In first national ad, Clinton hits GOP on Benghazi

Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump gives Lester Holt a C grade for debate Congress departs for recess until after Election Day House approves stopgap funding, averting costly shutdown MORE’s presidential campaign is seeking to capitalize off of Republicans’ comments linking her political performance with the House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

A new ad released by the campaign on Monday evening features a clip of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) giving the special House panel credit for damaging Clinton's poll numbers.

ADVERTISEMENT
The 30-second spot is the first one the campaign is running nationally on cable television, underscoring the political gold mine that Clinton's team senses in McCarthy’s comments. 

“The Republicans finally admit it,” a male narrator says in the video before a clip of McCarthy’s comments.

“Republicans have spent millions to attack Hillary because she’s fighting for everything they oppose.”

The ad on Monday came after Clinton went on the offensive over Republicans' investigation of the Benghazi attack.

In a nationally televised town hall earlier in the day, Clinton accused Republicans of exploiting the four Americans killed in Libya in 2012 merely to knock down her presidential campaign.

“Look at the situation they chose to exploit, to go after me for political reasons, the death of four Americans in Benghazi,” she said.

The ad also comes just more than two weeks ahead of Clinton’s appearance in a public hearing of the Benghazi panel.

In turning the tables on House Republicans, Clinton is seeking to get out from under questions about her use of a private email server while secretary of State — which the Benghazi committee helped to reveal — and instead set the tone for her Oct. 22 appearance before the committee.

McCarthy’s comments were seen as damaging for the California Republican, who is the favorite to become the next House Speaker.

Top Republicans have had to rush to his defense, and the episode has raised skepticism about whether McCarthy is adequately battle-tested to take on the role as leader of the House.

In a statement following the release of the new ad, a spokeswoman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) again accused Clinton of trying to change the conversation away from her email setup.

"This is a classic Clinton attempt to distract from her record of putting classified information at risk and jeopardizing our national security, all of which the FBI is investigating,” Emily Schillinger said.

Clinton will participate in the first Democratic presidential debate next week amid lingering questions about whether Vice President Biden will make a late entrance into the race.