Hillary exposes a lot of room to her left in cable news marathon

posted at 11:01 am on June 18, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton embarked on a cable news blitz on Tuesday night which should dispel what remains of the notion that she is only engaged in a publicity tour for a book rather than a nascent presidential campaign. In those appearances, however, Clinton revealed her thinking on a variety of issues which indicate that she is well to the right of her party on a series of key issues.

During a town hall on CNN on Tuesday, Clinton was asked about a recent surge of unaccompanied minors rushing over the Mexican border. When asked what the United States should do about this predicament, Clinton endorsed deportation.

“They should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are, because there are concerns whether all of them should be sent back,” Clinton said. “But I think all of them who can be should be reunited with their families.”

“We have so to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay,” she continued. “So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”

When the issue of marijuana use, both medical and recreational, was raised, Clinton hedged. She said that she does not believe “we’ve done enough research yet” on the benefits of medical marijuana and, while she endorsed a federalist approach to the recreational question, also expressed concerns about full legalization. “We have at least two states that are experimenting with that right now. I want to wait and see what the evidence is,” she said.

On foreign policy, Clinton did nothing to counter the prevailing notion on the left that she is far more hawkish than President Barack Obama. “I don’t think we should be retreating from the world,” Clinton said, in an implicit rebuke of the Obama administration’s unstated doctrine of global retrenchment.

She distanced herself from the present administration on Syria, noting that the White House should have armed the Syrian rebels “you know, two plus years ago.”

To the likely dismay of The New York Times editorial board, which praised the administration’s outreach to Iran on Tuesday, Clinton expressed doubts in the utility of a partnership with the Islamic Republic. “I am not prepared to say that we go in with Iran right now, until we have a better idea what we’re getting ourselves into,” Clinton said.

Via CNN.com:

“What they (Iran) want to do in Baghdad is basically to envelop (Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki) in the Iranian embrace, maybe even use their own troops in Iraq, as they did in Syria. That is a very difficult position to put the United States in.”

Finally, on the persistent issue of the Benghazi attacks, Clinton legitimized a congressional select committee investigation by conceding that there are several unanswered questions about that event. “There are answers, not all of them, not enough, frankly,” Clinton said. “I’m still looking for answers, because it was a confusing and difficult time.”

The former secretary of state added that “there’s a lot we don’t know” about the nature of the attack, who participated, and what their motivation was.

In a subsequent appearance on Fox News on Tuesday, Clinton answered a series of hard questions about the Benghazi attack, her role that night, and how members of Obama’s administration responded. Not once did she bristle over the nature of her interrogation, nor did she suggest, as she has in the past, that Fox hosts’ lines of questioning were motivated by partisanship.

Similarly, when asked if she agreed with the president that this and other scandals, like that involving the IRS’s alleged targeting of conservative groups with undue scrutiny, were “phony,” Clinton appeared to suggest that she did not.

“Anytime the IRS is involved, for many people, it’s a real scandal,” she conceded.

On the NSA’s domestic surveillance techniques, Clinton defended, albeit obliquely, the practice of the collection of bulk metadata without a warrant. Though she did endorse “changes” to that practice in order to comport with the protections in the Fourth Amendment.


Only on the issue of gun control did Clinton stake out a rhetorical position which could be interpreted as to the left left of the present administration.

“We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people,” Clinton said on CNN of the expanded background checks which failed to pass the House or the Senate in 2013. “We’re going to have to do a better job protecting the vast majority of our citizens, including our children, from that very, very, very small group that is unfortunately prone to violence, and now with automatic weapons can wreak so much more violence than they ever could have before.”

Conservative groups will be perfectly justified when they decry the incivility of characterizing gun rights advocates as terrorists and highlight Clinton’s inexplicable insistence that the federal government must do something about the public’s access to “automatic weapons.” Liberal voters, however, will be comforted by Clinton’s apparent zeal for stricter gun laws.

