Democrats have seized on House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s comments tying Hillary Clinton’s declining poll numbers to the Benghazi investigation as evidence that the congressional panel’s examination is a veiled political attack on the Democratic candidate for president.

McCarthy, widely viewed as the frontrunner to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner when House leadership elections are held Oct. 8, said in an interview Tuesday on Fox News that Clinton was “untrustable” in a large part because of the committee’s work.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable,” McCarthy said in reference to Clinton’s role in events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack. “No one would have known any of what happened had we not fought and made that happen.”

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon blasted the remark as “a damning display of honesty.”

“Kevin McCarthy just confessed that the committee set up to look into the deaths of four brave Americans at Benghazi is a taxpayer-funded sham. This confirms Americans’ worst suspicions about what goes on in Washington,” Fallon said in a statement.


The committee was created more than a year ago to consolidate and further previous congressional investigations into the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. But since the committee was formed, Democrats have continually argued that it is merely a political tool intended to harm Clinton. They piled on the criticism Wednesday in response to McCarthy’s remarks.

“This stunning concession from Rep. McCarthy reveals the truth that Republicans never dared admit in public:  The core Republican goal in establishing the Benghazi Committee was always to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and never to conduct an evenhanded search for the facts,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the committee. “It is shameful that Republicans have used this tragedy and the deaths of our fellow Americans for political gain.”

A “gaffe” in Washington is when politicians slip and tell the truth.   The Benghazi witch hunt has been obvious since the beginning.   Now the truth has finally  been told.  Interestingly enough,  McCarthy got rattled by Sean Hannity.  You would think they would be on the same side.  Do we also thank Hannity for this gaffe and exposure to the truth?

What does “untrustable” mean?  Is that a made-up word?  Is Kevin McCarthy ready for the major leagues?  Will he take over as speaker of the house?  Will he be allowed to sit at the grown ups table?

Most of us who are not Republican have known all along that the manufactured Benghazi hype was just that—a sad incident being used to kill off a strong political candidate, regardless of cost.  Shame! Shame! Shame on those who would exploit the  death of Americans for political gain.

Kevin McCarthy just said what the rest of us knew.



30 Thoughts to “Does McCarthy gaffe make him “untrustable” to Republicans?”

  1. Scout

    I’m a bit puzzled by the furor over this. I’m sure McCarthy is too. I don’t think he said anything that wasn’t commonly understood on both sides of the aisle.

    A more important thing to me is whether this particular guy should be third in line to the Presidency. He strikes me as a light-weight. Perhaps that’s unfair, as I don’t know much about him, but that’s the impression he leaves me with when I hear him try to address important issues. He gave a foreign policy speech a few days ago that was just pure pabulum, very poorly presented at that.

    1. Rachel Maddow did an expose of sorts about his ineffective use of the English language. Now, I grant you, we can pull out bits and pieces of what anyone says and make that person look like a fool.

      He does seem a little wet behind the ears, for sure, especially being third in line for the presidency. Boehner, yes, he could step into those shoes if he had to. McCarthy? Not so much.

  2. Kelly_3406

    There is no doubt that politics played a role in the creation of the Benghazi committee. But the findings showed that it was amateur hour at the State Department and it got people killed. It further showed that a cover story was invented to blame the riots on a video when it was known the entire time that it was a terrorist operation. Period.

    We are still suffering the consequences to this day, with a failed state in Libya that has become a terrorist haven and the recognition by Putin that it is STILL amateur hour in the State Department and White a house.

    1. I think only the Republicans and Hillary-haters would agree about amateur hour. Its easy to have 20-20 hind-sight.

  3. Kelly_3406

    McCarthy strikes me as a light weight also.

  4. Cargosquid

    He merely stated the truth.

    The investigation, one among many, set up because Hillary is obviously dishonest, brought the truth out into the light.

    The Democrats are once again spinning this, desperate for any defense against Hillary’s incompetence and dishonesty.

    The problem with McCarthy is that he is another Boehner who will seek Democrat votes over working with Republicans.

    1. An effective politician knows he or she has to work the crowd. You tea party types want it all to go your way. that isn’t going to happen.

      He basically implied the committee was creating the monster as they moved along.

  5. Steve Thomas

    ” of us who are not Republican have known all along that the manufactured Benghazi hype was just that—a sad incident being used to kill off a strong political candidate, regardless of cost. Shame! Shame! Shame on those who would exploit the death of Americans for political gain.”

    And this differs from the Democrats manufacturing a story about mulsims ticked-off about a youtube video, to protect another candidate’s presidential prospects? From where I sit, the difference is this: while the Benghazi hearings may be politically motivated, the incident did happen. Republicans, regardless of motive, are seeking the truth. The Democrats stonewalled (which is why Hillary is having to deal with this now, as opposed to 2 years ago), misdirected, denied, deflected, and flat-out lied.

    Have any of the perpetrators been captured or killed? None to my knowledge.

