Castellanos Compares Clinton's Benghazi Testimony To Bush's 'Mission Accomplished'

One of these things is not like the other, but this is what's passing for political debate on CNN this weekend. Republican strategist and dirty trickster Alex Castellanos did his best to help the network continue on their path to becoming Fox-lite with this false equivalency on the drummed up Benghazi "scandal" they're all having the feeding frenzy over this week.
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One of these things is not like the other, but this is what's passing for political debate on CNN this weekend. Republican strategist and dirty trickster Alex Castellanos did his best to help the network continue on their path to becoming Fox-lite with this false equivalency on the drummed up Benghazi "scandal" they're all having the feeding frenzy over this week.

CROWLEY: Now, while I'm asking you this question I want to put up an NRCC, a Republican campaign committee, an ad they put up asking for funds saying, you know, we're after Benghazi. Is it smart to go after substantive things with Rand Paul in Iowa attacking Hillary, who might run in 2016 and the NRCC raising funds off of it. Isn't that kind of a mixed message?

CASTELLANOS: Well sometimes if you make something too political you undermine your motive that you really want -- a fair investigation.

CROWLEY: Do you think that has happened here?

CASTELLANOS: Not yet. Politics is also how we govern our governors. It's the only control we have. So, when government fails, the political arena is the place that we want to expose something and bring it to people's attention. And this is bad news for Hillary Clinton. This could be what mission accomplished was for George Bush. What difference does it make could be for Hillary Clinton? She -- three bad mistakes here. She didn't look after the people under her care in Benghazi. She either allowed or encouraged or didn't know about a cover up and then she marked it with a YouTube moment and those things last and travel in politics. This is going to make it very tough for her in 2016.

Ah yes, taking part of Hillary Clinton's testimony during the Republicans witch hunt on Benghazi out of context is exactly like Bush declaring that we'd "won" in Iraq right as things were about to go to hell after our illegal invasion of a country that was not a threat to us. Just the same! Jesus this crap makes my head hurt. And not an ounce of push back from host Candy Crowley, of course.

Full transcript from the segment above below the fold.

CROWLEY: Let me move you to the other big story this week, which is Benghazi. In particular Alex, if you will for me, the Democrats are pushing back very hard on this saying nothing new. There's nothing new out there. This is all about politics. So I want to play for you Rand Paul something that he said in Iowa this week discussing Hillary Clinton's former head of the state department.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: They're asking for security. They're pleading for security. And they got nothing. It was inexcusable. It was a dereliction of duty. And it should preclude her from holding out her office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Now, while I'm asking you this question I want to put up an NRCC, a Republican campaign committee, an ad they put up asking for funds saying, you know, we're after Benghazi. Is it smart to go after substantive things with Rand Paul in Iowa attacking Hillary, who might run in 2016 and the NRCC raising funds off of it. Isn't that kind of a mixed message?

CASTELLANOS: Well sometimes if you make something too political you undermine your motive that you really want -- a fair investigation.

CROWLEY: Do you think that has happened here?

CASTELLANOS: Not yet. Politics is also how we govern our governors. It's the only control we have. So, when government fails, the political arena is the place that we want to expose something and bring it to people's attention. And this is bad news for Hillary Clinton. This could be what mission accomplished was for George Bush. What difference does it make could be for Hillary Clinton? She -- three bad mistakes here. She didn't look after the people under her care in Benghazi. She either allowed or encouraged or didn't know about a cover up and then she marked it with a YouTube moment and those things last and travel in politics. This is going to make it very tough for her in 2016.

CROWLEY: YouTube is pretty unforgiving. Mo, you work for Hillary Clinton. Does this make life difficult for her?

ELLEITHEE: Look, are there going to be questions about this? Probably. There should be. This is an issue that is serious. Should not be a political issue, though. And that is what the Republicans are doing right now. Just this morning, Darrell Issa said, we're not targeting Barack Obama, we're not targeting Hillary Clinton. That ad that you just threw up there had a picture of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Rand Paul going to a Republican dinner and making it about Hillary Clinton's perspective presidential campaign when no one knows if she is planning on running for president, it just makes the point that this really is political. Add to that the fact that there isn't anything new that has came out in recent days and it just (INAUDIBLE) that these guys are just struggling to pin this on her in order to score political points.

CROWLEY: Really quickly, Alex...

(CROSSTALK)

... I'm going to give Karen the last word.

CASTELLANOS: It's just really hard to imagine the Obama administration is criticizing anyone else for being critical and this administration has been on the stump campaigning forever about everything.

CROWLEY: So Karen, where does it go from here? Has it damaged Hillary? Will it damage Hillary Clinton, should she decide to run?

TUMULTY: I think that, you know, it's going to be difficult for any Democrat. There's sort of a history of the country not giving a president in essence, a third term. But, yes, I do think this is going to come back and haunt her again and again. And I disagree. There have been some new details that have come out both on the kind of furious infighting that was happening and sort of the fact that the first impulse was sort of to protect the state department.

CROWLEY: Was it, you know, it was about politics, but does seem to be about internal state department politics not to wanting to get "thrown under the bus" by the CIA for not paying enough attention to security. Mo Elleithee, Karen Tumulty, Alex Castellanos thanks for joining us.

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