GOP praised Hillary Clinton
An elephant never forgets all the times leaders of the GOP praised Hillary Clinton. (

(Editor’s note: This piece has been published in conjunction with another from the author.)

After moderating a recent debate for the local Rotary, I found myself puzzled as to why Hillary Clinton was described as a complete failure as a secretary of state. There was this nagging memory in my brain that many leaders of the GOP praised Hillary Clinton for her service just a few years ago.

So, I went to our collective memory — the internet — to see what was said, the point being to take a reasoned look at Secretary Clinton’s service in the context of 40 years of work. We should be wary of the constant effort to create a false equivalency: If Trump is a raving madman that cannot control his actions or words and is vile and disgusting and despicable, then hey, she has to be just as bad!

Below is a compilation (incomplete, I’m sure) of what 25 prominent Republican leaders and notables said about Hillary Clinton before she was running for President.

Originally posted on Correct The Record, these quotes are presented here in reverse chronological order so as to assure the Benghazi camp that Republican praise existed for Clinton before and after that event. Perhaps these quotes might add perspective for her detractors by hearkening back to a time when party loyalty did not demand falsifying or overlooking her many accomplishments.

Leaders of GOP praised Hillary Clinton, 2007-2015

“She is comprehensively experienced and has advantages that some of the other contenders would have to scramble to match in terms of her exposure to the world and many of the tough issues we are facing in foreign policy.”

— President of Purdue University and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, 2/5/15

“Hillary never turns her head when she’s talking to someone. She is absolutely riveted. She doesn’t look around like, ‘Oh, hi there Tilly; how are you?’—or divert her attention from the person she’s talking to. That’s a gift. You have to have that in politics. There were people around—it was adulation: ‘We want to talk to Hillary.’ She must have spent about 15 or 20 minutes with Ann on mental health issues. . . Anyway, I thought that was fascinating.”

— former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, 11/15/14

“We admire Hillary Clinton very much. I mean, she — as a woman, I admire her. She’s done a lot for our country and she’s a great public servant.”

— NBC news correspondent and President George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush Hager, 11/11/14

“I think it’s going to be very difficult for the Republicans to beat Hillary Clinton [as the Democratic presidential nominee]. So I think that a lot of work has got to go into it.”

— former New York Rep. Michael Grimm, 10/23/14

“She’s a policy genius, but I don’t know if she has that same affable charm that her husband does. But then, who does?”

— former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, 9/15/14

“She ran the State Department in the most effective way that I’ve ever seen.”

— Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under Presidents Nixon and Ford, 9/9/14

“We did look at her role. We thought that she conducted her meetings and activities responsibly and well.”

— President George H.W. Bush’s U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Thomas Pickering, who also headed the State Department’s internal investigation on its response to the Benghazi attacks, 2/11/14

“She’d make a tremendous President.”

— Gen. David Petraeus (Ret.), 2/9/14

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that Secretary Clinton would be a very strong candidate. I don’t think there’s any doubt she has widespread support. Her work as secretary of state, with the exception of this issue of Benghazi — which isn’t going away — I think has been outstanding. I think she would be viewed by anyone, Republican or Democrat, as a very formidable candidate for 2016.”

— Arizona Sen. John McCain, 10/28/13

“I’ve worked around Hillary Clinton while serving as ambassador to China, and all I can tell you as a Republican is she’s pretty good. She’s smart. She’s hardworking. She relates to all kinds of people, and I was very, very impressed working with her as a Republican.”

— former U.S. Ambassador to China and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, 9/27/13

“She’s the second-most powerful Democrat in the country, with near universal adulation that appears unequalled and unprecedented.”

— Republican strategist Juleanna Glover, 8/15/13

“I think she’s done a fine job. The problem isn’t Hillary Clinton, who’s great. The problem is that we’ve chosen to speak with a muted voice about America’s role in the world. We’ve chosen to try to lead from behind. That’s an oxymoron in my mind.”

— former National Security Advisor and former Secretary of State under President George W. Bush Condoleezza Rice, 8/12/13

“I think she’s represented our nation well. She is extremely well respected throughout the world, handles herself in a very classy way and has a work ethic second to none.”

— South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, 7/1/12

“Former Secretary Clinton has dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy. These efforts as a citizen, an activist, and a leader have earned Secretary Clinton this year’s Liberty Medal.”

— former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 6/27/13

“I think your efforts in trying to reform the nation’s health care system are most commendable.”

— former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, 8/31/11

“I appreciate your being here, appreciate the way you represent us around the world and your high energy levels.”

— Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, 2/24/10

“I especially appreciate the strong and visible commitment that you, Secretary Clinton, have made in addressing global hunger.”

— Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, 2/24/10

“Today’s overwhelming confirmation of Senator Hillary Clinton to be our next Secretary of State is a testament to the well regarded talents and qualifications she will bring to the job of overseeing our nation’s foreign policy.”

— New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, 1/21/09

“The bottom line, though, is that Senator Clinton’s experience and expertise in foreign relations will serve this country well, and I look forward to working with her in her new role.”

— Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, 1/21/09

“In Senator Clinton, President-Elect Obama has boldly chosen the epitome of a ‘big leaguer.’ Her qualifications for the post are remarkable. Her presence at the helm of the State Department could open unique opportunities for United States diplomacy, and could bolster efforts to improve foreign attitudes toward the United States. She has a longstanding relationship with many world leaders that could be put to great use in the service of our country. Her time in the Senate has given her a deep understanding of how United States foreign policy can be enriched by establishing a closer relationship between the Executive and Legislative branches. She is fully prepared to engage the world on a myriad of issues that urgently require our attention.”

— Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, 1/13/09

“I am optimistic and hopeful about your role as secretary of State. And despite the news accounts that say that I’m the one that’s going to ask you the hard questions about potential conflicts of interest, I have no questions about your integrity.”

— President of the Heritage Foundation and former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, 1/13/09

“It seems to me she’s got the experience, she’s got the temperament for it. She would be well-received around the world.”

— Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, 11/16/08

“I think she is a very very bright woman and very experienced. I think this could be a great move.”

— former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, 11/16/08

“I think that she is well qualified [for the position of Secretary of State].”

— Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, 11/16/08

“You got John McCain who says, and I quote, ‘I have no doubt that Senator Clinton would make a good president.’ Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican, says, ‘She’s smart, prepared, serious.’ John Warner, sort of the dean of the United States Senate, Republican, conservative, says she has a remarkable core of inner strength. These are people who have worked with her for seven years.”

— Ohio Gov. John Kasich, 5/28/07

(Editor’s Note: David Walters has contributed to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and is a member of her Oklahoma Leadership Team.)

Local GOPers aren’t ‘for Trump,’ they’re just anti-Hillary