Sen. Johnny Isakson welcomed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton into the presidential contest Sunday with a criticism of her handling of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Isakson, who sits alongside freshman David Perdue on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a Sunday interview on Fox Business Network that Clinton “did a good job in terms of traveling the world” but so severely fumbled the response to the Benghazi attack that questions of her readiness would plague her campaign.
“The one commercial she ran against Barack Obama when she ran for president was, ‘Who do you want in the White House at 3 am when that call comes in?’ Well her call came in at 3 am from Benhazi and they didn’t answer,” Isakson said. “She’s going to have to respond to that.”
“She did a good job in the continent of Africa with our relations there, she did a good job in terms of traveling the world. But in terms of Benghazi, that’s going to be the one question she’s got to answer, because we had four Americans in the consulate who lost their lives because the United States didn’t respond and we know the State Department knew they were under attack,” the Georgian added. “That’s going to be the $64,000 question.”
Isakson said it was “wrong” that emails from Sec. Clinton’s time at the State Department had been purged from private servers without government oversight, but said he believed the emails were still salvageable.
“I learned something as chairman of the ethics committee: there’s no such thing as everything being gone in the computer,” he said. “A forensic analysis would probably find [the emails]. I hope we do find it.”
Watch the full interview after the jump.
The leadership pac for Jeb Bush, the primary vehicle through which the former Florida governor has been road testing a presidential campaign, announced this week it had contributed more than $117,000 to some two dozen congressional Republicans facing reelection next year, including two Georgians.
The pac gave U.S. Senator Isakson, who is seeking a third six-year term, and Augusta freshman Rep. Rick Allen each a cash injection of $5,400. The contribution covers both the primary, in which Isakson will face off with at least one (nominal) challenger, and the general election.
See the full list of pac recipients after the jump.
The chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia responded in color terms to the presidential campaign announcement of U.S. Senator Rand Paul Tuesday by calling the Kentucky Republican a “whackadoo” who would dismantle the country’s social safety net and erase strides made by minority groups.
In a lengthy statement haranguing Paul as hostile to women and gays, state party chair DuBose Porter said the GOP hopeful was so extreme he made Georgia’s congressional delegation look moderate.
“Rand Paul’s announcement should alarm every woman, college student, and hardworking family in the state of Georgia,” Porter said. “Even by Georgia standards, Rand Paul is a whackadoo that would turn the Office of the President into a breeding ground of the bizarre and extreme right. The guy is on the record criticizing the Civil Rights movement, saying he doesn’t believe in LGBT rights because they’re ‘based on behavior,’ and saying that vaccinating our children is a step toward ‘martial law.’
A handful of Georgia Republican pols were on hand for Paul’s kickoff in Louisville, Ky. Tuesday. They included state Reps. John Pezold and Scot Turner and failed State School Superintendent candidate Ashley Bell.
A state university in middle Georgia is in contention to host one of four general election presidential debates next fall, the nonpartisan commission responsible for organizing the events said this week.
The Commission on Presidential Debates said Wednesday it was considering 16 possible sites, including Millegeville’s Georgia College and State University, for next year’s White House series.
The field is mostly comprised of smaller colleges and universities in the southeast and southwest. The four selected sites will be announced later this fall.
“Georgia College is pleased to be able to submit an application for consideration to host a presidential debate,” said Dr. Steve Dorman, university president, said in a statement emailed to Tipsheet. “This is in keeping with our public liberal arts mission where we embrace and promote the actions of deliberative democracy. We are excited about the possibility and would consider it a privilege to host a national political discussion.”
See the full list of contenders below the fold.
Ex-Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina has hired a well-regarded former aide to Rep. Lynn Westmoreland and the state Republican party to serve as spokeswoman for her likely presidential campaign, a senior advisor told Tipsheet Wednesday.
Leslie Shedd, a former communications director for Westmoreland and the state GOP’s rapid response vehicle in the last U.S. senate contest, has been named press secretary for Carly for America, a newly-formed super PAC that will lay the foundation for a White House bid.
“Leslie has worked hard to promote conservative values across the country,” senior advisor Stephen DeMaura said in an email. “Her ability to articulate the issues that affect all Americans will serve Carly for America well. We are excited to have her on the team.”
Shedd is the second Georgia operative that’s recently been drawn into Fiorina’s orbit.
Last month Fiorina’s Unlocking Potential PAC, the primary vehicle through which she has been road testing a White House bid, scooped up Brandon Howell as a communications aide to manage the political action committee’s social media and blogger outreach efforts.
Howell, who was on hand for Fiorina’s recent stop in Atlanta, held leadership roles in the state college GOP conference and served as campaign manager for former Athens state Rep. Doug McKillip.