In a post-game analysis of Clinton’s appearance on CNN, former White House advisor and current Crossfire co-host Van Jones expressed concerns that Clinton may be alienating Obama Democrats with her center-left approach to a variety of pressing policy issues. These performances certainly did nothing to reassure progressives like MSNBC host Krystal Ball who Tuesday called Clinton the Democratic Party’s Mitt Romney; “tone-deaf” and “unrelatable” as she is.

In concert with a NBC/WSJ poll released on Tuesday which showed Clinton has fallen back to earth as she reenters the political fray, these appearances might give Clinton’s potential progressive challengers a reason to rethink their position on a 2016 bid.


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As long as she doesn’t expose anything to her front or behind…

Rix on June 18, 2014 at 11:06 AM

“We have so to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay,” she continued. “So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”

In the old days such words would make you a stone-cold bigot, and by old days I mean any time before Killary said this.

Bishop on June 18, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Anyone who thinks Hillary Clinton holds a political, or even philosophical, position based on values, critical thinking, or even simple human emotion rather than recognizing that her stated positions are nothing more than the arbitrary positioning of pawns relative to the fluctuations of prevailing zeitgeist in a foaming-at-the-mouth quest for power is a moron in need of a slap back to reality.

M240H on June 18, 2014 at 11:08 AM

In other terms, Hillary’s pandering as usual because that’s what Hillary does best. Fantastic. I have absolutely no doubt that once she runs and secures the nomination, she’ll be as left as Obama or further to his left (if that’s even logically possible).

I will say this: for the alleged ‘Clinton Machine’ out there, it sure did a poor job of getting this horse running fast out of the gate.

Aizen on June 18, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Every time Obama generated a new scandal or Hillary gives a new interview, I am reminded of a book called Dune, particularly its chief antagonists, the Harkonnen family. They used the same strategy: the first proved himself a ruthless, scorched-earth oppressor, then the second – as much an oppressor and a tyrant but with a nice veneer of “acceptability” – was greeted as a liberator. Oh, and just in case someone missed that wonderful book, the head of the Harkonnens was called Vladimir

Rix on June 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Clowns to the left of me…

Flange on June 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Clowns to the left of me…

Flange on June 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM

…Jokers to the right,

Here I am,

Stuck in the broken Republic with…

climbnjump on June 18, 2014 at 11:17 AM

…and Rush is a flaming liberal.

rightside on June 18, 2014 at 11:19 AM

“They should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are,

Responsible adults don’t send their kids through Mexico unaccompanied. Ergo we can’t send any of them back and have to give them all citizenship and the vote immediately.

/sarc

rbj on June 18, 2014 at 11:19 AM

“We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people,” Clinton said

So now we are terrorists? Good to know. You terrorize everyone with that mug of yours.

Minority my a$$!

Patriot Vet on June 18, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Get ready for Triangularization Part II…

William Eaton on June 18, 2014 at 11:23 AM

I think she’d probably have a different set of answers if she was on MSNBC.

joekenha on June 18, 2014 at 11:23 AM

“We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people,” Clinton said

Tell that to parents who don’t believe their children should share bathrooms with “transgendered” kids.

Isn’t she doing this wrong? Isn’t the game to woo the radical left first, beat out Warren, ensure the nomination, THEN move to the right as the election approaches? Or do Liberals have to do the opposite?

TarasBulbous on June 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM

hillary is a centrist.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 18, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Did she not run as far left candidate just like Barack was in 2008? There was no wiggle room between her and Barack in 2008. Don’t worry she will change her position on issues when the time comes for her to change them.

BroncosRock on June 18, 2014 at 11:29 AM

hillary is a centrist.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 18, 2014 at 11:28 AM

You forgot to add “… when it serves her political purposes.”