    Was the “official reason” for the Ambassador’s being in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11/2001 ever been determined? No, and I suspect it won’t be, because it would involve admitting to illegally funneling weapons through Turkey to Syrian rebels, who later became ISIS.

    This incident is just one point in a serious of horrible policy decisions made by this Administration, and it’s then SecState. Ask yourself, “How did we get to the point where Russian Armed forces are once again active in Syria?” and work backwards from there. I place the majority of the blame on our feckless (in terms of Foreign Policy) president, but Clinton was a key player in this mash-up. Of course the hearings are politically motivated. Hillary is running for president. Her share of the blame must be determined, and her resume vetted.

    As far as McCarthy, I’m not optimistic as to his abilities, and doubt his (presumed) election as speaker will do much in the long-run. He’ll get some growing space from conservatives for a time, but eventually the bloom will fall, and he will be a less-articulate, and perhaps less emotional speaker, in the Boehner mold. While a long-shot, I’d like to see Bob Goodlatte R-VA as speaker.

  6. blue

    The Republican haters and those determined to go forward with their liberal progressive agenda will, of course, support McCarthy. Why, because they can “work’ with him” which is code for moving things along allbeit more slowly. I see no indication tht McCarthy will move away from big government, higher taxes, reverse the regulatory weight that is crushing us or fix immigration.

    1. I don’t care much for most of the Republicans in Congress and I am not cheering for McCarthy. Why would I want a dumb ass in charge?

  7. Cargosquid

    We Tea Party types want the Republicans to stop rolling over for the Democrats and make THEM compromise for once.

    Liberals cannot seem to admit that Benghazi was a total clusterf#ck and cover up, even when the evidence is before their eyes.

    @Steve Thomas
    Exactly. +1

    Exactly. When Democrats cheer the Republican choice, the country is in trouble.

  8. Starryflights

    Heh heh. Even republicans are slamming McCarthy over his comments. They are still beating this dead Benghazi horse.

  9. Steve Thomas

    “They are still beating this dead Benghazi horse.”

    Like the militants beat the dead corpse of our Ambassador? Like the lies and stonewalling delivered to the families of three other dead Americans?

    Starry, your comments are like a schoolhouse in the summertime.

  10. Kelly_3406


    This is not 20/20 hindsight. Many people pointed out the folly of “leading from behind” and the danger of a power vacuum in Libya without a significant coalition military presence in place to set up a new government. I even made comments on your blog (and believe Cargo did too) stating that Libya could easily turn into a terrorist haven.

    We also pointed out the significant risk of chaos when Obama chose to withdraw troops from Iraq.

    Also the military has been effectively hollowed out over the last decade so that Putin is able to move in to Syria without worry about a U.S. military response.

    The result is that the U.S. is in its worst strategic position in the Middle East in probably 50 years.

    1. Well, let’s go to the real root of the problem–being in Iraq in the first place. The entire blame should lie right there.

      I know enough military people to know that if needed, most of those vets could be called back up in a heart-beat. Why keep a huge military when one is not needed.

      I would certainly hope we wouldn’t have a military response to Putin. How irresponsible.

  11. Starryflights

    Steve Thomas :
    “They are still beating this dead Benghazi horse.”
    Like the militants beat the dead corpse of our Ambassador? Like the lies and stonewalling delivered to the families of three other dead Americans?
    Starry, your comments are like a schoolhouse in the summertime.

    Our ambassador’s name was Christopher Stevens. And no, the militants did not beat his “dead corpse” (aren’t all corpses dead?). He died of smoke inhalation. And for republicans like McCarthy to exploit this tragedy for political gain is sickening and disgusting.

  12. Pat.Herve

    The most investigated event in Congress’s history – and they still did not come up with anything, yet the investigation continues.

    There were riots in several other cities that night – based on a video. So, the video DID cause an outbreak in other areas. There was NO stand down order given by anyone, event tough many of the pundits and Republican Congressman said there was.

    Where is the AUMF – you can all scream that Obama is not doing enough with ISIS – but two things are in Republican control – the AUMF through Congress and the Sequester. If the R’s want to really combat ISIS – get the AUMF on Obama’s desk.

    Very sad that anyone would stoop down to this level to politicize and a very tragic event.

    1. Yes, it is sad to think of how much political mileage has been bought and paid for over Benghazi. It was tragic.

      So much time spent reinvestigating the investigation, yet very little over the number of mass killings in this nation where hundreds have been killed.

      At least 10 people killed and 7 injured. Will Congress have an inquiry? I expect not.

  13. Cargosquid

    Why should Congress have an inquiry when law enforcement will investigate?

    Too bad the federal law enforcement is stonewalling the Benghazi cover up.

    1. Well, no one can accuse you of not being right on it! I remember you going after the Obama administration the day it happened, while it was still going on even.

  14. Cargosquid


    as for the rest…..

    Cross border authority was denied. That is a stand down. Africom and EUCOM had available assets.

