Nati Harnik/AP

Looking Ahead to Her Benghazi Testimony, Hillary Clinton and Allies Revel in House GOP's Jumble

The presidential candidate and her campaign team have kept the pressure on Kevin McCarthy over his comments about the House Benghazi Committee. They’re not letting up now.

As House Re­pub­lic­ans des­cen­ded in­to chaos Thursday with the sur­prise an­nounce­ment that Rep. Kev­in Mc­Carthy is no longer seek­ing to run for House Speak­er, one group of people had cause for cel­eb­ra­tion: Hil­lary Clin­ton and her al­lies.

Clin­ton is slated to be on the Hill on Oct. 22 for her long-awaited testi­mony be­fore the Benghazi Com­mit­tee—the very group at the cen­ter of what ailed Mc­Carthy’s short-lived cam­paign. And the more Clin­ton and her team can point to the House Re­pub­lic­ans’ dys­func­tion on the Hill, the bet­ter po­s­i­tion she’ll be in when she ar­rives for her testi­mony.

“Every­body thought Hil­lary Clin­ton was un­beat­able, right? But we put to­geth­er a Benghazi spe­cial com­mit­tee, a se­lect com­mit­tee,” Mc­Carthy said on Fox News last week, tak­ing the Clin­ton cam­paign from de­fense on the email story to of­fense against Mc­Carthy and the Benghazi com­mit­tee. “What are her num­bers today? Her num­bers are drop­ping.”

The com­ments, sug­gest­ing a polit­ic­al reas­on for set­ting up a con­gres­sion­al com­mit­tee, were enough of a polit­ic­al gift to Clin­ton’s cam­paign that they were the sub­ject of her first na­tion­al tele­vi­sion ad, which showed a clip of Mc­Carthy and said Re­pub­lic­ans “have spent mil­lions at­tack­ing Hil­lary be­cause she’s fight­ing for everything they op­pose.”

Her team also re­leased an on­line video fea­tur­ing a Kev­in Mc­Carthy from Iowa—who be­cause of his Twit­ter handle was re­ceiv­ing much of the ire meant for the Cali­for­nia con­gress­man—call­ing out the Benghazi pan­el for “spend­ing our tax­pay­er dol­lars to pay elect­or­al polit­ics.”

On Thursday, after Mc­Carthy dropped his bid, Clin­ton’s Twit­ter ac­count sent out a link to the video again, say­ing, “How about this Kev­in Mc­Carthy for speak­er in­stead?”

Clin­ton’s al­lies, too, im­me­di­ately pounced on the news of Mc­Carthy’s de­cision not to seek the speak­er­ship.

“Kev­in Mc­Carthy fell for telling the truth about a polit­ic­al charade. He ex­posed the par­tis­an ef­fort to sab­ot­age Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign and it cost him the speak­er­ship,” Dav­id Brock, who heads the pro-Clin­ton groups Cor­rect the Re­cord and Me­dia Mat­ters for Amer­ica, said in a state­ment. “The ques­tion that must be asked next is, now that his par­tis­an agenda has been ex­posed by his own col­league, will Benghazi Com­mit­tee Chair­man Trey Gowdy be the next to fall?”

Clin­ton spokes­man Bri­an Fal­lon, too, sug­ges­ted the cam­paign is far from be­ing done us­ing Mc­Carthy’s com­ments against House Re­pub­lic­ans.

“Kev­in Mc­Carthy’s truth­telling about the par­tis­an Benghazi Com­mit­tee will live on well past his doomed bid for Speak­er,” Fal­lon tweeted Thursday af­ter­noon.