October 3rd, 2007
06:20 PM ET
11 years ago

Edwards: Clinton will continue war in Iraq

John Edwards was critical Wednesday of Sen. Hillary Clinton's approach to handling the Iraq war.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House hopeful John Edwards continued to draw distinctions between his stance on Iraq and that of rival Hillary Clinton, claiming Wednesday the New York Democrat does not intend to end the war.

"A week ago Sunday, Hillary Clinton said that she would continue to conduct combat missions in Iraq," Edwards said during a forum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. "If you're not ending combat operations, you're not ending the war."

"The debate I expect to have next fall with Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani or whoever’s the Republican nominee is whether or not to end this war," Edwards continued. "But the debate Sen. Clinton would be in is how big a war you’re going to have."

Clinton said she supports a phased redeployment of troops from Iraq but would leave a small number in the country to carry out combat missions against Al-Qaeda members.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iraq • John Edwards • New Hampshire
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. James, Phoenix AZ

    John Edwards, pictured above, getting firm with Elizabeth, "You PROMISED it was my turn to give a speech!"

    October 3, 2007 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    Edwards knows that she did NOT say that. As a matter of fact, when he made that assertion during the Sept. 23 debate, Hillary retorted that he was distorting her words. She said that she would leave some troops to protect the embassy and in case of terrorist attacks. She was specific that it wouldn't be a combat mission. Furthermore, he, Obama and Hillary were on the same page as far as not being able to promise that there wouldn't be any troops left in Iraq by the end of their first term in office. So, why is Edwards being disingenuous?

    October 3, 2007 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. Buggie, San Diego, CA

    The only debate Mr. Edwards will be having next fall is with his wife over which one of them is to blame for his failure to get the Democratic nomination. He gets more delusional by the minute.

    October 3, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  4. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Bring our troops home now and let the crazy Muslims have their civil war so that all the insurgents we've been fighting will take themselves out, then take their oil as spoils of war. Do any of the Democrats have the cojones to do this?

    October 3, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  5. laurinda,ny

    Hey Ed, does he have milk on his upper lip or is my screen dirty?

    October 3, 2007 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  6. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    He is right on this one! Look at Hillary's so called health care plan. The word drug is mentioned over 14x while working out and eating healthy is only mentioned once!

    Sounds more like a big drug company's wet dream if she became President.

    October 3, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. Steve Banny Toccoa GA

    If he's debating next fall, it'll be a vice presidential debate. People don't believe his phony lies, they believe Hillary's.

    October 3, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  8. Brian, Syracuse NY

    Shame on Edwards! A politician telling the truth!

    Hillary's only concerned with power and image. She's going to send as many of our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers to die as it takes to make 51% of America think she's tough on defense.

    October 3, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  9. ronnie - knoxville, tn.

    john edwards has to brainwash people on the campaign trail by talking about promises and future stuff. Why don't you campaign on your record and accomplishments, john? OH, don't have any executive experience...?

    October 3, 2007 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  10. Sue, Michigan

    Edwards is being irresponsible if he thinks that we WON"T have any troops in Iraq in the foreseeable future. Even if we can get the majority out, we will have at the very least peace-keepers there for a very, very long time. My God, we're still in Korea after 50 years.

    October 3, 2007 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  11. Louis, St. Louis, MO

    I am just wondering what is going on with his campaign. He seems going nowhere.

    October 3, 2007 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. Lee, Mays Landing NJ

    John Edwards is right, of course.
    The truth can be a potent argument.

    But what's with this sniping at his wife here? That's funny stuff but sad, in a way.
    This story is about something important, a disasterous quagmire and a waste of money and lives thanks to Republicans and their enablers.

    HRC will drag it out longer than most democrats, although she would be better than any republican since their party screwed things up so bad that they shouldn't be allowed to hold office for the next 40 years or so.

    October 3, 2007 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  13. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    I am sorry for Edwards supporters. He is a petty little fellow. I couldn't believe what makes him to dream President. Attacking Hillary is his political views.

    October 3, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  14. framecop, Raleigh, NC

    You can always tell what the blogger thinks about a candidate by on the picture they choose.

    Here's a much more appropriate picture of John Edwards.

    And Rodham-Clinton won't end the war. In fact, if Bush doesn't bomb Iran, she most likely will.

    October 3, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  15. Amy, FL

    Hillary Clinton is scaring me She once again voted for Bush's resolution to classify a country's (Iran) military as terrorist and I am sure that within that classification comes the power to conduct military strikes. Is she crazy? Haven't we been down this road before? Does she not learn from her mistakes re: trusting this president. Scares the hell outa me. And her judgment in this regard is suspect. Whose best interests are Hillary working for, ours or the Israelis? They are not the same folks.

