Hannity cropped Clinton quote to accuse her of "hypocrisy" on Iraq

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

On the June 17 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America, host Sean Hannity cropped a December 2003 speech by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) before the Council on Foreign Relations to accuse her of "hypocrisy." Hannity claimed that, in that speech, "when most Democrats turned their back on the president's decision to invade Iraq, Hillary maintained her support." As evidence, Hannity aired a part of her speech in which Clinton said, "I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein," but not her subsequent statement two sentences later in which she noted what she said were her "many disputes and disagreements with the administration over how that authority has been used." Hannity then skipped ahead 14 paragraphs to include this quote from Clinton: "We have no option but to stay involved and committed." Hannity later accused Clinton of "quickly chang[ing] beats" after opposition to the war grew and claimed that, in June 2006, "[a]lmost out of nowhere," Clinton "started to blame the president for misleading Congress." Hannity then pointed to Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) remarks -- as quoted in Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton (Little, Brown & Co., June 2007) by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr. -- that "I didn't see early on or at least for a couple of or three years ... the allegation surface that President Bush had 'misused his authority.' " In fact, as Media Matters for America has previously noted (here and here), Clinton accused Bush of misusing the authority given him in the Authorization For Use Of Military Force Against Iraq long before the June 2006 speech.

From Clinton's December 15, 2003, speech (emphasis added):

CLINTON: I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. I believe that that was the right vote. I have had many disputes and disagreements with the administration over how that authority has been used, but I stand by the vote to provide the authority because I think it was a necessary step in order to maximize the outcome that did occur in the Security Council with the unanimous vote to send in inspectors. And I also knew that our military forces would be successful. But what we did not appreciate fully and what the administration was unprepared for was what would happen the day after.

[...]

CLINTON: So the question that I was asked most frequently when I returned was, well, are you optimistic or pessimistic, and I have to confess that my answer is neither. I am both a little optimistic and a little pessimistic, but what I'm trying to do is be realistic about where we are and what we need to be successful. We have no option but to stay involved and committed.

From the June 17 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America:

HANNITY: The woman who is now saying we shouldn't be there had multiple opportunities to vote against it, but she didn't. Fast forward to November [sic] of 2003, six months after the president announced that major combat operations in Iraq had ended. It was two days after Saddam Hussein's capture that she delivered a speech where she said we needed patience and to stay the course.

CLINTON: [video clip] I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. ... We have no option but to stay involved and committed.

HANNITY: A year into the war, when most Democrats completely turned their back on the president's decision to invade Iraq, Hillary maintained her support.

Additionally, Hannity uncritically aired McCain's claim that he "didn't see early on or at least for a couple of or three years ... the allegation surface that President Bush had 'misused his authority.' " In fact, as Media Matters noted in rebutting Gerth and Van Natta's claim, which The New York Times published in an excerpt of Her Way -- that Clinton first accused Bush of misusing his authority in her June 2006 floor statement -- Clinton has consistently voiced this concern. For instance, she told the Poughkeepsie Journal during a February 9, 2004, interview: "And, finally, I think when you are asked by a president to give him authority to proceed in one manner with the ultimate decision to use force, granted, assuming the following steps would be taken, that doesn't seem to me to be unreasonable. What happened here is that we gave authority to a president who in my view misused the authority." Also, as early as October 2003, Clinton expressed her disagreement "with the way [Bush] used that authority," as she did in the December 2003 speech.

From the June 17 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America:

HANNITY: And welcome back to Hannity's America. As Hillary Clinton makes her run for the White House, one of the defining issues in her campaign is going to be her hypocrisy over the war in Iraq. In tonight's "Clinton Chapters," we look at another part of Hillary's record that she'd like to rewrite.

[...]

HANNITY: The woman who is now saying we shouldn't be there had multiple opportunities to vote against it, but she didn't. Fast forward to November of 2003, six months after the president announced that major combat operations in Iraq had ended. It was two days after Saddam Hussein's capture that she delivered a speech where she said we needed patience and to stay the course.

CLINTON: [video clip] I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. ... We have no option but to stay involved and committed.

HANNITY: A year into the war, when most Democrats completely turned their back on the president's decision to invade Iraq, Hillary maintained her support.

[...]

HANNITY: As soon as she was being left out on her own, Hillary quickly changed beats. On June 14, 2006, a group of Democratic senators and their aides headed to a private room in the Capitol, and according to reports, the usual attendees were surprised to see Hillary in attendance. In that meeting, [Senate Majority Leader] Senator Reid [D-NV] offered to hear her thoughts. An unidentified participant recalls that day saying, quote, "It was odd to give her the stage on this."

Even Hillary's own party and colleagues were shocked to see her sudden turnaround. Almost out of nowhere, she started to blame the president for misleading Congress. Senator John McCain remarked on her 180 and said, quote, "I didn't see early on or at least for a couple of or three years ... the allegation surface that President Bush had, quote, 'misused his authority.' "

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
Hannity's America
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine, Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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