Right-wing media concoct Clinton attack on Obama

››› ››› BROOKE OBIE

Right-wing media omitted essential context from recent remarks made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to falsely claim that she attacked President Obama's economic policies when she said, "I think that our rising debt levels poses a national security threat," and also to speculate that Clinton is planning to challenge Obama in 2012. In fact, Clinton's full remarks clearly condemned the policies of the Bush administration -- not Obama.

Clinton's national security remarks -- in context -- clearly condemn Bush spending policies

Clinton: "[I]t is fair to say that ... we fought two wars without paying for them, and we had tax cuts that were not paid for either, and that has been a very deadly combination to fiscal sanity and responsibility." During a September 8 appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton stated that the "rising debt levels poses a national security threat" and criticized President Bush's deficit spending (emphasis added):

CLINTON: I think that our rising debt levels poses a national security threat, and it poses a national security threat in two ways. It undermines our capacity to act in our own interest, and it does constrain us where constraint may be undesirable. And it also sends a message of weakness internationally. I mean, it is very troubling to me that we are losing the ability not only to chart our own destiny but to, you know, have the leverage that comes from this enormously effective economic engine that has powered American values and interests over so many years.

So I don't think we have a choice. It's a question of how we -- how we decide to deal with this debt and deficit. I mean, you know, it is -- we don't need to go back and sort of re-litigate how we got to where we are, but it is fair to say that, you know, we fought two wars without paying for them, and we had tax cuts that were not paid for either. And that has been a very deadly combination to fiscal sanity and responsibility.

So the challenge is how we get out of it by making the right decisions, not the wrong decisions. I mean, there's a lot of wrong things we could do that would further undermine our strength. I mean, it is going to be very difficult for those decisions.

NYDN: "Clinton took a veiled shot at Republicans...for running up a national debt" that was harmful to U.S. interests. The New York Daily News reported on Clinton's statement and noted that in her remarks about the national debt she "took a veiled shot at Republicans on Wednesday for running up a national debt that she said was a drag on U.S. influence overseas."

Right-wing media omit context to falsely claim Clinton attacked Obama, speculate she is planning 2012 run

Fox News uses deceptive video editing to concoct Clinton/Obama schism. On the September 8 edition of Fox News' America Live, host Megyn Kelly aired a clip of Clinton's remarks but omitted the portion in which Clinton criticized Bush's spending policies. She and guest Monica Crowley then baselessly speculated about whether Clinton, in Kelly's words, is "coasting along in this role of secretary of state, watching President Obama take all the hits on the economy, maybe a tweak here or there about how his policies are undermining not just our national economy, but our international security, which she does have to worry about, and then what, she emerges in a couple of years to say, 'I told you so.' " Kelly teased the segment by asking, "Did Hillary Clinton just effectively declare her candidacy for president of the United States?"

Fox Nation: "Hillary takes Swipe at Obamanomics?" Linking to video of Clinton's remarks, Fox Nation asked, "Hillary Takes Swipe at Obamanomics?" From Fox Nation:

Fox Nation headline

Fox & Friends: "She's clearly talking about President Obama." On the September 9 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson teased a segment on Clinton's comments by asking, "Why is she taking a swing at President Obama?" Later in the show, co-hosts Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, and Carlson all agreed with guest Meghan McCain that Clinton was "clearly talking about President Obama." From Fox & Friends:

CLINTON [video clip]: Our rising debt levels poses a national security threat, and it poses a national security threat in two ways. It undermines our capacity to act in our own interest, and it does constrain us where constraint may be undesirable. And it also sends a message of weakness internationally.

DOOCY: Wait a minute, it sounds like she's taking a swing at her own boss.

McCAIN: Yeah, I mean, I think everyone thinks this is surprising. I'm glad that she is, sort of, feels the way I feel. Is she running for 2012? I have no idea. I don't know if this is necessarily an indicator.

KILMEADE: Well, I will say this. If you look at the GDP, in relation to debt, President Obama has added more to the debt then everyone from George Washington combined up to Ronald Reagan. So, if she's concerned about the debt -- and she's really talking about President Obama.

McCAIN: Yeah. She's clearly talking about President Obama. And I agree that it is a national security threat, so Hillary Clinton and I agree on something.

Morris: Clinton's comments are "the first shot in the Democratic primary of 2012." On the September 8 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Dick Morris claimed that Clinton's comments were "no accident at all" and "the first shot in the Democratic primary of 2012":

BILL O'REILLY (host): That comes one day -- one day after Barack Obama announces a $500 billion stimulus spending bill that would ratchet up the debt even further. Accident?

MORRIS: No, no accident at all. It's -- nothing she does is an accident about that. This, I believe, is the opening side shot, the first shot in the Democratic primary of 2012. That's not to say it's certain that she'll run. It's to say she's moving in that direction. If Obama gets massacred, yet on Election Day, which I think his people will. I think it's going to be the biggest rout you can imagine. And if that sends his poll numbers cascading downwards, then I think there will, in fact, be a spontaneous grassroots Democratic demand for new leadership.

WorldNetDaily: "Dissension In The Ranks: Cabinet member hits alarm over Obama's colossal debt." In a September 8 article titled, "Dissension In The Ranks: Cabinet member hits alarm over Obama's colossal debt," WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi distorted Clinton's comments even while noting that Clinton was blaming Bush for the current deficit problem (emphasis added):

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the U.S. military joint command are now both on record that rising levels of U.S. national debt pose a national security threat.

The message to the commander-in-chief now from both the secretary of state and the U.S. joint military command appears to have been delivered loud and clear -- continuing U.S. federal budget deficits measured in the trillions of dollars makes Americans less safe to threats posed by foreign enemies.

[...]

In an apparent effort to blame President George W. Bush for the federal budget deficit problem, Clinton said, "I mean, you know, it is -- we don't need to go back and sort of re-litigate how we got to where we are, but it is fair to say that, you know, we fought two wars without paying for them, and we had tax cuts that were not paid for either."

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