Walter L. Newton on June 18, 2014 at 11:31 AM

polling must have been really bad for her to cause her to say this stuff.

dmacleo on June 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM

hillary is a centrist.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 18, 2014 at 11:28 AM

retarded.
was she centrist when she was destroying stuff during the nixon admin?
was she centrist when she barged into meetings with joint chiefs in the 90s and set policy?
no.
do yourself a favor, smoke LOTS more weed.

dmacleo on June 18, 2014 at 11:35 AM

hillary is a centrist mercenary pragmatist.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 18, 2014 at 11:28 AM

FIFY

GWB on June 18, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Of course she is a centrist, Now here’s your cookie. HT cozmo.

Bmore on June 18, 2014 at 11:36 AM

And, when I say pragmatist, I don’t mean that’s her governing philosophy, I mean that she’ll do and say whatever it takes to get from A to B in her ‘career’.

GWB on June 18, 2014 at 11:37 AM

hillary is a centrist.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 18, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Only to the point which she is elected….See Barry Obumber…

hillsoftx on June 18, 2014 at 11:37 AM

hillary is a moderate democrat with a fiercely independent spirit.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM

In those appearances, however, Clinton revealed her thinking strategy on a variety of issues which indicate that she wishes simple-minded FOX viewers to believe she is well to the right of her party on a series of key issues.

Fixed. You’re welcome.

That’s the flaw of the friendly FOX interview. Democrats will either not hear about it at all, or see it and accept it as the lie-fest it is to fool RINOs and the ignorant slack-jawed yokels in flyover areas. Unfortunately, the Leftists are correct in this belief. Some folks will actually believe that these lies represent her true stance on the issues.

For liars like HRC, the new kinder, gentler FOX is no longer a threat.

ROCnPhilly on June 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM

hillary is a moderate democrat with a fiercely independent spirit.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM

It is Democratic primaries 2008 and Hillary runs against Obama. To gain support of Independents in open primaries, Hillary’s campaign offers Rush Limbaugh $100,000 to tell on his show that she is an honest, right-to-center politician. Surprisingly, he accepts the offer.

So it’s show time and Rush takes the mike: “Hillary Clinton is a vicious liberal snake. She is an expert in lying, backstabbing, press manipulation, bribery and double deals, has multiple ties to foreign lobbies and is known to accept illegal contributions. But compared to Barack Obama she is an honest, right-to-center politician!”

Rix on June 18, 2014 at 11:41 AM

I watched the whole interview. She is not ready for prime time. She really only answered one or 2 questions straight forward.

ConservativePartyNow on June 18, 2014 at 11:46 AM

hillary is a moderate democrat with a fiercely independent spirit.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM

You’ve already gotten your daily cookie. Go back to huffing whatever it is that you huff now.

VegasRick on June 18, 2014 at 11:46 AM

I watched some of this last night. It was clear that she’s trying to distance herself from Obama and his policies. Wouldn’t even begin to work if we had a reliable unbiased press.

Oldnuke on June 18, 2014 at 11:53 AM

hillary is a moderate democrat with a fiercely independent spirit.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM

You smell like HillAreWe’s wet panties.

HumpBot Salvation on June 18, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton embarked on a cable news blitz on Tuesday night which should dispel what remains of the notion that she is only engaged in a publicity tour for a book rather than a nascent presidential campaign. In those appearances, however, Clinton revealed her thinking on a variety of issues which indicate that she is well to the right of her party on a series of key issues.

Such are the problems of being married to a former president. Hillary doesn’t have the luxury to be blissfully clueless about the realities of the world, the way Obama did before being elected, and doesn’t have the ability to be totally bull-headed about refusing to adjust her world view to fit the teachings she grew up with, as Obama’s done over the past 5 1/2 years (i.e. — She can’t squander the Democrats’ hope among swing voters that those people will see Hillary as Bill’s third term, not Obama’s third one. But that’s what will happen if she runs a campaign that’s more in tone with Obama’s leftist beliefs and less in line with her husband, after the 1994 midterm debacle and the Dick Morris-orchestrated triangulation).

jon1979 on June 18, 2014 at 12:03 PM

hillary is a moderate democrat with a fiercely independent spirit.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Yes and Lenin was a Menshevik trade unionist with a “fiercely independent” spirit.

