Less than 5 months into President Obama’s second term, Karl Rove kicked off the 2016 presidential campaign with a Benghazi themed attack ad that directly takes aim at Hillary Clinton. The web ad was launched by the Karl Rove funded American Crossroads. They spent more than $21 million during the last election. It is the freshest evidence that hyperpartisan SUPER-PAC slush funds are now a core part of the permanent campaign.
The American Crossroads ad matters because it is a preemptive strike against Hillary Clinton and her possible 2016 presidential campaign run. The days of Clinton being Obama’s favorite cabinet member with Republicans are apparently over. According to polls Hillary Clinton easily bears Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. Chris Christie is closest in the polls.
The Rove ad never mentions President Obama by name and only shows him briefly standing beside Clinton. They were standing together at Andrews Airforce Base when Ambassador Stevens and his aides bodies arrived back in the U.S. Tie clip of Clinton speaking is important because it uses the most credible criticism of the Obama administration in the wake of the Benghazi attack. It shows her incorrectly blaming the awful internet video that the we had nothing to do with.
Roves video portrays Clinton as the problem, showing a shift in no longer going after the Obama administration. The demotion of whistleblower Gregory Hicks after the attack us used as evidence, whether true or not. The ad goes on to ask ” Was she part of the cover-up?” The ad then answers in the affirmative, after airing her saying “What difference does it make?” Never mind that Republicans always omit the next sentence, which was “It is our job to find out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from happening again.” But that isn’t good material for an attack ad.
The fact that American Crossroad is trying so hard to connect Benghazi to Clinton shows us the large role hyperpartisan shadow money groups okay in our politics. The IRS targeting Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt status is completely wrong. But investigating the many shadow money groups playing politics while doling out tax breaks to donors is overdue. This is mist likely the earliest presidential attack ad in history.
This shows the fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans turned Benghazi into a political stunt to attack a “potential” Democrat candidate for president. Republicans say that Democrats used Sandy Hook that way. But there was a difference, it wasnt used as an attack ad, the parents of those children created their own lobbying group to confront the NRA. Benghazi was a tragedy, but the way Republicans are politicizing it is a travesty.
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