On Tuesday’s “MSNBC Live,” NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent Kelly O’Donnell said that while “Democrats have often been critical when Republican candidates have not corrected someone they encounter along the campaign trail,” “it was sort of funny” when a man at one of Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s events said he wants to strangle Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina whenever he sees her on TV.
O’Donnell began by stating, “Well, one of the things that’s being pointed out, especially by Republicans, is that Democrats have often been critical when Republican candidates have not corrected someone they encounter along the campaign trail, if they make a comment about perhaps Secretary Clinton or the President, and so it’s sort of this search for parity. When are candidates supposed to sort of chastise the people they meet if they say things that aren’t really politically correct or are inaccurate?”
O’Donnell continued, “Now, I can give you a sense from being in that town hall, that man had spoken a couple of times. He had talked about himself being a Democrat, being upset if people criticize Clinton. He then told a very detailed story about having been an employee of HP, and laid off, and he had a lot of anger and upset about that for himself, for his colleagues. So he has a very direct personal relationship, if you will, to Fiorina as the CEO. Somewhat different than what we sometimes see on the trail, where people are making a kind of random comment. Clinton, of course, was in that moment where the cameras are on. It was sort of uncomfortable, it was sort of funny. And what do you do? So, she responded and the room laughed, and it seemed neutralized in the moment. But, of course, in the age we live in, Kate, that clip taken out, played, criticized, consumed by people who were not in the room, and it comes off differently. So, at her next stop, her campaign was asked about it. Clinton didn’t respond herself, but her campaign says this was a joke. No one took him seriously, meaning he wasn’t actually threatening to strangle Fiorina, that it was sort of a, you know, a punch line that he was delivering. So, it’s up for people to decide for themselves how important it is, what to make of it, but it is the nature of New Hampshire politics, that you get these sorts of exchanges, where the candidate doesn’t know who will be in the audience, or what they will say necessarily, they have to react quickly, and sometimes the reactions don’t necessarily go to their benefit.”
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