TarasBulbous on June 18, 2014 at 12:12 PM

hillary is a moderate democrat with a fiercely independent spirit.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM

That fiercely independent spirit that led her to vote for the Iraq War, was it…?

JohnGalt23 on June 18, 2014 at 12:37 PM

During a town hall on CNN on Tuesday, Clinton was asked about a recent surge of unaccompanied minors rushing over the Mexican border. When asked what the United States should do about this predicament, Clinton endorsed deportation.

Hillary Clinton, the right-wing candidate of 2016 against the left-wing Republican?

Stoic Patriot on June 18, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Imagine that, Hillary is as principled as a RINO!

redware on June 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

“We have so to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay,” she continued. “So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”

In the old days such words would make you a stone-cold bigot, and by old days I mean any time before Killary said this.

That’s right. It seems like yesterday. …

brentspolemics on June 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Finally, on the persistent issue of the Benghazi attacks, Clinton legitimized a congressional select committee investigation by conceding that there are several unanswered questions about that event. “There are answers, not all of them, not enough, frankly,” Clinton said. “I’m still looking for answers, because it was a confusing and difficult time.”

Like O.J., she’s still looking for the real killer(s).

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on June 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM

I watched some of this last night. It was clear that she’s trying to distance herself from Obama and his policies.

Oldnuke on June 18, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Even the dullest rat can figure out that the Obama administration is a sinking ship that you have to jump off of.

SubmarineDoc on June 18, 2014 at 12:53 PM

I guess the poll numbers on deportation are in.

formwiz on June 18, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Wow Noah……. looking for a job as Hillary’s Press Secretary?

cat_owner on June 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Anyone who thinks Hillary Clinton holds a political, or even philosophical, position based on values, critical thinking, or even simple human emotion rather than recognizing that her stated positions are nothing more than the arbitrary positioning of pawns relative to the fluctuations of prevailing zeitgeist in a foaming-at-the-mouth quest for power is a moron in need of a slap back to reality.

Exactly. She knows The Church Lady Harvard prof millionaire has the left sewn up, so she is painting herself as the centrist alternative.

If we can’t field a decent candidate, at least we will have a dull, ordinary president who has no ideology she is cramming down our throats. Could be worse (it is now).

PattyJ on June 18, 2014 at 1:42 PM

and now with automatic weapons can wreak so much more violence than they ever could have before.”

Um, who can legally buy automatic weapons?

Wrong- but probably intentionally, to plant this thought in public perceptions.

cs89 on June 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Similarly, when asked if she agreed with the president that this and other scandals, like that involving the IRS’s alleged targeting of conservative groups with undue scrutiny, were “phony,” Clinton appeared to suggest that she did not. “Anytime the IRS is involved, for many people, it’s a real scandal,” she conceded.

Still hearing a faint echo of laughter over your “vast right-wing conspiracy” eh Hill?

(PS: “conceding” that “many people” think the IRS scandal is real is hardly an unequivocal denial that it is phony. Many people think Sasquatch is real too. And really, what is a scandal? Just something people get worked up about. The scandal is real whether the cause for it is actual or imaginary.)

jbspry on June 18, 2014 at 2:03 PM

There are NOW 9 photos of Hillary Clinton on this site…. ENOUGH!

KMav on June 18, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Notice how she says we can’t let people hold a viewpoint that terrorizes people? So she a) wants to control what people think and b) thinks viewpoints or ideas can terrorize a person ( some ideas maybe dumb as hell and dangerous but terror comes from people acting out ideas with evil intent)
Also she blathers about automatic weapons. Civilians don’t get access to those legally without going through a bunch of hoops.

dgolfnut on June 19, 2014 at 8:24 AM