CHICAGO — Hillary Clinton was an inescapable presence in the room at the Republican debate in Milwaukee Tuesday night.
Clinton’s campaign responded to the debate by releasing a video on Wednesday that highlighted just how many times she was attacked by the GOP hopefuls: more than 40, which the campaign noted was far more than the number of references to “the middle class.”
“Republicans mentioned Hillary Clinton more than 40 times at last night’s debates but had close to zero to say about how they would lift incomes for American workers,” Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement. “This is the No. 1 economic challenge the next president will face, and Republicans have ceded the field.”
The Republicans’ focus on Clinton, who is currently the Democratic frontrunner, even extended backstage, where the Wi-Fi password in the media filing center was “StopHillary.” In the undercard debate, which featured the four candidates at the back of the pack in polls of the GOP primary, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie kept turning the focus onto Clinton when he faced attacks from his opponent Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
With the first primaries coming up in February, it’s clear some of the Republicans are beginning to test out general election attacks against Clinton even as they battle each other for the nomination. Likewise, this video shows Clinton’s team is honing her general election case against the GOP while she faces a primary challenge from self-described “democratic socialist” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
The argument that Republican candidates are unconcerned with the middle class is clearly going to be a core message for Democrats heading into 2016. Democratic National Committee communications director Luis Miranda was backstage at the Republican debate on Tuesday. He claimed the Wi-Fi password in the spin room was evidence the GOP cared more about attacking Clinton than helping voters.
“It’s interesting that for them it’s about Hillary and for us it’s about hard-working people. It’s about the middle class,” Miranda said.
(Cover tile photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters)