September 20th, 2007
03:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Senate votes to condemn MoveOn, Clinton votes no

Clinton voted against a Senate measure Thursday that condemns MoveOn.org.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate overwhelmingly voted to formally condemn the liberal organization MoveOn.org Thursday for its recent publication of an ad questioning the credibility of the top commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus.

Twenty Democrats joined the Republicans in the 72-25 vote that officially repudiates the group's ad. Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut, also voted for the measure, sponsored by Texas Republican John Cornyn. (Related: Bush: MoveOn.org ad on Petraeus 'disgusting')

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, who has been criticized by several Republican presidential rivals for not formally distancing herself from the organization, voted against the measure.

As for the other 2008 Senate Democratic hopefuls, Chris Dodd of Connecticut voted against the measure while Barack Obama ofIllinois and Joe Biden of Delaware did not vote.

Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan issued a statement highly critical of both Clinton and Obama shortly after the votes were cast.

“Senators Clinton and Obama need to decide whether they’re running for America, or running for MoveOn.org," he said. "If Clinton and Obama cannot bring themselves to take a stand against a vicious attack on the man leading our forces in Iraq, why should American voters believe they are capable of demonstrating the leadership we need in a Commander in Chief?”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was also highly critical of Clinton, saying in a statement her vote raises questions over whether she would be a "credible commander-in-chief."

"Hillary Clinton had a choice," he said. "She could stand with our troop commander in Iraq, or she could stand with the libelous left wing of her party. She chose the latter.

"The idea that she would be a credible commander-in-chief of our armed forces requires the willing suspension of disbelief," he added, a reference to Clinton's comments to Petraeus at a recent Senate Armed Service Committee hearing in which she said his upbeat assessment of conditions in Iraq required "the willing suspension of disbelief."

Meanwhile, MoveOn.org Executive Director Eli Pariser said of the vote in a statement, "No wonder public approval of Congress is tanking. They’re so out of touch with reality that they can find time to condemn an ad but they can't do what most Americans want – vote to end this war."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: moveon.org • Presidential Candidates
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Mike P. Somerville, NJ

    I am very tired of hearing how people who don’t ‘repudiate’ MoveOn.Org’s ad in the NY Times are “EEEEEVIL”. Of course, military personnel are generally above average in terms of trustworthiness. But they are not above suspicion. President Bush has repeatedly co-opted such figures (most notably, General Powell) to put forth his agenda.

    While I do not believe that Gen. Petraeus lied, per se, I do believe that the pressure of one’s CinC, (his direct superior officer, in fact), is immeasurable in the effect it can have on the objectivity of one’s evaluation of circumstances. Add to that the fact that the military is in the business of “Getting things done” – not explaining why things can’t BE done – and you have a situation where objectivity is nearly impossible. And a situation where that can be – and HAS been – exploited to political gain, irrespective of US Military – or Iraqi civilian – losses.

    If the General had returned and said, “We can’t DO this, Sir” – Where do you think that would have gotten him???

    September 20, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Ryan, New York, NY

    Congrats, America, on reaching a new low, whereby our Congress wastes its time on votes repudiating ad campaigns.

    September 20, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. MCD, San Francisco

    A circus and a waste of time!!

    This admin, The Repugs & The Right have been calling everybody has questioned the war traitors. Have they been sanctioned?!?

    STOP WASTING TIME AND GET TO WORK!!

    September 20, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Luis, Miami Florida

    The GOP lost their touch with reality... What America in majority wants it's to end this senseless WAR. What an enormous amount of wasted time. PEOPLE – FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION … remember the BILL OF RIGHTS… Mr. Duncan is JOKE!!!

    September 20, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. Steve, Columbia, MO

    I'm proud of what Move On is doing. They are funded by The People. Congress and the rest of our government has ceased to be "for the people" and no longer chooses to represent us. Someone has to do helps us have a voice!

    September 20, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Bill Charleston SC

    This surprises anyone? Of course she voted no. Remember how the Clintons had no respect for the military while Bill was president?

