CNN Puffs Up Hillary's CGI Speech, Hypes 2016 Prospects

On Wednesday's The Lead, CNN's Erin McPike touted Hillary Clinton's speech at the Clinton Global Initiative and hyped her prospects for 2016. She ignored any controversies from Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, like Benghazi and new accusations of a cover-up of sex scandals abroad.

"[T]here's no question that the big star here was a very relaxed Hillary Clinton," McPike reported. "The political world is abuzz over a potential race for the White House in 2016." A CNN headline trumpeted "Here Comes Hillary."

CNN laid out the red carpet for a Clinton 2016 run. "In some ways, Hillary's coming out is also a passing of the torch from classic Bubba," McPike heralded.

Missing from CNN's puff piece was any mention of the Benghazi controversy that surfaced at the end of Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State. The report also ignored new accusations from the State Department's Inspector General that the department stymied investigations into sexual misconduct by a diplomat and security personnel abroad.

CNN was content to let Hillary bask in the spotlight. "[T]hese days his wife doesn't just share the spotlight, she steals it," host Jake Tapper said of Bill Clinton. 

Below is a transcript of the segment, which aired on The Lead on June 13 at 4:41 p.m. EDT:

[4:41]

JAKE TAPPER: Takes a lot of moxie to try and share the spotlight with former President Bill Clinton. But these days his wife doesn't just share the spotlight, she steals it. Today Hillary Clinton launched into a new era of her post-State Department career. At the Clinton Global Initiative gathering in Chicago, she revealed that a mission that was once a hallmark of her husband is about to become, in the immortal words of Sly and the Family Stone, a family affair. The Lead's Erin McPike joins us from Chicago now with more. Erin ?

ERIN MCPIKE: Jake, Clinton's advisers billed this speech as one of policy over politics, but there's no question that the big star here was a very relaxed Hillary Clinton.



MCPIKE: (voice-over) Post-presidential Clinton world has itself a brand new headliner, Hillary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON: It is such a pleasure to be here in Chicago, participating as a private citizen, as a co-host of CGI and as a representative of what we are officially renaming the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

MCPIKE: Mrs. Clinton's debut speech for the Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago this morning showcased a whole new Hillary.

HILLARY CLINTON: After visiting 112 nations over four years, I'm still jet-lagged.

MCPIKE: Fresh off the launch of a brand new Twitter account, her profile says her future role is "TBD." The political world is abuzz over a potential race for the White House in 2016.

HILLARY CLINTON: I will be focused on applying lessons learned from around the world and building new partnerships across our entire portfolio, but particularly in three broad areas that have been close to my heart my entire adult life.

MCPIKE: That new focus could bolster her domestic policy credentials ahead of another run for national office. The last member of the family to hold the job seems more than willing to share the spotlight.

BILL CLINTON: I learned all about NGO work from Hillary when we were going out. She was already active in many kinds of non-governmental activities. And she was when I was governor of Arkansas both in our state, in America and around the world.

MCPIKE: In some ways, Hillary's coming out is also a passing of the torch from classic Bubba.

BILL CLINTON: As I move into my dotage, my job will be to fund people who know what they're doing.

MCPIKE: For all the celebrities and CEOs here, there was no doubt Hillary was the draw. As she settles in at CGI, she told the crowd something big was coming.

HILLARY CLINTON: We'll have an exciting announcement tomorrow.

[End Video Clip]

MCPIKE: (on camera) Now, Chelsea Clinton is also taking on a much bigger role here. President Bill Clinton said this morning that Chelsea is doing about half of her time traveling on behalf of CGI and she's about to take to the stage to moderate a panel here too, Jake.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014