Clinton Veep Hopefuls Spin Scandal

Kathryn Blackhurst,

Democratic figures try their hand turning Hillary FBI meet into sign of her ‘intregrity’

Potential Democratic vice presidential picks continued or began their tryouts during this week’s Sunday morning talk shows to strut their skills at a crucial skill to run with Hillary Clinton — scandal management. Each took their turn attempting to spin Clinton’s criminal investigation at the hands of the FBI into a symbol of her “integrity.”

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown used his air time on ABC’s “This Week” to say he was “not worried” about a potential indictment for Clinton over her use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.

The idea of spinning Clinton’s willingness to comply with a federal criminal investigation as somehow demonstrative of her “integrity” was an interesting approach since the entire scandal is born of Clinton’s unquestionable aversion to transparency.

“I’m not worried about it,” Brown said, before adding, “She’s always been willing to talk to authorities.”

Brown also pointed to the FBI’s three and a half hour long interview with Clinton that took place on Saturday as part of the ongoing investigation as some kind of positive openness to transparency.

“I mean, she released more emails and more pages of emails and more records than any of her predecessors of secretary of State, even before she was actually running for president. I think that speaks to her integrity,” Brown said.

The idea of spinning Clinton’s willingness to comply with a federal criminal investigation as somehow demonstrative of her “integrity” was an interesting approach since the entire scandal is born of Clinton’s unquestionable aversion to transparency.

hillaryvppick_small Clinton Veep Hopefuls Spin Scandal

But the talking point out of the Clinton camp was clearly shared with more of the hopefuls than just Brown.

Asked if an indictment could be handed down on CNN’s “State of the Union” New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker acted incredulous and also tried to draw a line between voluntarily meeting with the FBI while under criminal investigation somehow being a positive for Clinton.

“Well first of all that’s just not going to happen,” Booker said Sunday, “Today’s interview was not something to signal [an indictment], this is something that she voluntarily did, that last summer she really wanted to do. So I think this is something that’s just routine.”

Pressed by host Brianna Keilar with whether an indictment could cause Clinton to vacate the race if it did occur, Booker again attempted to paint the investigation as a lark.

“Well technically you and I could also be indicted,” Booker said, though failing to note neither him or Keilar were under investigation by federal authorities for both corruption and mishandling of sensitive information. 

California Rep. Xavier Becerra called the scandals swirling Clinton and her ongoing federal investigations paramount to “conspiracy theories” and partisan attacks on “Fox News Sunday.”

Becerra went further than even some of his fellow Democrats in asserting that Clinton never once communicated classified information via email, despite reports that have already proven that talking point false.

Becerra also tried to tamp down on the outrage stirred by a tarmac meeting between President Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling the meeting a “chance encounter” that wouldn’t influence Lynch.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez made his second Sunday show appearance in two weeks and set himself apart among the Sunday Clinton hopefuls for taking the mantle of chief apologist for Clinton’s decision to campaign on a promise of a third term of Obama’s administration, in addition to spinning her scandal tarred week.

But Perez stumbled when confronted with whether Clinton supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Clinton initatially praised the Obama priority item, but flip-flopped when confronted with criticism from first Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, then presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

“President Obama and Secretary Clinton disagree on whether it is tough enough. I respect those differences. I’m proud of the work that I’ve done for this president, and I’ll continue to do for this president,” Perez said. “And Secretary Clinton has been very clear that she has a real plan to bring jobs back to America. She has a real plan on trade, which starts with making sure that we’re tough on trade.”