Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday threw cold water on the notion that the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination is Hillary Clinton's if she wants it — saying her "baggage" could prevent it.
"I think she can" lose the nomination, Cheney told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, according to a transcript of the program. "I'm not at all pessimistic about our prospects there. I think she's got a lot of things she'll have to answer for, a lot of baggage.
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"She's got to explain why, serving as Barack Obama's secretary of state, she shouldn't be held accountable for being the one who implemented those policies, such as they are," Cheney added. "I don't think it's a slam-dunk for her by any means. I'm not even sure that it's guaranteed she'll get the Democratic nomination.
"There's a lot to answer for: Benghazi and many other points that I think will be arguments against her," Cheney said.
Clinton has said
she expects to make a decision later this year on whether she will seek the White House.
Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens and two former Navy SEALs, were killed in the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.
While complimenting Clinton as being "very successful politically," Cheney told Hewitt, "I think her performance in the last few months hasn't been all that sterling."
"You know, the book tour got her in a fair amount of trouble," he added, referring to gaffes that Clinton has made in interviews regarding "Hard Choices," her new memoir. "She hasn't been as smooth an item as one might expect."
The former vice president also described many of the other possible Democratic nominees seen as likely challengers to Clinton as "wannabees."
"I think there are a lot of wannabes over on the Democratic side who are holding back, because [Clinton's] still sort of occupying the space as the expected preferred option — but I'm not at all sure that'll be true two years from now."
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