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FIRST WATCH and INSTANT FACT CHECK: Benghazi and Hillary Clinton Become Issues In GOP's Arizona Governor Primary; Dark Money Group Attacks Christine Jones (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)
out of state, outside "dark money"* organization is wading into
Arizona's GOP Governor's primary battle. This one attacks Christine Jones
for praising Hillary Clinton.
for a Strong America ("VSA") is spending $50,000 to run the 30-second
spot attacking Christine Jones' praise for Hillary Clinton following the
Benghazi terrorist attack. VSA Chairman Joel Arends tellsArizona's Politicsthat there "is a lot of
energy on this Benghazi issue" and that Jones' comments prompted a rush of
donations to his 501(c)(4) organization.
states "We won't let Hillary Clinton or her supporters like Christine
Jones whitewash what happened to them (the four killed)."
uses two quotes fromJones' blogin late 2012 and early 2013
to label Jones as a Hillary "sympathizer" and to indicate that Jones
is not concerned about the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi which killed
four Americans (including Ambassador Christopher Stevens). The FULL
quotes are below the jump, with the parts used in the ad highlighted.
the quotes and connections are slightly misleading and slightly tenuous.
The quotes are from Jones' recap of her 2012, pre-Benghazi predictions,
and her prediction for 2013. The first cannot properly be used to tie
Jones to "whitewash(ing)" Benghazi. The second prediction also
does not mention Benghazi, and it can be argued that Jones is praising
Clinton's overall record as Secretary of State.
time Jones discussed Benghazi was at the end of 2013, when she was already
running for Governor. In that post discussing her previous predictions,
Jones notes that she has "taken a surprising amount of heat for this
prediction.Somehow, readers took this prediction as an endorsement of Hillary
Clinton. Nothing could be further from the truth."
Jones' walk-back goes on to distance herself from Clinton, and how she had
"completely failed to respond" to Benghazi. Her final
explanation is that Clinton looks like the "adult in the room"
compared to everyone else in the Obama Administration. Jones also posted a
video a month ago in which she articulated the differences between her and
course, Jones' pre-gubernatorial campaign comments DO praise Clinton without
such qualifications, even after Benghazi. But, taken in the overall
context - including her subsequent statement - the ad still misleads by dating
the re-hash of her pre-Benghazi "prediction" as a post-Benghazi
whitewashing praise. In addition, the ad spotlights Benghazi, but Jones'
comments can encompass Clinton's entire record as Secretary of State without
being a "whitewash".
Politicsgrades the ad as a "C+".
SUDDEN INVOLVEMENT and TIES TO DUCEY
indicates that the ad begins running on cable systems throughout the state, and
that it would run on several cable networks that would be most likely to impact
people voting in the August 26 GOP primary.
acknowledges that this is the first time that VSA has become involved in a
"non-federal race", but he indicates that recent articles about Jones
implying that she had joined the U.S. Air Force had been brought to his
attention, got him poking around, and subsequently energized VSA supporters.
Arends says that donations from a number of individuals permitted VSA to
make this ad buy.
He toldArizona's Politicsthat he respects the privacy
of donors to his social welfare organization.
is the latest in a series from outside dark money groups either praising
Arizona Treasurer - and candidate for Governor - Doug Ducey and/or attacking
his primary opponents. The ties between Ducey and Noble date back to the
2012 campaign, when Ducey was chair of the group opposing the extension of the
state sales tax increase and Noble's Americans for Responsible Leadership
became the major dark money funding group for the effort. Today's ad is
another key data point.
below the jump to read Jones' blog posts regarding Clinton, and to watch the
VSA/Noble ad attacking Obama for "spiking the football.")
4. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will
continue to stand out as a capable and respected leader and a commanding
presence in US international relations, causing even more Democrats to wonder
why she wasn't their candidate in 2008, and calling for her to replace vice
president Biden as president Obama's running mate in the 2012 general election,
or better yet, to challenge the president in a Democratic primary.
TRUE. In fact, Secretary Clinton's
recent resignation as
Secretary of State has generated all sorts of talk about her inevitable run for
president in 2016. She has made her boss and her party look good with her
tireless efforts to represent the US abroad for the past four years. She
will be a formidable force in the coming years.
regardless of party-affiliation or political involvement, will begin to realize
what an effective Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was, as her replacement begins to be scrutinized for
failing to live up to the incredibly high standard she set.
6. Last year, we predicted that
Americans, regardless of party-affiliation or political involvement, will begin
to realize what an effective Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was,
as her replacement begins to be scrutinized for failing to live up to the
incredibly high standard she set.
TRUE. I have taken a surprising amount of heat
for this prediction. Somehow, readers took this prediction as an endorsement of
Hillary Clinton. Nothing could be further from the truth. My politics and hers could
not be more different: she is a big government, tax and spend liberal; I am a
committed conservative, dedicated to fiercely defending the constitution and
the principles upon which this country was founded. Furthermore, as Secretary
of State, Hillary Clinton presided over one of the most tragic incidents in
recent history when she completely failed to respond to the attacks on the US
Consulate in Benghazi. Even if
that were her only mistake, and it was not, that single event was disastrous
enough to be her political undoing. Nevertheless, when you compare her to the
likes of Susan Rice, Eric Holder, and John Kerry, Hillary Clinton strikes me as
the adult in the room. And, that is a sad commentary on the current
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