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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Republicans Didn't Make Hillary Swear on Bible in Public, Because Republicans Are Stupid

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

In an attempt to prove to the nation that the Benghazi investigation is not the partisan attack Hillary Clinton has repeatedly claimed it is, Republicans made yet another political blunder. As a concession to Clinton, Republicans allowed her to swear-in privately, stripping them of the loaded optics of such a moment.

The months-long buildup to Clinton's testimony in the 12-member, Republican-led Benghazi investigation has been swirling with speculation and controversy. Clinton's goal has been to characterize the $4.5 million investigation as a purely political ploy intended to derail her presidential run, while Republicans have maintained that it is essential to learn what led up to the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya, and what we might do to prevent a similar tragedy in the future.
Clinton's "Republican conspiracy theory" talking point was bolstered by a crucial gaffe by Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA), which suggested that the investigation had done great harm to Clinton's poll numbers.
Meanwhile, Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC) has consistently rejected that narrative, pledging to keep the investigation "Benghazi-centric," pointing to the seriousness of the incident and the future national security implications of the investigation.
"This has never been political for us," said panel member Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) "This has always been about finding out the truth."
The hearing is expected to last most of the day, with Clinton facing questions about the massive security failures at the Benghazi compound and inept response to the attacks. Committee members are also expected to question the Obama administration's initial narrative about what motivated the attacks, which was quickly proven to be false, raising questions about the administration's politicizing of the event.
As AP reports, public opinion on the issue is a mixed bag:
A new Associated Press-Gfk poll offers solace to both sides. While the investigation into the attacks is a burning issue for Republicans but not the broader public, Americans are more likely to view the investigation as justified rather than as a political attack on Clinton, the poll finds.
Many Americans don't have an opinion about Clinton's handling of the investigation. Four in 10 say they neither approve nor disapprove of how she has answered questions about the attack, while 20 percent approve and 37 percent disapprove.
Americans also are divided on Clinton's emails. More than half of those polled view her use of a private server as a minor problem or no problem at all, compared with 1 in 3 who think it is a major problem. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans call it a major problem.

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