It's been a rough few weeks of press for Hillary Clinton, but a well-connected group supporting her potential candidacy is fighting back against what they see as a "broad and coordinated" Republican effort to "discourage" the former secretary of State from running for president in 2016.
In a memo obtained by National Journal, Correct the Record warns that conservatives have significantly stepped up their offensive on Clinton's record ahead of the June 10 release date of her new memoir. The group, the pro-Clinton arm of the Democratic opposition-research super PAC American Bridge, is part of the network of outside groups that make up the semiofficial campaign-in-waiting for Clinton.
"The right-wing apparatus is manufacturing false and misleading attack after false and misleading attack to try to discourage Clinton's decision about 2016," Correct the Record Director Isaac Wright writes in the memo. "Fearful of the energy around Clinton, the right-wing establishment is proving that it will stop at nothing in its efforts to diminish one of Clinton's greatest assets: her record."
Indeed, Clinton's tenure as secretary of State has come under intense criticism from the right in recent days, with Republicans escalating their inquiry into the Benghazi attack, while simultaneously criticizing her policy on Russia, Iran, and the Nigeria-based militant group Boko Haram.
Clinton's book will focus on her time at State and is widely seen as laying out her credentials for a run.
The memo goes on to defend Clinton on each line of attack launched by conservative officials, publications, or outside groups, with the pro-Clinton group providing a response to each—24 in total.
For instance, when Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., gave Clinton's record at State an "F" on ABC's This Week, Correct the Record Communications Director Adrienne Elrod fired back hard. She accused the senator of "posturing ...in an attempt to appeal to the kind of partisan extremism required to be a potential Republican presidential candidate these days."
Elrod went on to say that "Americans want leadership like Hillary Clinton's that is built on making the future better, not an agenda dictated by Tea Party fearmongering financed by the Koch brothers."
Even though we're two and half years out from the 2016 election, Democrats need to take these attacks on Clinton's record seriously, the group believes, and so it's better to respond to them quickly and strongly than to leave them unanswered. If the attacks—and counterattacks—have already reached fever pitch before the book release, just imagine how much more heated things will get when critics pour over its contents.
So far, according to Correct the Record, eight different organizations or projects have sprung up with the primary purpose of fighting a potential Clinton candidacy.