POLITICS

Michael Bloomberg: 'Cheap Politics' To Attack Hillary Clinton On Benghazi

05/12/2014 11:16 am ET | Updated May 12, 2014

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that it's "cheap politics" to attack Hillary Clinton for her handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya. He spoke highly of the former secretary of state as well as potential 2016 rival Jeb Bush in a recent interview with Politico.

“Hillary, you know, I’ve worked with [when she was a] senator and just as a friend, that sort of thing. I think most of the criticisms of Hillary are totally unfounded — you can maybe disagree with her policies, but what’d you expect her to do in Benghazi?” he said. “I mean, it’s that kind of cheap politics which I don’t like. She’s very competent.”

House Republicans on Thursday voted to form a select committee to investigate the deadly attacks that left four Americans dead. Democrats are divided on whether to participate in the panel, which would be composed of seven Republicans and five Democrats. Regardless of whether they decide to play ball, Republicans will likely use the committee as an opportunity to air Clinton's dirty laundry ahead of a potential 2016 presidential run.

“I’m sure she’s going to go out bragging about her time in the State Department. She’s also going to have to be held accountable for its failures, whether it’s the failed reset with Russia or the failure in Benghazi that actually cost lives," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Sunday.

In his interview with Politico, Bloomberg, who is now a registered independent, also praised former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), who is contemplating a presidential run and who also serves as a board member of the billionaire gun-control advocate's philanthropic organization -- an association he would likely have to defend in a Republican primary should he decide to throw his hat into the ring.

“Jeb’s on the board of the [Bloomberg] Foundation. I think he did a very good job on education in Florida. He’s good on education," Bloomberg said. "He’s good on immigration, and he’s had the courage to stand up.”

“I have no idea whether she’s going to run or he’ll run. … If the public had the choice between those two, I think there’s two quality people," he added. "And they’re very different … they just have very different views of what government is … [and] criticizing Jeb for some things is just as unfair as criticizing Hillary for some of these things.”

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