In her first national campaign ad, Clinton targets a leading Republican’s remarks about the purpose of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which has for more than a year has been investigating Clinton’s actions surrounding the 2012 bombing of U.S. properties in Benghazi, Libya, which took place during her tenure as secretary of state.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the leading candidate to succeed outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), boasted on Fox News last month that the House select committee investigating Benghazi was responsible for Clinton’s waning poll numbers.
Democrats seized the opportunity, interpreting McCarthy’s remarks in countless media interviews as an admission that Republicans were actively using a tragedy—the deaths of four Americans—to fuel a political witch hunt.
“The Republicans finally admit it,” the narrator in Clinton’s campaign ad says.
McCarthy’s hardly-chopped comments follow: “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. What are her numbers today?”
McCarthy has since attempted to clarify his comments and defended the Benghazi committee as a valid investigation.
“The mission of the Select Committee on Benghazi is to find the truth—period,” McCarthy said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Clinton will appear before the Benghazi panel on Oct. 22, just after her campaign ad rolls out nationwide.
U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, diplomat Sean Smith, and two former Navy SEALs—Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty—were killed during the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya.
Clarification: The House Select Committee on Benghazi was established in May 2014.
Photo via Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Dell Cameron