CNN’s Keilar: Hillary’s 9/11, 1960's Comments ‘Certainly Didn’t Go Over Well’

Reporting from inside the spin room following Saturday’s Democratic presidential debate, CNN’s senior political correspondent Brianna Keilar minced no works in describing Hillary Clinton’s comments on 9/11 and her coming of age in the 1960's to two moments that “certainly didn’t go over well” with aides frantically working to “clean-up” after her.

Keilar was tossed to by host Wolf Blitzer, who wanted to know if the campaign was “doing some clean-up now” on “[h]er use of 9/11 to justify the support she’s apparently [been] given, if you listen to Bernie Sanders, to Wall Street.”

Confirming Blitzer’s inquiry, Keilar started off by mentioning that Clinton’s “communications director, Jen Palmieri, working the room right, surrounded by a lot of reporters behind me” discussing what they realized “was the weak spot for her.” 

Keilar explained that Palmieri’s defense was that Clinton “was proud to stand with the Wall Street community following 9/11.”

Giving her take on the matter, Keilar determined that “there's an awareness by the campaign that there was some awkwardness on that, certainly as we see some of the criticism following what she said.”

As for Clinton’s remark about growing up in the 1960's, the Clinton campaign correspondent for CNN noted that it “is getting a lot of buzz” as well because it’s likely to serve as a key line of attack for any possible Republican opponent who’s younger than her (ex. Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio):

This was something that made a lot of eyebrows of observers here in Des Moines raise because if she is to run in the general election, assuming she is the nominee against, say, a younger Republican, the expectation all along is that they would run a generational argument against her and certainly that is a campaign ad in the making, something people were zeroing in on[.]

Speaking broadly about the two utterances, Keilar concluded that there was “[d]efinitely clean-up here on her comment about 9/11 and a realization that it did not go over as she intended” as “[i]t certainly didn't go over well.”

Also during CNN’s post-debate analysis, liberal CNN commentator and Atlantic writer Peter Beinart sounded the alarm on Clinton’s performance during the debate’s first segment on foreign policy and raising his concerns about the lack of cohesiveness of the Democratic Party on the issue.

The relevant portion of the transcript from CNN’s Democratic Debate Special on November 14 can be found below.

CNN’s Democratic Debate Special
September 14, 2015
11:10 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: Brianna, are they doing some clean-up now, the Hillary Clinton campaign on this specific issue? Her use of 9/11 to justify the support she's apparently given, if you listen to Bernie Sanders, to Wall Street? 

BRIANNA KEILAR: They are, Wolf. Her communications director, Jen Palmieri, working the room right, surrounded by a lot of reporters behind me and this is the issue she's tackling, so the campaign was aware this was the weak spot for her. Palmieri saying basically that Hillary Clinton was, you know, trying to explain why she's had some favor from Wall Street and basically just that she was proud to stand with the Wall Street community following 9/11. Of course, that's not exactly how it came out of Hillary Clinton's mouth when she was explaining this and I think there's an awareness by the campaign that there was some awkwardness on that, certainly as we see some of the criticism following what she said. Of course, one of the other issues I think that is getting a lot of buzz has to do with her comment about being from the '60s and it being a long time ago. This was something that made a lot of eyebrows of observers here in Des Moines raise because if she is to run in the general election, assuming she is the nominee against, say, a younger Republican, the expectation all along is that they would run a generational argument against her and certainly that is a campaign ad in the making, something people were zeroing in on, but yes. Definitely clean-up here on her comment about 9/11 and a realization that it did not go over as she intended. It certainly didn't go over well. 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Debates 9/11 Liberals & Democrats CNN Other CNN Video Wolf Blitzer Brianna Keilar Hillary Clinton
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