Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) diverted from the Benghazi attacks on Thursday and accused Hillary Clinton of a broader pattern of trying to take personal political advantage of foreign policy successes while she was secretary of state.
Roskam went so far as to mockingly call it the “Clinton doctrine” in a biting exchange during Clinton’s high-profile testimony before a select committee on the attacks.
Roskam accused Clinton of hogging the limelight when Muammar Gaddafi’s regime fell and even planning her PR push months ahead of that event. The Illinois Republican also claimed that White House staff told Clinton’s State Department staff they were concerned she took too much credit on Libya.
“Let me tell you what I think the Clinton doctrine is,” Roskam said. “I think it’s where an opportunity is seized to turn progress in Libya into a political win for Hillary Rodham Clinton. And at the precise moment when things look good take a victory lap, like on all the Sunday shows three times that year before Gaddafi was killed, and then turn your attention to other things.”
Much of Roskam’s questioning Thursday seemed to be trying to establish that Clinton was deeply invested in a narrative of Libya being a successful U.S. intervention—a narrative the Benghazi attacks threatened to undo.
“You were author of the Libyan policy,” Roskam said. “You were one that drove it. It was your baby and it was an attempt to use smart power and that’s what you tried to do?”
“It was certainly something that I came to believe was in the interests of the U.S. to join with our NATO allies and our Arab partners in doing,” Clinton replied. “The decision, as all decisions in any administration, was made by the President. So the President deserves the historic credit. What role I played, I’m very grateful to have had that chance.”