While Republicans want you to think that their Benghazi obsession is all about the deaths of four Americans and finding out what happened, they’re a lot less forthcoming about how they’ve
abused used the tragedy to make money.
Republicans on Capitol Hill are eager to lend the looming committee investigation into the murder of four Americans an air of sobriety, dignity and seriousness. But political strategists are eager to mobilize the GOP base and amp up grassroots fundraising by capitalizing on the base’s outrage over how the Obama administration handled the attacks.
The 2012 consulate attack and accusations of a White House cover-up are catnip for grassroots donors and activists. And Benghazi — and the select committee assigned to investigate it — is a key part of the GOP fundraising and mobilization strategy.
Politico identifies no fewer than 10 fundraising solicitations using Benghazi, including one from the National Republican Congressional Committee called “Benghazi Watchdogs.” It features photos of President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with large letters blaring, “BENGHAZI WAS A COVERUP. DEMAND ANSWERS.” Just above the photo, the NRCC tells readers, “You’re now a Benghazi watchdog. Let’s go after Obama & Hillary Clinton.”
On Wednesday, Congressman Trey Gowdy, who will head the select committee to investigate
ways to derail Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and maybe impeach Obama Benghazi, said on MSNBC the tragedy “transcends politics” and urged his colleagues not to use the investigation to fundraise.
But the NRCC had already sent out its “Benghazi Watchdog” emails. And, even though Gowdy reiterated his request later that day, House Speaker John Boehner today made it clear he will not ask the NRCC to back off. As Huffington Post noted, Boehner was asked three times about the NRCC’s fundraising emails and three times he refused to tell the organization – or anyone else – to stop.
Boehner repeated similarly noble lines each time he was asked on Thursday about the fundraising. Yet the unstated message was clear: he supports using the tragic death of Americans as fundraising aids:
“Our focus is on getting the answers to those families who lost their loved ones. Period. … Our focus is getting the truth for these four families and to the American people. … Our focus is on getting the truth for the American people and these four families.”
Don’t shed a tear for Gowdy’s conscience, either. Although he claimed on MSNBC, “I have never sought to raise a single penny on the backs of four murdered Americans,” his actions show otherwise. Think Progress found that Gowdy talked up Benghazi at a “barbecue fundraiser” for a fellow South Carolinian Congressman last September and at a campaign event two weeks later for South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
Watch Boehner refuse to own up to how his party is exploiting this tragedy below.