A member of the New York Times editorial board has a message for “broadly unpopular” Hillary Clinton as the crucial midterms loom: stay off the campaign trail or risk firing up the GOP base.
Times board member Michelle Cottle penned a piece headlined, “Hillary Clinton’s Master Class in Distraction,” that essentially tells the failed 2016 presidential candidate to back off and allow Democrats to focus on the midterms.
Cottle wrote that someone needs ‘to perform an intervention” before Clinton “further complicates life for her fellow Democrats,” because she has “been on a tear” in recent weeks and doing more harm than good. Esteemed DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News that “it was probably hard for the Times to run this column, given its broad support for Hillary over the years."
Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor told Fox News that it’s “hilarious how The New York Times is trying to control the messaging for the Democrat Party” with the anti-Hillary warning.
“It's also a great example of how the press is open on the editorial pages about what it is doing in the newspages -- keeping the Democrat message on track,” Gainor said.
The column calls Clinton one of the “most controversial” figures in the Democratic Party and criticized her recent rhetoric.
“It was probably hard for the Times to run this column, given its broad support for Hillary over the years."
“Having Mrs. Clinton proclaim political civility dead until her team wins again is unlikely to prove an inspirational message for these voters,” Cottle wrote. “It is, however, extremely likely to electrify the Republican base.”
Cottle – who joined the Times’ editorial board in June after a long stint covering Washington for a variety of publications – is the Gray Lady’s lead opinion writer on national politics. She said many Republicans view Clinton as ‘the ultimate boogeyman” who could rile up right-leaning voters whenever her name is invoked.
Conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News that the Times is “the official mouthpiece of the resistance,” so the fact Cottle is telling Clinton to stay away speaks volumes about how "politically radioactive” she is.
“The bad news for the Times and for Democrats everywhere is that Hillary doesn’t care. She never has. She will always do what she thinks is in her best interest - even at the expense of her party and her political allies,” Barron said. “That’s just how the Clintons operate.”
The Times’ column also condemned Clinton’s recent remarks about her husband’s Oval Office affair with then-intern Monica Lewinsky when she said Lewinsky was an adult at the time and that former President Bill Clinton was right to not resign.
Cottle feels that Clinton’s comments make it easier for Trump supporters to look the other way when it comes to allegations made against the current president and simultaneously “makes it harder for her to be an effective supporter” of the current #MeToo movement.
“It is no secret that Mr. Clinton’s response to sexual scandal was to try to trash the reputations of the women involved,” Cottle wrote. “This is the sort of moral arrogance and self-justification that has long troubled even many Democrats about Mrs. Clinton.”
Cottle concluded her takedown of Clinton by declaring that while she is “a woman of extraordinary achievement,” she also “is nothing but problematic for her party” at this point.
McCall said that it has been “really odd” to see Clinton “working so hard to appear relevant and remain in the public eye” after her 2016 loss.
“Her clumsy comments about civility and Lewinsky, however, demonstrate that she is off her game. This kind of clumsiness reminds the electorate of why Hillary couldn't win the 2016 election, even when so many factors were working in her favor,” McCall said. “There must be recognition [inside the Times] that the visibility of the old Democrat guard could make campaigning difficult for the Democrat up-and-comers.”
Meanwhile, Trump took aim at Clinton on Thursday night at a rally in Montana, criticizing his rival for her email practices and telling the crowd to "Never Forget Benghazi."
Fox News’ Gregg Re and Louis Casiano contributed to this report.