October 8th, 2007
08:25 AM ET
7 years ago

Edwards draws sharp contrast with Clinton on Iraq

Edwards had strong words for Sen. Hillary Clinton's stand on Iraq.

(CNN)–Calling her plans "a continuation of the war," former North Carolina senator John Edwards sought to draw a sharp distinction between his plan for Iraq, and that of the Democratic front-runner, Sen. Hillary Clinton , D-New York.

"I am not for maintaining combat troops inside Iraq for a lot of reasons," the Democratic presidential hopeful told NBC's Tim Russert on Sunday. "I think number one, they'll have a target on their forehead while they're there. Number two, it continues the impression that America is occupying Iraq."

"What I would do instead is outside of Iraq, probably in Kuwait, maintain a quick reaction force," Edwards said. "And that quick reaction force would be focused on the possibility of Al Qaeda operations."

Edwards said he has a problem with what he has heard from Clinton, and some of his other rivals for the nomination, when they talk about maintaining combat troops in Iraq to focus on anti-terrorism operations. "That's very similar to what President Bush says. Its very hard to understand where that ends, where the limits are."

Edwards made the comments via satellite from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was scheduled to campaign in Iowa on Sunday.

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iraq • John Edwards • Race to '08
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. john, phoenix, az

    yeah, we'll just make ourselves at home in kuwait and react when (not if) things get out of hand. we'll be in and out, in and out. We might as well stay there and finish the job the europeans should've been doing. this is one of the reasons edwards would never be a serious threat, politically. some of the ridiculous comments he makes are laughable. Like putting a cap on CEO's salaries! Does he want a cap for trial lawyers as well? i didn't think so.

    October 8, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. lee, san francisco, ca

    Hillary is more and more inevitable to win the nomination and the election!

    George Bush already thinks that she will win the Democratic nomination. The Republican candidates, particularly Rudy Giuliani, are positioning themselves as “Hillary-slayers”. And Hillary's Democratic rivals are paying her the ultimate compliment of concentrating their fire on her rather than on each other. More reasons:

    First, Hillary is not like Howard Dean of 2004, who was favored first and then lost. The situation today is very different from 2004, when Iowa's unfortunate Democrats were confronted by a left-wing insurgent, the unattractive Howard Dean, and a rabble of second-division candidates.

    Second, people put far too much unnecessary emphasis on Iowa. Hillary's narrower margin lead in Iowa is swamped by her strength elsewhere. She is ahead in national opinion polls by about 20 points, a lead she has sustained for months. She is also ahead in New Hampshire and South Carolina, where her nearest rival, Obama, has been losing traction since late summer. Hillary is currently crushing Obama in the political futures markets by as much as 55 points. These poll numbers are built on rock. Hillary is formidably disciplined and knowledgeable. And she has the best political machine in the business—built up over decades and honed by relentless battle with the “vast right-wing conspiracy”. The machine boasts most of the Democratic establishment's mainstream thinkers.

    Third, the dem voters want Hillary and Bill back to white house. Most Democrats associate the Clinton years with peace and prosperity rather than stained dresses and disappearing furniture. Bill Clinton left office with a job-approval rating of 66%. Three-quarters of Democrats, and 53% of voters in general, would like him to play an active role in a future Clinton administration. Nearly nine in ten Democratic voters (88%) express a positive view of Hillary's candidacy; 38% express a very positive view.

    Bush has proved that polarisation is far from fatal, provided you can combine it with a ruthlessly disciplined campaign. Hillary does not have to paint America blue; she only has to win one more state than John Kerry. And Giuliani seems less impressive in person than he does in the polls. His speeches are poorly prepared and convoluted, and he is given to silly gimmicks, such as stopping in mid-speech to the NRA to take calls from his wife on his cell-phone.

    Moreover, Hillary 2007 is not Hillary 1993. She has shown an impressive ability to learn from her mistakes. She has also moved sharply to the centre: witness her success in winning rural votes in upstate New York in 2006, and her ability to work with former Republican tormentors in the Senate.

    Hillary 08.

    October 8, 2007 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  3. WILLIAM B. FLINT, MICHIGAN

    I'M VERY INTERESTED IN THIS CAMPAIGN. AS A 27 YEAR OLD, THIS IS PROBABLY THE FIRST ONE I'VE EVER REALLY FOLLOWED. I HAVE A THEORY AND I WISH THERE WAS A WAY TO TRACK ITS REAL IMPACT ON THE FINAL DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTE. I WONDER HOW MANY MIDDLE CLASS, WHITE MEN FROM MY GENERATION WILL GO TO THE POLLS AND WANT TO BE PROGRESSIVE ENOUGH TO VOTE FOR A WOMAN OR AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN, BUT DUE TO THIER UPBRINGING BY BABY BOOMERS AND WWII VETS FOR GRANDPARENTS, WILL VOTE FOR JOHN EDWARDS...THE TYPICAL GOOD-LOOKING WHITE GUY WHO TOWS THE PARTY LINE, WITH A SYMPATHETIC WIFE. HE JUST SEEMS TO FIT THE MOLD OF WHAT A PRESIDENT SHOULD BE, LOOK AT THE FIRST 43. THEY JUST CANT GO AGAINST GENERATIONS OF THEIR FAMILIES VOTING FOR WHITE GUYS. PLEASE DONT THINK THAT I HAVE ANY RACIST INTENTIONS IN MY HEAD, I'M TOO MUCH OF A REALIST. I JUST DONT THINK THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY, A (LARGER THAN YOU'D THINK) PERCENTAGE OF VOTERS CAN BRING THEMSELVES TO VOTE FOR A WOMAN OR BLACK GUY NAMED BARACK. ITS JUST TOO MUCH CHANGE TOO QUICK. I THINK IF OBAMA WERE TO LEAVE THE RACE TODAY YOU'D SEE EDWARDS SURGE IN SUPPORT BY THE DEMS WHO (AGAINST ALL POLITICAL CORRECTNESS) CANT SEE THEMSELVES VOTE FOR A WOMAN. AND VICE-VERSA, IF HILLARY WERE TO LEAVE THE RACE. ITS JUST A THEORY AND I MAY BE UNDERESTIMATING THE PROGRESSIVENESS OF MY GENERATION, BUT I THINK EDWARDS WILL BE A STRONGER CANDIDATE AT THE END OF THE RACE THAN ALOT OF TALKING HEADS AND ANALYSTS GIVE HIM CREDIT FOR NOW.

    October 8, 2007 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
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