FORMER US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton has said she feels "emboldened" to run for the presidency because of Republican criticism of her handling of the deadly 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya.

Mrs Clinton said the Benghazi attacks inquiry from Republicans gives her a greater incentive to run for the White House because she considers the multiple investigations into the attacks which led to the death of the US ambassador "minor league ball" for a country of the US's stature.

But she said that she is still undecided, adding: "It's more of a reason to run, because I do not believe our great country should be playing minor league ball. We ought to be in the majors.

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"I view this as really apart from - even a diversion from - the hard work that the Congress should be doing about the problems facing our country and the world."

The ABC TV interview publicising her new book, Hard Choices, highlighted some of the key lines of criticism she could face if she runs for president in two years: her record as US president Barack Obama's top diplomat and charges by Republicans that she has been insulated from the everyday problems of Americans after more than two decades in public life.

Mrs Clinton said her family struggled with legal bills and debt when she and her husband left the White House in early 2001.

"We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt," Ms Clinton said.

"We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea's education. You know, it was not easy."

Republican officials pointed out Mrs Clinton received a £4.7 million book advance for her 2003 memoir and said the comments reflected her insulation from the daily problems of average Americans.

"I think she's been out of touch with average people for a long time," said Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, pointing to Ms Clinton's estimated £118,000-per-speech speaking fees and $8m book advances.