Iowa GOP Party Chair: Hillary Clinton ‘Can Be Beat’

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Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton offered a “qualified endorsement” of President Barack Obama’s embattled health care law, saying that while the law has numerous positive elements she is open to make “evidence-based changes” to the law.  (credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton offered a “qualified endorsement” of President Barack Obama’s embattled health care law, saying that while the law has numerous positive elements she is open to make “evidence-based changes” to the law. (credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Republicans don’t think the election of Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States is a surefire thing.

While speaking to RealClearPolitics, several Republicans say the political landscape is too unpredictable to pencil in the former secretary of state as the winner of the 2016 presidential election.

“If you look back to 2007, there was a similar feeling across the country, and a young guy from Illinois came from out of nowhere and beat her,” A.J. Spiker, Iowa Republican Party chairman, told RealClearPolitics. “My perspective on Hillary is that she can be beat, both by a Democrat in the caucuses and primaries and by a Republican in the general election. Every candidate has weaknesses.”

Several polls show Clinton, if she decides to run, as the frontrunner to the Democratic presidential nominee and the White House.

Tim Miller, executive director of America Rising PAC, believes President Barack Obama’s record and the terror attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans could hurt her chances.

“From a more issue-focused perspective, she’s going to have to fight ties to an unpopular Obama domestic agenda and face a foreign policy record that yielded no tangible accomplishments and one high-profile failure in Benghazi,” Miller told RealClearPolitics.

Speaking before the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans Monday, Clinton said her biggest regret as secretary of state was the Benghazi attacks. She called it “a terrible tragedy” that illustrated the challenge of protecting American civilians serving in dangerous parts of the world.

National support continues to grow for a Clinton campaign. Last week, the liberal-oriented political group Priorities USA announced that it would back Clinton if she runs in 2016. Priorities helped raise millions for Obama’s re-election.

High-profile Democrats clamoring for Clinton to run include Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Clinton has not been in Iowa recently, but a few potential Democratic candidates for 2016 have visited the state. Vice President Joe Biden attended a fundraiser for Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin in the fall. And former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer spoke at a progressive event in December.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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