In her clearest shot yet at Republicans who might face off against her in 2016, Hillary Clinton said no one considering running for president should have signed a recent letter GOP senators sent to the leadership of Iran.
“GOP letter to Iranian clerics undermines American leadership. No one considering running for commander-in-chief should be signing on,” Clinton tweeted Wednesday afternoon.Several Republican presidential candidates added their names to the letter, including Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Lindsey Graham. Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, who are currently considered the frontrunners for the GOP nomination, also expressed support, as did Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The letter, written by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton and signed by 46 other Republicans in the upper chamber, warns Iranian leaders not to sign a nuclear deal with President Obama, explaining that he could be replaced by a Republican who would undo the deal after the next presidential race. The White House has strongly condemned the letter.
Clinton also spoke about the flap Tuesday at a high-profile press conference at the United Nations, which was dominated by the controversy over her exclusive use of a private email account during her tenure as secretary of state. “The recent letter from Republican senators was out of step with the best traditions of American leadership,” she said Tuesday. “Either these Senators were trying to be helpful to the Iranians, or harmful to the commander-in-chief in the midst of high-stakes international diplomacy. Either answer does discredit to the letter’s signatories.”
Clinton continued that she would have been “pleased to talk more about this important matter,” but reluctantly said she would turn to “questions about my emails,” which consumed the remaining 20 or so minutes of her time with reporters.
Wednesday’s tweet, arguably the most political statement Clinton has made publicly since stepping down as secretary of state in 2013, comes at a time when she is eagerly trying to put the issue of her emails behind her, and could serve as new fodder for the press on a different issue.
While Clinton has been the subject of withering Republican attacks, especially at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, she has thus far avoided attacking Republicans directly.