Conservative video warns of another Clinton presidency

WASHINGTON - It's far from a sure thing that Hillary Clinton will run for the White House in 2016, but that isn't stopping some conservatives from ramping up efforts to try and derail any possible presidential campaign by the former secretary of state.

Wednesday one of two pro-Republican groups that recently formed to attack Clinton and hopefully influence the big political decision she will eventually make, released a web video that imagines a second Clinton presidency, in hopes of stoking fears among Republicans nationwide.

The video, by the Stop Hillary PAC, envisions Clinton taking the oath of office on inauguration day in January 2017, with quick cuts to on-screen references of past controversies from her husband Bill Clinton's presidency, such as "Whitewater" and "Travelgate."


The video also spells out "Benghazi," in reference to the attack last September in Libya that left the U.S. ambassador to the north African nation and three other Americans dead. The incident came during Clinton's tenure as secretary of state and she's come under attack from some Republicans for her role in State Department actions leading up to the attack and the response following the incident.

The 49-second video closes with Clinton finishing her oath by saying "so help me God," followed by the on-screen words "So Help Us."

The political action committee, which was created in May, is not putting any money behind the video to run it as a paid spot either online or on television. Their hope appears to be to generate buzz and increase fundraising off the video.

Stop Hillary PAC is headed by Ted Harvey, a conservative Colorado state senator who was a vocal opponent of the recent gun control laws passed in the state. Garrett Marquis, a media strategist and alumnus of John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign; Alex Shively, a former aide to Georgia Rep. Tom Price; Jacob Leis, a Colorado-based political strategist; and Dan Backer, a Washington attorney and lobbyist, are also onboard with the effort.

"There is no doubt Hillary Clinton is running for president and America can't afford to wait until 2014 or 2016 to stop her and the liberal machine," Harvey said in a statement. "We will go wherever she goes and do whatever it takes to stop her and take a stand for America's future."

The PAC hopes to eventually go up with paid online and TV spots, although those ads may be different than the video they are premiering, according to an official with the group.

Stop Hillary PAC started in May and for the last month has been "communicating with Americans across the country who are concerned for their rights and the threat of another Hillary and Bill Clinton White House," according to Marquis. He says the group's initial goal is to generate a million signatures to its online petition to "stop Hillary."

Marquis says the PAC has received some "significant fundraising" over the past month, much of it low dollar amounts. But he adds that the group has also received some high-dollar, five- or six-figure commitments from donors as well.

Future efforts by the group could include demonstrating at Clinton appearances across the country, donations to candidates, or social media efforts. If Clinton eventually launches a second presidential campaign, the PAC plans to be active in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina with TV and radio ads.

Besides Stop Hillary PAC, there's also StopHillary2016, a separate effort launched last month by America Rising, the recently formed opposition research group headed by Matt Rhoades, the campaign manager for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential effort, and by a pair of former Republican National Committee officials.

Republican strategist John Feehery says such anti-Hillary efforts could be successful.

"If you keep enough pressure on, if you keep raising questions about Benghazi, keep putting pressure on the relationship between her and her husband, keep picking at her, then you might exhaust her and get her not to run," says Feehery, who was a top adviser to former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

While the two conservative groups hope to derail Clinton, a group called Ready for Hillary is trying to encourage the former first lady, senator from New York and 2008 presidential candidate to launch another White House bid.

Wednesday the group announced it had reached a half million supporters on its Facebook page.

"When Ready for Hillary began earlier this year, we had an idea, a P.O. Box and a few thousand supporters," said executive director and founder Adam Parkhomenko, in a statement. "Now, more than half a million Americans have joined our national grassroots movement to encourage Hillary to run for President in 2016."

The 2016 primary and caucus calendar doesn't kick off for another two years and five months, but for those hoping to make an impact on the next race for the White House, the clock's already ticking.

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