Fox News’ right-leaning audience and its liberal critics don’t agree on much, but both were expecting that Hillary Clinton would get plenty of questions on the Benghazi attack when she agreed to appear on the network Tuesday night — and Fox did not disappoint.
More than a third of the 30-plus minute live joint interview with anchors Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren was devoted to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the diplomatic compound in Libya. All came from Baier. He dove right in with his first question and didn’t let up on Benghazi for the next eight minutes.
“I have some more specific Benghazi questions. You may have imagined that,” he said at one point midway through the segment.
Clinton stood her ground throughout and did not deviate meaningfully from previous answers she’s given.
Next up was Van Susteren, who steered clear of the attack and instead asked Clinton about Afghanistan, the release of former Taliban prisoner Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and Iraq. Clinton called then-Sen. Joe Biden’s 2006 argument to partition Iraq into three states “creative,” but “impossible” at the time. She did not outright dismiss it, however.
After that, three minutes for commercial break.
When they returned, it was back to Baier and back to Benghazi. “Two quick follow-ups on Benghazi then I want to move to something else,” Baier said. Four minutes of back-and-forth and no news later, Baier asked his first non-Benghazi question: “Did President Obama, during his first term, ever seriously disappoint you in any way?” No, Clinton responded.
Under questioning from Van Susteren, however, Clinton allowed some oxygen to reach the smoldering controversy over the alleged IRS targeting of tea-party nonprofit groups. Obama has called it a “phony scandal,” but when asked about his remark, Clinton replied, “I think that anytime the IRS is involved, for many people, it is a real scandal.” She defended Obama, saying “the circus around these investigations” can obfuscate what’s really happening, but also called for more investigations.
Van Susteren also grilled Clinton on the National Security Agency’s data-collection practices, and got Clinton to agree that things needed to be rebalanced in favor of privacy a bit. “The emergency is over…. We want to get back to regular order,” Clinton said, while avoiding specifics. She also called the tapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone “absolutely uncalled for.”
Asked about women in politics, Clinton replied, “I do believe that sexism is still a problem. It’s not just in politics. It’s in journalism and business and all kinds of human endeavors in our country.” Van Susteren agreed, saying she has witnessed Clinton getting attacked for her gender, but chided female Democrats — without naming the former presidential candidate specifically — for failing to come to Sarah Palin’s defense in 2008 when some bloggers suggested her youngest child was not actually hers.
Altogether, about 13 minutes on Benghazi and 20 minutes on all other topics combined.
What We're Following See More »
"It is with humility, determination, and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for president," said Hillary Clinton in becoming the first woman to accept a nomination for president from a major party. Clinton gave a wide-ranging address, both criticizing Donald Trump and speaking of what she has done in the past and hopes to do in the future. "He's taken the Republican party a long way, from morning in America to midnight in America," Clinton said of Trump. However, most of her speech focused instead on the work she has done and the work she hopes to do as president. "I will be a president of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. For the struggling, the striving, the successful," she said. "For those who vote for me and for those who don't. For all Americans together."
Supporters of Bernie Sanders promised to walk out, turn their backs, or disrupt Hillary Clinton's speech tonight, and they made good immediately, with an outburst almost as soon as Clinton began her speech. But her supporters, armed with a handy counter-chant cheat sheet distributed by the campaign, immediately began drowning them out with chants of "Hillary, Hillary!"
If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."
"President Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park, a lakefront park that once hosted the world’s fair on the city’s South Side, for his $500 million presidential library, according to a person familiar with the matter."
Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."