By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, October 19, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) and Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan both issued statements to responded to incendiary remarks that Democratic Presidential frontrunner former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made at a campaign stop in Hoover.
Governor Bentley said, “It seems Mrs. Clinton isn’t as well versed in Alabama’s budgeting process as she is in exploiting a situation for her personal political gain. If she were, she would know the closure of 31 Alabama Driver’s License offices is based on a shortfall in funds appropriated by the State Legislature to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. To claim this decision is based on race is absolutely not true. Suggesting otherwise should be considered an effort to promote a political agenda, an area where Mrs. Clinton has often clearly demonstrated her expertise.”
ALGOP Chairman Lathan said, “Hillary Clinton’s inaccurate and divisive language this past Saturday in Birmingham once again illustrates how out of touch she is with Alabama. To say that Alabama’s voting laws are a “blast from the Jim Crow past” is insulting to all of our citizens. In fact, Alabama’s required voter photo ID protects our citizens and honors them by making sure their vote is secure and their voice is heard.”
Gov. Bentley said, “Alabama will continue to work toward solutions to solve our budget shortfalls. Meanwhile Mrs. Clinton can work to solve our country’s $18 Trillion debt, in the unfortunate event she is elected President.”
Chair Lathan continued, “There is not one of our citizens that is denied access to their vote or a photo ID, which is now required for all voters. In fact, Hillary should be particularly pleased to know that Alabama provides free photo IDs in every county, to any citizen who needs one. A driver’s license requires a fee – a photo ID from any of Alabama’s 67 counties does not.”
On Saturday, October 17, former Secretary of State Clinton told a Hoover audience the decision to close 31 rural driver’s license offices was, “A blast from the Jim Crow past.” “We have to defend the most fundamental right in our democracy, the right to vote,” Clinton said. “No one in this state, no one, should ever forget the history that enabled generations of people left out and left behind to finally be able to vote. Fifty years after Rosa Parks sat and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched and John Lewis bled, it is hard to believe we are back having this same debate about whether or not every American gets a chance to vote and exercise his rights.”
Lathan said, “Hillary is simply distracting everyone because her record is a failure and her leader, Barack Obama, is presiding over years of economic decline. Our economy and job growth is stagnant, yet she clings to insulting us by saying things about Alabama that are simply not true. This is just another example of why she cannot be trusted. She does not know how to tell the truth.”
Lathan continued, “Name one place on earth where our foreign policy or influence is better today because of the Obama-Clinton team. We can name a long list of national security problems and concerns around the world, but cannot name a single success accomplished during her term as Secretary of State. These are not topics she addressed during her visit to Birmingham. She didn’t bring up her record of successes because it doesn’t exist.”
Lathan demanded that Mrs. Clinton apologize: “We ask her to set the record straight about Alabama’s easy way of getting a free photo ID for citizens and to finally step up and discuss her failed record. We also look forward to her testimony this week on the tragic events in Benghazi. Hillary’s campaign is overshadowed by her unanswered questions regarding her secret email server. With the false information she has repeatedly given America on her reckless and possibly illegal emails, it’s no wonder she tries to divert our attention with non-issues in our state.”
The Alabama Presidential Primary is March 1.
(Original Reporting by CNN’s Dan Merica and Athena Jones, USA Today and Fox News contributed to this report)