04/15/2014 02:37 pm ET Updated Apr 15, 2014

Conservative 'Shoe Truthers' Suspect Hillary Clinton Staged Incident

A number of prominent conservative media commentators suspect that Hillary Clinton faked a scene last week in which she was nearly hit by a shoe.

The commentators -- who continue to question the State Department's handling of a 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya -- don't trust the official account of the shoe-throwing episode, according to Talking Points Memo.

During a speech in Las Vegas on Thursday, an audience member threw a shoe at the former secretary of state and potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.

Alison Michelle Ernst was arrested by federal authorities after admitting to throwing the shoe and is now facing two federal charges related to the incident.

"What was that, a bat?" Clinton asked after the shoe whirled by her head. She then made a couple of jokes, according to video from CNN.

Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said Monday that, although he had not seen video of the event, he can "relate to people who think that everything the Clintons do is staged or choreographed. I haven't seen it. I've got people telling me her reaction wasn't natural."

Limbaugh offered a theory for why he hasn't watched the video: "Maybe it's because, in my subconscious, I think it was staged, or set up, or whatever." He added that he had no idea "why anybody would be throwing a shoe at Hillary unless -- maybe it's an attempt to make the Benghazi people look like nuts and lunatics and wackos."

Herman Cain, who sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, voiced his own skepticism on Tuesday, supportively retweeting a story posted on his website that stated, "That Hillary shoe-throwing thing does look kind of fake, huh?"

Cain wrote, "Hmm...Fakery from the Clintons?"

A writer for Fox News pundit Bernard Goldberg's website satirically wrote on Monday that Clinton may have staged the event to resemble the episode from 2008 in which former President George W. Bush deftly ducked a shoe thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist during a press conference.

"Remembering the Bush incident, she may have calculated that this would make her seem presidential. This would explain why Ms. Ernst was not pounded to a pulp by Hillary’s bodyguards, and why she seems on the verge of getting off scot free," Arthur Louis wrote.

Ernst is facing two criminal charges which could each carry up to a year in federal prison, according to The Associated Press.



Hillary Clinton