Hillary Clinton has clearly done her share of soul-searching after the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which happened under her watch as secretary of state, she indicated in comments Monday.
“My biggest … regret is what happened in Benghazi,” she said in an interview while giving the keynote speech at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans.
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“It was a terrible tragedy, losing four Americans, two diplomats — and now it’s public, so I can say two CIA operatives — losing an ambassador like Chris Stevens, who was one of our very best and had served in Libya and across the Middle East and spoke Arabic.”
Clinton, eyed as the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, was speaking about the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were slain.
“You know, you make these choices based on imperfect information. And you make them to — as we say, the best of your ability. But that doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be unforeseen consequences, unpredictable twists and turns,” she said.
Clinton has come under fire for her handling of the investigation into the Benghazi tragedy, amid accusations of lax security and a cover-up.
In her speech to the NADA, Clinton lauded the recent growth of the auto industry after government bailouts, and credited the nation’s dealers with helping to fuel a stagnant economy. She defended the bailout in a Q&A session after her speech, Automotive News reports.
And as with all her interviews, Clinton was asked about a possible presidential run. She gingerly sidestepped the question.
“I have to say I don’t know. I know that’s not a very satisfactory answer,” she said, adding there are more important issues to address globally.
“Whether Republican or Democrat or conservative or liberal, I want them to see we’re all on the same team,” she said. “We’re on the American team. We can worry about the next election later. We spend too much time looking over the horizon.”
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By Cynthia Fagen