At least one Republican presidential candidate sees a lot of similarities between the New England Patriots’ Deflategate scandal and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deleting her email archives.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina gave an interview Tuesday to Boston-based radio host Howie Carr. She jokingly suggested that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was inspired by Clinton when he instructed an assistant to “destroy” a cell phone during the investigation.
“Maybe Tom Brady learned how to wipe his phone clean by watching Hillary Clinton wipe her server clean,” Fiorina said. “I mean, hey, if the secretary of state can just wipe out all relevant information on an investigation involving her, maybe Tom Brady decided, ‘I can just wipe out all the text messages as an investigation swirls about me?'”
Fiorina was linking two separate controversies.
Brady was accused of intentionally letting footballs be deflated beneath National Football League standards during an AFC playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts. The NFL decided to uphold Brady’s four-game suspension on Tuesday. According to the the league’s statement, he destroyed his cell phone “even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages.”
Meanwhile, Clinton has faced criticism over her decision to keep a private email server as secretary of state. She ultimately turned over thousands of pages of emails to government archivists but said she deleted all of the ones deemed personal. Republicans have widely accused Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, of trying to shield her communications from scrutiny.
“That’s the problem when we let people get away with stuff like this. When we let a secretary of state — a presidential candidate — get away with this kind of stuff, then the whole culture and climate of our nation deteriorate,” Fiorina said in her Tuesday radio interview.
The Boston-based show then gave Fiorina the opportunity to “win some points with all of the Patriots fans up in New Hampshire, Carly, and tell us how you think Tom Brady is being treated as opposed to how Hillary Clinton is being treated.”
Fiorina laughed and said the lesson to take away from it all is that you should never cheat.
“I tell my granddaughters all the time: ‘Cheaters never win and winners never cheat.’ And I think Tom Brady is learning that and he needs to learn it, honestly,” she replied.
That answer puzzled the radio hosts.
“Well, he won the Super Bowl,” one host said of Brady.
“Are you giving your granddaughters good advice there?” asked another.
But Fiorina held her ground, again connecting the issue to Clinton and other issues, like the ongoing problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“If you talk to Tom Brady and you talk to Patriots fans, they know this is a big loss. It’s a big dent in his reputation. It’s a big loss in the taste of sweet victory because now everybody wonders whether they really won that game or not. Hillary Clinton is not being held accountable,” Fiorina said.
“The trouble is we have a lot of politicians not being held accountable,” she added. “Who is being held accountable for the festering problems at the VA? Who is being held accountable for the fact that our border’s been insecure for 25 years?”
Other presidential candidates have previously weighed in on the Deflategate scandal. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said he thinks Brady’s critics are just jealous of the quarterback’s successful life, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) jokingly declared that Clinton herself framed him:
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