Debate prep: New RNC ad hammers Hillary, runs nationally

Consider this a response to Hillary Clinton’s own ad about the e-mail scandal. In her first national spot, Hillary tried to stanch the bleeding by claiming that the entire investigation into Benghazi and her secret e-mail system was only about derailing her presidential ambitions. Even her former boss won’t go that far, but the RNC didn’t get that soon enough to drop into their new 30-second spot, which will run nationally before tomorrow’s Democratic presidential debate:

Hillary’s ad starred Kevin McCarthy, but the RNC’s ad features a number of commentators, especially Mika Brzezinski, who gets the last word — “You think the American public is that stupid?” Well, Hillary certainly hopes they are, or at least that Democrats will be in the short run. The RNC hopes to wake a few of them up with this ad.

CNN reports that the RNC will back this with a “five figures” buy:

Republicans are pre-butting Hillary Clinton ahead of Tuesday night’s Democratic debate with a new advertisement that accuses her of misleading the public by using a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

The ad, paid for by the Republican National Committee, highlights Clinton’s comment that she “did not email classified material to anyone.” Hundreds of her emails have been retroactively classified, though, as U.S. agencies have reviewed their contents before their release.

“Hillary Clinton is not telling us the truth … again,” the ad says in text displayed on screen.

Like Sanders did with his Meet the Press interview yesterday, this ad hits Hillary where she’s most vulnerable at the moment — her credibility. It’s too bad this ad didn’t include Barack Obama endorsing the legitimacy of the questions surrounding the e-mail scandal, but this won’t be the last such ad from the RNC or a Republican candidate to hit Hillary on this investigation. Indeed, the most effective part of this ad might not be the claims within it, but the way it might force Democrats to realize that this is just the first in a long string of attacks on Hillary’s lies about the scandal. And we haven’t even gotten to the Clinton Foundation, the Libya disaster, or much of anything else so far on Hillary’s record.

Who will be the first to go after Hillary on the e-mail scandal in tomorrow’s debate? I’m betting on Jim Webb, whose work as Secretary of the Navy makes him best positioned on the debate stage to address issues of national security, and who needs a reason to be up on stage at all. In fact, it might be the only issue on which he’ll have any relevance.