    I am more fearful than ever with that kind of vote from Hillary. Give the President a blank check again? Am I missing something here?

    Someone please change this dynamic...

    October 4, 2007 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  16. O. Echevarria, Bronx, NYC, New York

    Here's a guy, Sen. Edwards, that ought to stop worrying about the other candidates and worry more about himself. And by that, I mean, he should start focusing on what his views and not the views of the other candidates. If he keeps this up, no one is going to even bother with him especially during a debate he distorts people's words around. Truly a childish thing to do in front of the country and really shows what he IS NOT thinking about. Not a front runner in my book, too delusional if you ask me.

    October 4, 2007 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  17. ThirstyJon, Freedomville, IL

    I wonder if Mrs. Clinton is against the war just to get elected. I suspected the same thing when she seemed for the war to prepare for a presidential run.

    We don't need another president who changes so much with the tide.

    Edwards is right.

    Almost anybody but Clinton.


    October 4, 2007 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  18. Jim Topeka, Kansas

    It is hypocritical to claim make me President and I will get out of Iraq. It is hypocritcal to claim this person will continue the awr in Iraq.

    The truth is that we all want out of Iraq, however Bush has grapped the tiger by the tail and we currently can not seem to find a way to let go ofthat tail and make a clean get away.

    It is safe to say that it matters not Clinton, Edwards or even Obama, we may start moving towards withdrawal from Iraq, but the current administration has so badly mangled the conquest of Iraq that it shall be years before we can make a clean break. To claim other wise is fanasty.

    October 4, 2007 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  19. Ryan Indianapolis

    Is this guy serious??????I am a republican and really cant stand him or Hillary but this guy is just a str8 wimp. I mean he is the exact opposite person that ran in 2004, Move-on got a hold of him and he is not the same person he was back then. I feel like he threw all his convictions out the window and bowed down to Soros and his money.

    October 4, 2007 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  20. Bill, Atlanta, GA

    These kind of lies are the reason he is not going up in the poll. I watched that debate, all 3 top candidates had samething to say about troop withdraw. The difference came from Dodd and Richardson. The only person Mr. Edwards will be debating is his wife as somebody else noted here.

    October 4, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    Amy in Florida:

    What you may be missing is that Kyl-Lieberman does NOT give Bush any authority whatsoever to conduct military strikes anywhere. It is non-binding. Furthermore, declarations of war must be passed by both houses of Congress to confer authority on the President.
    Finally, the resolution does not even support using force in any country other than Iraq (where we are already engaged in hostilities). From my read, military strikes in Iran aren't even mentioned. I hope that makes you feel less scared of the dynamic.

    October 4, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    Now here is an Edwards that is running scared politically.

    Clinton is stating the obvious reality of the situation in Iraq that we can't claim "Mission Accomplished!" on the day the new president gets into the White House. The reality is that we will pull back our troops as much as possible and keep only enough in-country that are needed to keep the embassy safe and keep looking for Al-Qaeda members. We won't need 130,000 troops to do that, but we will need some there. Think of it as another contingent comparable to the number we have had in Korea for so many years. At least now we shouldn't see so many deaths afterwards.

    My issue is that Edwards isn't so much setting himself apart from Clinton, but that he is claiming that he can pull ALL the troops out of Iraq without a problem. He is saying a political fairytale if anyone is listening. He will not follow through with this promise. Believe it!

    Telling it like I see it,

    October 4, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. James (the real one) , Phoenix AZ


    President Bush has the green light to fight terrorists (Afghanistan/Iraq). By specifically labeling Iran's elite guard a "terrorist organization" – it provides President Bush the latitude to target Iran's forces – aiding Al Qaeda in Iraq.

    Did President Clinton need congressional approval when ordering military strikes aimed at Bin Laden?

    Anyone who KNOWS President Bush (pro or anti) knows that by getting this "resolution" – it gives him support for any actions taken to stop the killing of US soldiers (including strikes against Iran's elite guard).

    October 4, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    James (the real one):

    I found it difficult to understand your comment. If President Clinton didn't need congressional approval to go after Bin Ladin, then, by extension, Bush doesn't need congressional "support," making Kyl-Lieberman irrelevant.
    I'm not particularly concerned if Bush goes after Quds forces in IRAQ - under certain circumstances, that might be necessary to prevent them from harming U.S. troops.
    However, Kyl-Lieberman does not allow or request President Bush to attack Iranian forces in IRAN. It just doesn't. I don't see how it gets us any closer to war with Iran, which is presumably what you fear.

    October 4, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Debi, Philadelphia

    John please go home, you are becoming a major "pita."

    October 4, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
1 2