Super-PAC pushes back on Clinton attacks

Correct the Record, the 2016-specific arm of Democratic super-PAC American Bridge, is pushing back on early Republican attempts to define potential presidential front-runner  Hillary Clinton negatively.

In a memo shared with The Hill, the group attempts to debunk some of the most common attacks on Clinton, who, as the leader in every poll of the 2016 Democratic field, has already been subject to heavy GOP fire.

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“For the latest twist in the Republican Party’s ongoing comedy of errors, the GOP has turned to old, failed attacks on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and preparing those attacks as though they are new again. Perhaps this is the Republican way of ‘going green,’ to recycle their old attacks that have already failed,” the memo reads.

It’s a response to a Daily Beast article that outlines the GOP’s growing opposition research operation focused on Clinton, spearheaded by Republican super-PAC America Rising and the Republican National Committee.

“The attacks this effort has produced, as laid out in the article, were already made and discredited. Clinton’s standing with voters suggests the attacks failed, implicitly,” the memo continues, citing a YouGov survey that showed her to be the most popular of eight elected officials, including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama.

She has, however, taken a hit in the polls, and slightly trailed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) in a number of state-specific head-to-head match-ups in recent weeks.

That’s after facing months of early offense from Republicans.

As outlined in the Daily Beast piece, the GOP sought to make the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, a significant issue for the former secretary of State; suggested she’d face questions about a Securities and Exchange Commission probe into Clinton-backed Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe’s business connections to her brother Tony Rodham; and again drew focus to former Clinton bundler Norman Hsu, who was convicted of defrauding investors and charged with violating campaign finance laws.

Correct the Record tackles each of those attacks, charging “the Benghazi conspiracy theories have been discredited,” that the focus on McAuliffe’s connections to Clinton’s family is “much to do about nothing” and that the Hsu attack, when used against Obama in 2008, failed to make much of an impact.

America Rising also attempted to tie Clinton to Obama’s claim, now known to be erroneous, that all Americans could keep their insurance under ObamaCare if they liked their healthcare plans, using a 2007 campaign clip in which Clinton said essentially the same thing.

The Correct the Record memo points out that Clinton was, in that clip, outlining her own campaign healthcare plan, and also went on to say of her plan that “your coverage will be guaranteed. If you pay your premiums and follow the rules your insurance company will be required to renew your coverage each year at a price you can afford, even if you lose your job, even if you decide to start your own business or stay home with your children for a few years.”

It’s one of Correct the Record’s first concerted efforts to push back on attacks that have bubbled up during Clinton’s absence from public life.

Correct the Record was founded earlier this year by a number of former Clinton advisers as a Democratic rapid-response effort to engage with Republican attacks on potential Democratic presidential contenders.

Until this point, however, the group has largely focused on Republican presidential hopefuls, hitting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with its first piece of offense and circulating reports on New Jersey’s Christie.