    The only comfort I take from a possible Hillary victory in 08 is that our military is professional enough to withstand even her as president. And for those who believe Dave Petraeus is just a Bush yes man, he would also support Hillary if she were president, because that's what soldiers do, they follow the orders of their leaders.

    September 20, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. James,Lake City. Florida

    Its easy to condemn the public when you don't respect them. If these government people repected US they would have listend to us instead of lied to us. I condemn our government for being full of liars, cheats, and theives.

    September 20, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. AJ, Lawton, OK

    I totally agree, if Congress has time to vote against an Ad, where is the vote and the outrage when it comes to IRAQ. There is something wrong with Congress and the AMERICAN SYSTEM of government. It's ironic that the democrats are also showing that they have no muscle, they are so scared that they are allowing the Republican's to pulll the punches. Who is running Congress is it the Republican or the Democrats. I think as Americans, we are allowed the freedom of Press and everything else, to say what and print what we want to. If the General is misrepresenting the facts on the grown, then he is, and most American's believe he is. Who do the CONGRESS thinks give money to Move On. ORG it is the American people, we cause we don't have any representation in congress, but we sure have all the taxation.

    September 20, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Jan, Nashua, NH

    What a crack-up - the GOP is busy condemning Obama for something he didn't do!
    Anyway, good for Dodd and Clinton.
    I agree with Moveon. Enough with Congress condemning our right to free speech. Let's end this national nightmare instead.

    September 20, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Dean

    I wish some of these politicians, Republican or Democrat, would stop saying that we don't support our troops if we don't support Bush's agenda. I am former military and my heart goes out to the military members because I hate seeing our servicemembers misused, as I feel they are being right now. Stop the disgusting war profiteering or send some politicians child over there and they would be home on the next flight.

    September 20, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. John Thomas, Edina, MN

    Absolutely pathetic! Here's your tax dollars at work, folks–our government voting to "condemn" our first amendment rights. Whether you agree with the ad or not, every one of you should be outraged. This goes against the very core of liberties that this country was founded on–you have the right to agree with the ad or the right to disagree with it, but government should certainly NOT be involved in condemning free speech. The very foundations that this country was founded upon are slowly disintegrating right before our eyes. It's time to wake and take our country back, and the only person that consistently votes to preserver our liberties is Ron Paul.

    September 20, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. Moe, NY

    Thank you Hillary for standing up for freedom of speech. I may or may not agree with the MoveOn.Org advertisement, but I certainly will fight for their right to express their opinion. As for those individuals/politicans who would deny freedom of speech just because they do not agree with what is being said...I say...MoveOn! (Pun intended).

    September 20, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. Tony Nazar, Wilton, ME

    Interesting.

    Where was Cornyn when the Swift Boat Liars were sliming John Kerry?

    Oh wait – they were Texas Republicans like Cornyn and Kerry is a Massachusetts Democrat with the temerity to challange Le Dauphin.

    Can we give Texas back to Mexico?

    September 20, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. Dean, Baltimore MD

    I'm not for Clinton (either of them)but I wish some of these politicians, Republican or Democrat, would stop saying that we don't support our troops if we don't support Bush's agenda. I am former military and my heart goes out to the military members because I hate seeing our servicemembers misused, as I feel they are being right now. Stop the disgusting war profiteering or send some politicians child over there and the troops would be home on the next flight.

    September 20, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. j. nulton findlay,ohio

    i think this should show the world that the woman will in to turn her back on her husbands sex encounters would think nothing of stealing someones plan to save her time of course so she can take more time to pose for the camera...

    September 20, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. Maurice, Washington, DC

    Great job Hillary!!! Stick to principles and not false ideology. How is Hillary affiliated to Moveon.org? Moveon.org supports democratic causes but it's not affiliated to any candidate. Why should she apologize or chide someone for saying something she had no part in? Last time I checked our constitution provided for freedom of speech. Most of our civil rights have been taken already under this false pretence of 'patriot act' and whatever is left of it shouldn't be tampered with.

