Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press

GOP: Clinton's health, age fair game for 2016 presidential run

  • Article by: BRIAN KNOWLTON
  • New York Times
  • May 18, 2014 - 6:06 PM

– Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Sunday that Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health and age were fair targets for inquiry ahead of a possible 2016 presidential run, as both he and Karl Rove, the Republican strategist who injected those questions into the debate, suggested that such scrutiny might dissuade her from running.

Rove infuriated Democrats recently when he said that Clinton might have suffered a “traumatic brain injury” in a late 2012 fall in which she sustained a concussion. She was hospitalized for a few days for a blood clot, but she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have said that her recovery was complete.

Priebus, asked on the NBC program “Meet the Press” whether he believed that lingering effects of the injury could impede Hillary Clinton’s abilities to serve as president, replied: “I’m not a doctor. What I do know is that the issue is going to come up, as it does for any person running for president.”

He added, “The issues that I talked about are going to be the issues that make her unacceptable” to voters, and he said he did not think she would run “if she has another month like she’s just had.”

Rove, whose original comment drew scorching retorts from Democrats as a hardly subtle effort to undercut that party’s presumed front-runner for 2016, said Sunday that he was not questioning Clinton’s health, but rather “whether or not it’s a done deal if she’s running.”

In a panel discussion on the program “Fox News Sunday,” he noted that Clinton would be 69 at the time of the 2016 election and 77 at the end of a possible second term.

“She would not be human if she did not take this into consideration,” he said.

Should Clinton run and be elected, she would be about eight months younger than the oldest president, Ronald Reagan, when taking office.


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