Republican and Democratic National Committees narrowed their crosshairs on possible 2016 opponents this week, with Republicans announcing their intentions to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton, and Democrats releasing a very early attack ad on Gov. Chis Christie.
With three years to go, the Republican “research shop” is “focusing in on Hillary Clinton,” RNC chairman Reince Preibus said on Wednesday, adding that he believes “there needs to be more of a focus.”
Priebus said the RNC and Republican research-oriented PAC America Rising seeks to find dirt on the former Secretary of State, who has not even said if she’ll be running for office in 2016.
“There’s a lot of rough stuff coming out on Hillary that you know, it doesn’t just come out of thin air. It comes from somewhere. And sometimes, it comes from us, and sometimes, it comes from other groups,” Priebus said on the conservative Hugh Hewitt radio program.
Republicans have repeatedly criticized Clinton over the deadly 2012 Benghazi attack. The RNC even produced an attack ad on the subject during the 2012 presidential race, but Mitt Romney pulled the plug on it before air. Karl Rove’s PAC American Crossroads did run an attack ad on Hillary over Benghazi, despite the fact that she wasn’t even running for office at the time.
“We have to be very aggressive on what she’s done or hasn’t done,” Priebus added. “And the things that she is famous for, like a botched health care rollout in the 90s, and Benghazi, and the things that she is involved with that are or went obviously pretty badly, we need to focus in on.”
The DNC released a web ad on Thursday linking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin’s uber-conservative record. Christie, who is the new head of the Republican Governors Association, is scheduled to headline a fundraiser for Fallin on Thursday.
The two have long been speculated as 2016 candidates; in a handful of 2016 hypothetical match-up, Clinton bests Christie.