Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaks during a campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 14, 2015.
Photo by Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg/Getty

First look: Pro-Clinton super PAC releases first ad

The top super PAC backing Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has released its first television ad, touting her record as secretary of state a day ahead of her testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

The 30-second spot, shared with MSNBC before its release and entitled “Games,” features stills from Clinton’s tenure at the State Department and a dramatic voiceover accusing Republicans of “playing politics over Benghazi.” The ad also features House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s comments on Fox News giving the committee credit for Clinton’s declining poll numbers.

The ad is backed by a six-figure buy and will air on cable in Washington, D.C., as well as key early states Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Priorities USA announced last month that it has received $25 million in commitments since July 1, which brings its total haul to date to more than $40 million, according to the group. 

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The super PAC was founded in 2011 to support the re-election of President Barack Obama and produced devastating ads attacking Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. It’s now getting a jump start on 2016, ramping up relatively earlier than it did in the 2012 cycle. And while Clinton does not yet have a Republican opponent, the group will work to bolster her record and defend her from Republican attacks.

“Republicans in Congress are playing political games over Benghazi by wasting millions of tax dollars in an attempt to weaken Hillary Clinton politically but it’s not working,” said Priorities USA communications director Justin Barasky. “No matter how many partisan witch-hunts Republicans engage in, Hillary Clinton will always stand strong for us, just like she did as Secretary of State.”

The Clinton campaign has called out the Benghazi committee for being “a partisan farce” that “confirms Americans’ worst suspicions about what goes on in Washington” and says it has “zero credibility left.” The campaign released its own defense of Clinton’s accomplishments this week in the form of a five-minute documentary-style video featuring interviews with former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Still, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found Americans, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, disapprove of Clinton’s handling of the attack on U.S. compounds in Libya.  

Benghazi and Hillary Clinton

First look: Pro-Clinton super PAC releases first ad