Hillary Clinton struggled through three minutes of a foreign policy speech Monday in Iowa as a lengthy coughing fit took hold of her.
An audience of about 150 at the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines had gathered to hear the Democratic presidential candidate’s views on Israel.
But ten minutes into her address, phlegm interrupted – leading to a lengthy hacking cough that left the former secretary of state hoarse and raspy.
Her next campaign event in Knoxville, Iowa was a placid affair as a soft-voiced Clinton seemed unwilling to test the boundaries of her limited vocal power.
‘We’ve got to get back to making people’s voices and votes count,’ she warbled during that speech to a crowd of 250, sounding older than her 68 years.
A few more coughs punctuated Clinton’s Knoxville speech as she discussed the need for mental health reform.
Clinton has one more afternoon event on her schedule, and then a televised town hall event at night.
Her coughing spell sent her hunting through her podium for water, and in her pockets for a cough drop.
The first hint of trouble turned up when Clinton was addressing the need to ‘distrust and verify’ Iran’s actions in response to last year’s nuclear deal with the Obama administration and ‘counter Iran across the region.’
‘And how we handle enforcement in these early months will set the tone for years to come, so we have to get it right,’ she said, clearing her throat and looking distressed.
‘There must be consequences – let me see if I get some water here – (COUGH) You do talk a lot in this campaign!’ she said, sipping water before descending into a full-blown cough attack.
‘(COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) Um, excuse me, just one second here. (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH)’
‘A lozenge! (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) I have one. (COUGH)’
Three more coughs rang out as she unwrapped the cough drop – and finally asked Jewish Federation president David Adelman to take over from offstage.
‘(COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) Here David, You talk,’ she said.
‘(COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH)’
‘Well, we’re starting the all-in-one campaign,’ her audience heard from Adelman as she let out a ‘(COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH)’ and popped the lozenge in her mouth.
‘Pledge cards will be by the door,’ he continued as Clinton regained her composure but became progressively more and more hoarse.
‘There must be consequences to, (CLEARS THROAT) excuse me, snap sanctions back into place. (CLEARS THROAT) And we have to make sure that Iran knows that if they try (COUGH) to develop or acquire nuclear weapons, the United States will stop them. (COUGH) We will act decisively.’
‘Now (COUGH) (COUGH) Iran has not had some change of personality,’ Clinton continued. ‘They will test our resolve with actions. Like their ballistic missile test. And I supported and am glad we are opposing (COUGH) (COUGH) new sanctions in response, to hold the Iranian government and its Revolutionary Guard Corps accountable for their support of terrorism (CLEARS THROAT), their missile program, human rights violations (COUGH) (COUGH), detention of Americans, and other illicit behavior like cyber crime.’
‘We also need to push for a political solution in Syria, as hard as that may be, because (COUGH) (COUGH) that is Iran’s real objective: to control Syria, to have a swath of territory up to Israel’s doorstep (CLEARS THROAT) and to connect with Hizbollah.’
‘The second thing is,’ she added, sounding her hoarsest and most aged, ‘we have to go after the tide of extremism (COUGH). This is a threat also on Israel’s doorstep. An ISIS affiliate in the Sinai is becoming more aggressive and sophisticated (COUGH), likely responsible for the destruction of the Russian airliner. And Israeli media reported that an ISIS commander for the Sinai recently visited Gaza, raising the stakes even higher.’
As she spoke, Clinton’s campaign was distributing a fundraising email focused on the Feb. 1 statewide caucuses in Iowa.
‘One week from today, Iowans will head to schools and firehouses (and in at least one precinct, their neighbors’ living room) to make their voices heard,’ the email said, before asking for contributions.
‘We don’t yet know what they’ll say – but we saw in 2008 just how profound an impact those voices can have.’
Senior Senate Republicans lined up on Sunday to rebuke Texas senator Ted Cruz for attacking majority leader Mitch McConnell, in an extraordinary display of intra-party division played out live on the Senate floor.
As the Senate met for a rare Sunday session, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and John Cornyn of Texas each rose to counter a stunning floor speech Cruz gave on Friday in which he accused McConnell, of Kentucky, of lying.
None of them mentioned Cruz by name but the target of their remarks could not have been clearer.
“Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues and perhaps on the campaign trail, but they have no place among colleagues in the United States Senate,” said Hatch, the Senate’s president pro tempore. Cruz is running for president.
“The Senate floor has even become a place where senators have singled out colleagues by name to attack them,” Hatch continued, “ …and impugn their character in blatant disregard for Senate rules.
“Such misuses of the Senate floor must not be tolerated.”
After Hatch spoke, Cruz rose to defend himself for making the accusation that McConnell had lied when he denied striking a deal to allow a vote to revive the federal Export-Import Bank.
He said he agreed with Hatch’s calls for civility but declared: “Speaking the truth about actions is entirely consistent with civility.”
Around 20 senators of both parties were on the floor to watch some of the speeches. Cruz’s floor speech on Friday had brought nearly unheard-of drama and discord to the chamber.
The responses to it were just as remarkable, as senior Republicans united to defend an institution they revere and take down a junior colleague of their own party who has gone from being an occasional nuisance to being a threat to the Senate’s very ability to function with order.
McConnell said that given support for the Export-Import Bank, no “special deal” was needed to bring it to a vote.
The little-known bank is a federal agency that helps foreign customers to buy US goods. Conservatives oppose it as corporate welfare and are trying to end it.
The Senate was meeting on Sunday to vote on the bank as well as on a repeal of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act. Both were amendments to a must-pass highway bill that the Senate is trying to complete ahead of a 31 July deadline.
If Congress does not act by then, states will lose money for highway and transit projects in the middle of the summer construction season.
On Sunday, by a vote of 67-26, the Senate limited debate on a measure that would reauthorize the bank until September 2019.
Ted Cruz Rebuts Bitch Supporters
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton attacked Donald Trump at the annual La Raza convention in Kansas City, Missouri.
It was appalling to hear Donald Trump describe immigrants as drug dealers, criminals and rapists,” she said to the National Council of La Raza. “When people and business everywhere rejected his hateful comments, did he apologize? No. He doubled down. It is shameful and no one should stand for it… I have just one word for Mr. Trump… “Basta!” Enough!”
Today Donald Trump responded to Hillary’s remarks.
Failing candidate Hillary Clinton, who is desperately trying to hold on to her lead in the democratic primary against Bernie Sanders, is knowingly putting out lies about my stance on illegal immigration. I said “Mexico is sending” – I’m not knocking immigration or immigrants, but rather am very critical of the country of Mexico for sending us people that they don’t want. Likewise I am very critical of illegal immigration and the tremendous problems including crime, which it causes.
She is desperate, she is sad, and she is obviously very nervous when she has to revert to issues that have already been settled given the absolute accuracy of my statement. She speaks about “my tone” and that’s the problem with our country’s leaders. They are more worried about tone than results! It’s not about being nice – it’s about being competent.
Hillary should spend more time producing her illegally hidden emails and less time trying to obfuscate a statement by me that is totally clear and obviously very much accepted by the public as true. I am honored, however, that she is attacking me, instead of Jeb Bush. Obviously she knows that JEB is no longer her real competition. The last person she wants to face is Donald Trump.