Clinton Defends State Department Record Amid Criticism
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[May 15, 2014]
By Gabriel Debenedetti
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton, a
likely U.S. presidential candidate in 2016, on Wednesday defended her
time as secretary of state as Republican criticism of her time in
Clinton told a forum of the American Jewish Committee advocacy
group that she played a key role in securing U.N. sanctions on Iran
in 2010 to try to halt its nuclear ambitions.
"I worked for months to round up the votes," she said in the first
of three speeches she is giving in Washington this week.
Scrutiny of her time as America's top diplomat has grown after
Republicans in the House of Representatives announced a select
committee to look into the 2012 assault in Benghazi, Libya that
killed the U.S. ambassador and three others.
And Clinton has been attacked because the State Department on her
watch did not designate Nigeria's Boko Haram group - which has
kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls - as terrorists.
Clinton, who is generally considered the Democratic frontrunner if
she chooses to run for the presidency, did not mention Benghazi or
Boko Haram in her speech.
She focused on the provisional deal reached with Iran last year to
limit its nuclear program. "No deal is better than a bad deal," she
said, detailing her role in imposing sanctions on Iran and looking
ahead to further negotiations.
Clinton also stressed to the American Jewish Committee audience her
commitment to Israel, just weeks after the breakdown of peace talks
between Israelis and Palestinians.
She addressed women's issues at another speech on Wednesday, at the
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"I am increasingly impatient with leaders who willfully ignore the
injustice that accompanies the subjugation of women and the upsides
of change for them and their societies," Clinton said.
Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, jumped to her defense
after top Republican strategist Karl Rove suggested last week that
Hillary Clinton suffered a brain injury.
"There is nothing to it," the former president told a conference in
Washington. "She is strong. She is doing great."
(Reporting by Gabriel Debenedetti; Editing by Grant McCool)
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