    Woods and Doherty were told to stand down. Three times. They disobeyed, saving lives.

    Assets WERE in country. Woods died painting a target with a laser for air support….which was never authorized to assist. The battle lasted 4 hours…. plenty of time to react from Signonella. No order was given.

    So either someone abrogated their responsibility to respond or told them not to go.

    1. One person’s opinion who wasn’t there at the time hardly makes something true.

      Do you think Benghazi or emails will thrust an arrow through the heart of the dreaded Hillary?

      Hell, the emails probably were safer than if they were on the government servers. We have done such a great job of cyber security there.

  15. @Cargosquid

    Maybe because we have an epidemic of mass killings in the country?

    I obviously wasn’t talking about a single incident. Perhaps Congress needs to start sticking their nose into each and every mass killing. Then who would they beat up on….

  16. Cargosquid

    I hope so. I hope that she is charged with violating the law. If I was liable for such if I mishandled classified information BY ACCIDENT, her willful violations of the law are much worse.

    Its already been determined that she was hacked at least 4 times.

    As for the mass killings….as I said…. law enforcement is already looking into them….all of them.

    Unlike the dishonesty in the executive branch.

    1. I don’t see them as dishonest, at least the current ones. I saw Dick Cheney as dishonest.

      Law enforcement couldn’t possibly look into things as well as Congress. Just ask them. They would be able to do all sorts of political theatrics.

    2. Determined by whom?

      I just basically don’t care about the email. Yawn.

      I wish you were as upset over mass killings as you are over a fire fight in Benghazi.

  17. Kelly_3406


    Let’s suppose for a moment that you are right that invading Iraq was a bad idea. That still does not mean that the best action for America was to withdraw from Iraq. Obama’s responsibility was to do what was in the best interest of the United States. Iraq was stable when Obama came into office, Iran’s influence was minimal, and infiltration of terrorist groups had been mostly neutralized. The U.S. withdrawal from Iraq reversed all of that.

    And if Obama was so adamant that Iraq was a bad idea, then why was overthrowing Qaddafi in Libya a good idea? Especially since he did not want to use US troops? Iraq was a clear lesson that it is easy to overthrow a regime, but difficult to manage the outcome. Obama’s about face suggests that his opposition to Iraq was political rather than strategic.

    The House hearings should have useful to understand the rationale behind Libya and Benghazi, but much of it still seems muddied.

  18. Pat.Herve

    Well, yes, those very partisan sites will have articles about things like that. Here is another from a partisan site –

    There was no stand down order from anyone in Washington. Maybe some guy on the ground said to not act – but it was not from anyone in Washington.

  19. Pat.Herve

    Cargosquid :
    Its already been determined that she was hacked at least 4 times.


  20. Scout

    Let’s step back. At least three consecutive administrations seem to have generally botched things up in their approaches to the Middle East and rising Islam-justified terrorism. And there are any number of important policy issues that need to be studied very closely going back to our seemingly insane obsession to invade Iraq in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Congressional hearing are one way to go about looking at these issues. But there should be no confusion as to what this particular Committee was about: It was largely about Susan Rice’s early comments in the days following the Benghazi attack in which she conflated the Mohammed Movie riots in Cairo and other places in the Muslim world with the violence in Benghazi and with a political narrative that the Administration deliberately was obscuring the real causes of the attack. Clinton was in the target mix, but she wasn’t the sole target. It took no more than a matter of days after Benghazi for the now usual flock of looney theories to not only crop up from the fertile rumor soil of the political fringe, but to be treated by Congress as if they were actually serious issues (e.g., that help was available but waved off by either Clinton or Obama, etc.). This particular committee’s mission was to delight a fringe audience with entertainments about these nutty ideas and to inflict political harm on the Administration and its key leaders. That was its clear purpose. It was never about a hard read of how absolutely wrong-headed virtually every major move we have made in the Middle East since 2001 or earlier has been. They weren’t inviting scholars or past statesmen to testify. They were there to cause political harm.

    That’s why McCarthy, who appears to lack a heavy layer of duplicity in his make-up, would point to the work of the special committee, in response to a question about the GOP’s accomplishments in Congress, and describe it in terms of how it had hurt HRC’s poll numbers. It simply jumped out of his mouth in response to a question where he could have made up stuff about any number of issues. The reason it jumped out of his mouth, is that he lacks the mental mechanisms to support elaborate deceptions ( a wonderful trait in most contexts, but not, perhaps, in the context of modern political leadership), and because it is exactly the way this issue has been talked about forever in the GOP caucus in the House.

    I agree with Kelly’s last line – there were issues worth pursuing and they could have been pursued by standing committees on Foreign Relations. Or a special report by respected foreign policy former members of Congress could have been commissioned. But that wasn’t the agenda in any way, shape or form. That’s why it, as he says, seems “muddled.” It was a circus, a waste, an embarrassment at a time when a lot of the big issues that several commenters here have identified could have been looked at.

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