Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday called the Sept. 11 Benghazi terrorist attack her “biggest regret” as the nation's top diplomat, an admission Republicans will seize upon if she chooses to run for the White House in 2016.
“My biggest, you know, regret is what happened in Benghazi,” Clinton said in a keynote speech before the National Automobile Dealers Association in New Orleans.
“I mean, you know, you make these choices based on imperfect information,” she added. “And you make them to, as we say, the best of your ability. But that doesn't mean that there's not going to be unforeseen consequences, unpredictable twists and turns.”
The terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including ambassador Christopher Stevens. Republicans have not let up in their criticism of the Obama administration for mishandling the attack.
The White House initially blamed the attack on a spontaneous protest to an anti-Islam video before conceding that terrorist cells orchestrated the violence.
A recent congressional report found that the State Department could have prevented the terrorist plot had it enacted proper safeguards.
In turn, President Obama has accused the GOP of using the attack to score political points.
Regardless, the topic remains a hot-button issue in Washington — and will certainly follow Clinton if she pursues a 2016 presidential campaign.
“It was a terrible tragedy,” she said Monday. “Losing four Americans, two diplomats and now it's public, so I can say two CIA operatives, losing an ambassador like Chris Stevens, who was one of our very best and had served in Libya and across the Middle East and spoke Arabic.”