Conservative groups are in an uproar as two potential presidential candidates — one Democrat, one Republican — appear at the same event September 10, reports James Arkin in POLITICO.
Jeb Bush, on many GOP lists to run in 2016, presents the National Constitution Center 2013 Liberty Medal to former Secretary of state and likely Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Bush, who chairs the organization, is drawing fire from conservative groups like the Independence Hall Tea Party Association, who not only protest the award, but also question its timing. The event comes on the eve of the anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
Leader of the Independence Hall Foundation Don Adams says the timing of the Liberty Award “couldn’t be worse,” and that Bush presenting it to Clinton “a bit unseemly.” He plans to hold a press conference denouncing the ceremony on the day of the event.
“Former Secretary Clinton has dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy,” Bush said in a statement announcing the award to Clinton. “These efforts as a citizen, an activist, and a leader have earned Secretary Clinton this year’s Liberty Medal.”
In 2006, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush received the Liberty Award, as well as former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 2008 and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in 2011.