National Republicans are looking to use Anthony Weiner as a weapon against Bill and Hillary Clintons and, in turn, the handful of Senate Democrats who are likely to see the couple campaign for them in 2014.
Dayspring notes that Bill ClintonBill ClintonThe Trail 2016: Digging up dirt Morris: Hillary's women problem Trump’s lawyer: Donald once saw Bill Clinton as a ‘friend’ MORE will likely campaign for vulnerable red-state Democrats and Democratic candidates running in Kentucky and Georgia. He contends his campaigning will undermine Democratic attempts to hammer the GOP for orchestrating a "war on women" because of GOP policies Democrats feel are detrimental to women.
"He will shake hands, raise millions, Democrats will swoon and reporters will praise his political prowess. This is the same guy whose own predatory behavior has destroyed lives, hurt his wife, and embarrassed his party," Dayspring writes.
"Therein lies the Democrats’ problem. Therein lies Hillary Clinton's problem. Their entire electoral strategy requires utilizing the 'War on Women' playbook, but every individual transgression is a reminder that most parents couldn’t trust Bill Clinton — the most powerful Democratic fundraiser and surrogate-in-chief for 2014 — in a room alone with their 21 year old daughter," he adds, citing comments Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillDem senator: Sexual assault case show 'troubling command culture' The Trail 2016: Sanders who? Clinton supporter: Nevada convention violence an 'aberration' MORE (D-Mo.) made in 2006 about Bill Clinton.
Democrats scoffed at the Republican tactic. They note Bill Clinton enjoys strong bipartisan approval in southern states like Kentucky and Georgia, where Democrats are looking to pick up seats in 2014.
Justin Barasky, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, also dismissed the GOP argument that Weiner undercuts the party’s attacks on the GOP over women’s issues.
“The GOP’s war on women is about issues like Republicans voting against bills to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work, voting against bills that offer women protections against domestic violence, and voting for bills that restrict a woman’s right to make decisions about her own healthcare,” Barasky said in an email to The Hill.
“If the NRSC believes otherwise, all that does is show they’ve learned absolutely nothing from last cycle and they’re poised to make the exact same mistakes they did in 2012.”
The NRSC has also sought to tie Weiner around the neck of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's secretary of state, who is challenging Sen. Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Healthcare: House loosens pesticide rules to fight Zika | A GOP bill that keeps some of ObamaCare | More proof of pending premium hikes Senate votes to block financial adviser rule Reid defends embattled VA secretary MORE (R-Ky.) in one of Democrats' few pickup opportunities this cycle.
Her father, prominent Democratic donor and Clinton family friend Jerry Lundergan, contributed funds to Weiner's mayoral bid, and the NRSC asked in a release whether Grimes — who is looking to make a play for female voters in Kentucky — was willing to stand by Weiner's run.
Calls for Weiner to exit the New York mayoral race have grown following new revelations surrounding his inappropriate interactions with women who were not his wife. Weiner's support has taken a hit in the polls, and his campaign manager recently quit.
Abedin, a longtime aide and close confidant of Hillary Clinton, stood to defend her husband at a press conference he held last week to apologize.
Hillary Clinton was reportedly left in the dark about Abedin's intentions to defend Weiner and, according to several reports, is irritated by the Clinton comparisons Abedin's defense has inspired.
Hillary Clinton famously affirmed her commitment to her marriage after revelations that her husband had engaged in sexual acts with an intern went public.
“The Clintons are upset with the comparisons that the Weiners seem to be encouraging — that Huma is ‘standing by her man’ the way Hillary did with Bill, which is not what she in fact did,’’ one prominent New York state Democrat told the New York Post.
Former Clinton White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers said on Sunday that she believed the Clintons, "as much as anyone would like to see this go away."
Updated at 2:50 p.m.