep. Becerra’s logic is that the Select Committee on Benghazi is a kangaroo court because Republicans won’t change the subject to the topics Democrats prefer talking about. Wallace called Becerra and the Democrats out for this spin because Democrats want people to be prejudiced against the committee before the committee has met.
This exchange is telling:
WALLACE: Let me ask you a question and maybe you can answer it for me. Where was the president? And what did he do the night of the attack?
BECERRA: I believe the president was at the White House and he was in communication with some of the folks with his administration in and around time of the attacks.
Becerra insisted earlier that we knew everything we needed to know because there’d been in his words, 7 different investigations. Clearly, those investigations weren’t proficient because the best Becerra could do when asked about President Obama’s actions during the terrorist attack was say what he believed, not what he knew. That’s rather instructive. Compare Becerra’s answer with Chairman Gowdy’s reply:
WALLACE: Do you — do you know, Congressman Gowdy, where the president was and what he was doing during the seven hours of the attack?
GOWDY: No, sir, I do not. Nor do I know what communication if any he had with Secretary of State Clinton, nor can I tell you why we were still in Benghazi despite the fact that there was an escalation in violence in the months leading up, nor do I know whether or not the president called any of our allies in the region and said, can you get any assets to Benghazi? We’re under attack. I have more questions than answers despite the fact that committees of Congress have looked at this attack for 19 months now.
Chairman Gowdy’s honest response highlights the important things we still don’t know about the Obama administration’s decisions. Still, no exchange caught Rep. Becerra than this one:
WALLACE: Wait. Wait. You keep pointing to that. We didn’t find out. and they have subpoenaed all the State Department documents — excuse me, sir — they had subpoenaed all the State Department documents, and it took until last week for the administration finally to release the Ben Rhodes e-mail in which two days before Susan Rice appeared on this show, he was suggesting that she’d say that it was because of the video, not because of a policy failure.
BECERRA: You got juiced (ph). You know that that email shows nothing new. It simply — WALLACE: I don’t agree with that. I think it shows something dramatically new. It shows that despite what the White House — it shows despite what the White House has been saying for the last year and a half, it shows that inside the White House, they were telling Susan Rice what to say.
That’s what I’d call a classic slapdown. Saying that the email didn’t showing anything new is Democrat spin. Saying that the email showed “something dramatically new” is the truth. This ‘closing argument’ by Chairman Gowdy must’ve stung, too:
GOWDY: Yes, which is exactly why I said I will never and have never sent out any fund-raising literature trying to raise money in the grief and tragedy of four dead Americans. I have asked my colleagues to follow suit.
But my friends and colleague Tommy Cotton from Arkansas did a magnificent job on the House floor of pointing out the duplicity and hypocrisy of Democrats all of a sudden concluding that certain things are above politics. They raise money on Sandy Hook. They raise money on Katrina. They raise money on Iraq and Afghanistan.
So, for me, I will not raise money on Benghazi just like I never raised money using crime victims when I was a prosecutor and I’ve asked my colleagues to follow suit. But it would be helpful, it would be helpful if our colleagues on other side of the aisle did not have selective amnesia when it comes to what’s appropriate to raise money off of and what is not.
After watching that closing argument, I’m reminded of G. Gordon Liddy’s comment that he “wouldn’t fight a battle of wits with an unarmed man.” Clearly, Becerra was outmatched against Chairman Gowdy.