    There is a right wing machine out there waiting to take down anyone who gets the democratic nomination and they will do it at all cost and the democrats will need people like Moveon.org to counter act all the false charges the republicans are going to spew. I didn't see the senate vote to condemn those who ran the swift boat attack ads in 2004 against Senator John Kerry. Senator Kerry is a decorated Vietnam war hero and not a draft dodger like President Bush. I am getting tired of this two standards in the republican party.

    Great job Hillary!!! You came in and voted and let your voice be heard and you are accountable for your vote. Weak people like Obama and the others didn't show up to vote.

    September 20, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. A, Seattle WA

    Is the Senate actually spending time debating an ad? What is wrong with this country?

    September 20, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. A. Harrison, Atlanta, GA

    Meanwhile, MoveOn.org Executive Director Eli Pariser said of the vote in a statement, "No wonder public approval of Congress is tanking. They’re so out of touch with reality that they can find time to condemn an ad but they can't do what most Americans want – vote to end this war."

    The truth must hurt.
    I think this statement sums the thinking of the majority of Americans. Why put this in an agenda? Hillary was right to vote no because what difference would it make on public opinion of the war or her for that matter. This is just another political ploy to slander the Democratic front runners, and it's so obvious.
    While we're at it let's have Texas Republican John Cornyn sponsor a measure regarding the rediculous charges of those Jena kids. Or something a little more meaningful than an ad.

    September 20, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. patrick, Portland, or

    waste of time, if they do this, they should condemn the swiftboat folks as well. Our government has gone amuck.

    September 20, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. jim rice, Charlotte, NC

    george bush is an idiot, but he has a right to his opinion. As others have said, however, wasting tax-payers' money by spending time in the Senate voting about a tv commercial is ridiculous. And far more disgusting than a private group spending private dollars to express their opinion.

    September 20, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. steve albuquerque

    what a waste of time

    and the GOP hypocrisy shows no limits

    why didn't the senate GOP condemn the swift boat attacks on Kerry in 2004?

    or how about the 2002 ads against Max Cleland (a triple amputee Vet) that compared him to Saddam Hussein and Bin laden?

    this is merely an attempt by the desperate GOP to deflect attention from the real issues at hand – that the Iraq war is a failure of monstrous preportions and that the GOP voted against rest for our troops

    September 20, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. TOMMY ALBQ,NM

    GRRRREAT MOVE HRC. I HOPE HRC NEVER SUCCUMB TO THESE HYPOCRITICAL SOBs. THESE GOP IDIOTS WILL GO THE WAY OF THE WHIGS. THEY WILL FOLLOW THE MORON PRESIDENT RIGHT OVER THE PRECIPICE. I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR NOVEMBER 2008 TO CHEER THEIR DEMISE.

    September 20, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    Did Congress repudiate the Swiftboat ad back in 2004? I think not!!!

    What happened to freedom of speech? Even if the content of the ad were to be deemed offensive, MoveOn had every right to have it printed in any periodical of their choosing. If we start censoring people's rights to freely express their opinions, where do we stop?

    September 20, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. David, Gilbert Arizona

    MoveOn.org got infinitely more mileage out of their ad than they could have ever possibly imagined. Had politicians made their statements for or against and let the matter drop no one would even be talking about MoveOn.org right now.

    For the Senate to take time and cast a vote regarding a newspaper ad is appalling, I don't care what the ad said. Voting on newspaper ads is not why voters elected these people to office. It's a newpaper ad people. Get past it already.

    Our education system is underfunded, our bridges are collapsing, and we are mired in what some are calling an idealogic civil war but hey, there's that evil newspaper ad we need to vote on first. The Senate should be ashamed of themselves.

    September 20, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. Brian Keefe Orlando, Fl

    Here we are, stuck in a pathetic useless war, record debt, rising poverty and foreclosures and a a joke for a Health Care system!!! But, our PUBS, find their biggest "concern" in that of a MoveOn.org add...HELLO!!!!

    September 20, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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