From NBC's Mark Murray
At last weekend's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton once again made this argument in criticizing Barack Obama for saying that nuclear weapons should be off the table when dealing with Al Qaeda in Pakistan: You need to be careful what you say. "We shouldn't use hypotheticals. You know, words do matter. And this campaign just like every other thing that happens in the United States, is looked at and followed with very great interest."
So given those remarks, it's striking that she made this hypothetical yesterday: "It's a horrible prospect to ask yourself 'What if? What if?,'" she said. "But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world. So I think I'm the best of the Democrats to deal with that as well." Clinton's comment came as she was touting her experience and how that would benefit her in a general election.
Her Democratic rivals weren't too pleased with the comment. Said Chris Dodd in a statement, "Frankly, I find it tasteless to discuss political implications when talking about a potential terrorist attack on the United States."
Asked for a response to Dodd's charge, Clinton spokesman Isaac Baker tells First Read, "Sen Clinton was making clear that she has the strength and experience to keep the country safe."