Republicans preemptively react to Hillary Clinton’s coming presidential announcement

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Clinton speaks during a news conference at the United Nations in New York last month. (Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters)

Ahead of Hillary Clinton’s expected announcement of her bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, her Republican opponents preemptively reacted to the news Sunday by attacking her candidacy.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who last week announced his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, was among the first, releasing an ad highlighting Clinton’s “out-of-touch policies, her dereliction of duty and her belief that she is above the law.”

“Hillary Clinton represents the worst of the Washington Machine,” a voiceover says in the 60-second ad, which is scheduled to air beginning Monday in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. “The arrogance of power, corruption and cover-up, conflicts of interest and failed leadership with tragic consequences — the Washington Machine is destroying the American dream.”

A section of Paul’s campaign website, meanwhile, urges his supporters to replace their Twitter avatars and Facebook cover photos with banners that read “Liberty, Not Hillary.” His online store is offering a Hillary “Hindsight” eye chart slamming Clinton on Benghazi.

“Let’s not let our country make the same mistake twice,” a description reads. “We saw what happened in Benghazi and we know how Hillary operates. We can see clearly now and the real vision for our country belongs to Rand Paul.”

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On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Paul pounded Clinton for accepting at least $10 million in donations for the Clinton Foundation from countries that violate women’s rights.

“Hillary Clinton has taken money from countries that rape victims are publicly lashed,” he said. “In Saudi Arabia, a woman was gang raped by seven men. She was publicly lashed 90 times. And then she was convicted of being in the car with an unmarried man. We should be boycotting, voluntarily boycotting a country, not buying stuff from a country that does that to women.

“… If she believes in women’s rights, she should be calling for a boycott of Saudi Arabia,“ Paul continued. "Instead, she’s accepting tens of millions of dollars. And I think it looks unseemly. And there’s going to be some explaining she’s going to have to come up with.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took a gentler approach — strikingly so — releasing a video that takes aim at the Obama Administration’s foreign policy during the years Clinton served as his secretary of state.

“We must to do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy that has damaged relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies,” Bush says in the video, released through the Right to Rise PAC. “Better than their failed, big government policies that grow our debt and stand in the way of real economic growth and prosperity. I believe it’s conservative ideas that will renew America, grow our economy, put our fiscal house in order, and make our great country even stronger. I know we can do better — and together, we will.”

The Republican National Committee sought to tie Clinton to Obama’s overall record — not just his foreign policy.

“All Hillary Clinton is offering is a continuation of the same big government ideas that have grown Washington instead of the middle class,” RNC spokesman Michael Short said in a statement. “That’s why voters want fresh leadership and a new direction, not four more years of Obama’s failed policies.”

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