Hillary Clinton might not be in the ring yet, but both sides are ready to fight.
Republican Steve Stockman, the freshman congressman from Texas, is lending some heft to a super PAC opposing a potential Clinton White House bid, The Washington Times reported Monday.
“I’ve joined with Stop Hillary PAC to gather millions of petition signatures to pressure Congress into holding full and open hearings on the Benghazi tragedy. I’ve filed a discharge petition with the House of Representatives forcing an up or down vote on authorizing a full committee hearing,” he said. Stockman, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also pushed for the formation of a select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 attack in Libya.
Stockman’s office did not reply to MSNBC’s requests for comment.
While the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi and the deaths of four Americans including a U.S. ambassador has become a rallying cry for Clinton critics (she headed the State Department at the time) Stop Hillary PAC national spokesman Garrett Marquis told MSNBC that it’s not a central motivation for the group.
“Benghazi is not a cornerstone. It is a pillar in the foundation,” Marquis said.
“It’s either coincidence or telling that there’s a scandal every few years that follows Hillary Clinton,” Marquis said. “Benghazi’s just the latest one and happens to have the most attention right now.”
Stop Hillary PAC, which aims to “Make sure Hillary Clinton never becomes president,” is the right’s answer to the Ready for Hillary effort, both grassroots organizations capitalizing on the furor surrounding her next steps.
Neither of the groups is affiliated with the former Secretary of State, and Clinton has not announced any plans to make a second run at the White House.
But that hasn’t quieted the buzz.
Marquis summed up his organization’s feeling: “If it was too early, then there wouldn’t be any attention paid to it.”