October 10th, 2007
03:19 PM ET
7 years ago

Edwards: Clinton won't prevent Iran war

Edwards had strong words for Sen. Hillary Clinton's stance on Iraq and Iran.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Five years after Congress voted to give President Bush the authority to use force against Iraq, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, slammed presidential rival Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, for her Iraq policy and charged that she would not stand in the way of a war against Iran.

Clinton recently voted in favor of a bill declaring Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, which Edwards said is another step "that takes this nation one step closer to war."

"Evidently, Senator Clinton and I learned two very different lessons from the Iraq war," Edwards said in a statement Wednesday. "I learned that if you give President Bush even an inch of authority, he will use it to sanction a war."

Edwards has repeatedly attacked Clinton for refusing to apologize for her initial vote authorizing the war. In her speech on the Senate floor five years ago, she said she approved of sending troops to Iraq to disarm Saddam Hussein and to prevent future terrorist attacks against America.

"It is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation," Clinton said in 2002. "A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him – use these powers wisely and as a last resort. And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein – this is your last chance – disarm or be disarmed."

The Clinton campaign had no comment.

– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John Edwards
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Tom, Anaheim, CA

    I agree 100% with John. Cheney (Bush) will use the Lieberman resolution to make a case of war with Iran. Lieberman knew this would be the case. Joe's backer brigade needs a American war with Iran to advance it's Middle Eastern agenda and Bush is just the guy to comply. Hillary was wrong to back the Lieberman resolution but she is also a tool of the same backer brigade that Joe fronts.

    I respect John's courage to speak out about this.

    October 10, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. laurinda,ny

    Of course Hillary won't prevent the war. By the time she gets into office, Bush will have already started it. Bush doesn't care what anybody says. He is determined to go to war and that is all there is to it. He is arrogant, destructive, tongue tied and stupid.

    October 10, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. j berney Florence KY

    mr Edwards is on the right track we need to stand behind him

    October 10, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Ken, Austin TX

    Even though I'm not a fan of Hillary Clinton, I do not fault her for declaring the Iran Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization-it is what it is. Also, Edwards should not be putting any pressure on her to apologize for authorizing the Iraqi war. She, like many other senators that voted to authorize the war were under the influence that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. At the time, she was making what she considered to be a wise decision. I'm all for Obama for 08, but I can't fault Hillary for this.

    October 10, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Dave, Atlanta, GA

    I don't see how declaring the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization amounts to declaring war on Iran. After all, they ARE a terrorist organization. Refusing to say so won't change that fact.

    October 10, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. pl. at the UN for a while.

    Dear Mr Edwards,
    Can you get it through your skull that you were doomed the day you headed for the $400 barber in Hollywood?
    You cannot prevail over Ms Rodham Clinton by attempting a Kerry-Dean style coup in Iowa.

    October 10, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Mark B, Minneapolis, MN

    OK, John, enough with what Hillary won't do, what will you do?

    October 10, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. Guillermo I. Castillo-Feliu

    John Edwards, whom I have considered supporting in the past, seems to be grasping at straws with his attacks on fellow Democrat, Hillary Clinton. I know that same-party candidates often strike at one another during pre-primary campaigning but, is Edwards not thinking ahead to the Democratic Party's nomination next year? Does he have a plan as to how he would retract some of the attacks on Hillary, if she happens to be the party's nominee? His wife, who has impressed me in the past with her candor and articulate expression, also seems to be suffering from the same potential hoof-and-mouth disease. It getting to seem increasingly an act of desperation from both of them. The more he(she) attacks, the better Hillary looks.

    October 10, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Coach Haughton NH

    John is right. There is a difference between what W and hilliar say...and what they do. Voting for war and then speaking out against it...and then voting to potentially make a new war an easier sell for an unpopular president? This general election could be a return of flip-flop. If the "vast right wing conspiracy" now renamed the "republican attack machine" could cast a shadow over someone as honest and upright as john kerry I think it will take down hillary too if she is the nominee.

    Sad thing is...If Bush-Clinton politics don't end this cycle...they will get stronger and more influential.

    Someone will write a book one day about how the courageous rebels who gave their lives for freedom from a king looked down from heaven upon an elitist aristocracy...A new kind of government where the mob was controlled by an illusion of choice.

    Divide the people...take as much money as possible...blame the other side...repeat.

    Bring it on hillaryland. We won't let go of hope for freedom.

    October 10, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. Ayyub, Richmond, Va

    Eventhough I'm not an Edwards supporter I totally agree with him. Hillary will do it. And if this nation goes to war with Iran our army could possibly break .Possibly making an unavoidable draft. We can't think Iran's army will be like Iraq's but it's nowhere near it. Iraq was a cake walk at the time. Going to war with Iran now or in the next couple of years would be HELL on this country and on the troops. Not just the Hillary supporters will suffer from this but everyone.

    October 10, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. TJFRMLA

    Sorry ...there is no excuse but laziness for the Yes vote on the Iraq war. Hillary Clinton was ready to swallow whatever she was fed. The information was out there repudiating all the Bush Aministration's "facts". The least the Senat could have done was get more concrete information on the people of the region and what had kept the country together for all that time. THEY WERE ALL LAZY!!! There has been more damage done after "mission accomplished" than the invasion itself. And this is because the SENATE went to war unprepared. Now they're trying to do the same thing with IRAN. I have a daughter and she'll go when Jenna, Barbare and Chelsea are knee deep in sand.

    October 10, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Buggie, San Diego, CA

    Mr. Edwards,

    If you truly believe any of the ridiculous assertions you have made about Mrs. Clinton and other candidates then you should do something about it. Once your campaign is over, and you are finally secure in the fact that your political career is dead, you should try to mend the fences you have wrecked and find a positive role for yourself in society. If you perceive a problem, work for positive change, but don’t run around like a puppy chasing its’ tail. Running around in circles and biting at the air hasn’t worked for you so far.

    It will be difficult for you to overcome all of the negative things you have said about viable candidates and all of the damage you have done to the Democratic Party, but perhaps someone will have pity on you and give you a second chance. Time heals all wounds, even those especially deep wounds inflicted by friends.

    October 10, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. Rodney Dallas TX

    Listen, SHE DID NOT VOTE FOR A WAR IN IRAN. She merely voted to declare the Revoloutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Where do these people get the phony idea that she is declaring war on Iran. I'm sick of people grasping at straws cause they have nothing else helping out of a losing place in EVERY poll.

    October 10, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Ron, TX

    I don't like him, but Edwards is 100% correct. Clinton is dodging the issue. The fact that she refuses to acknowledge she made a mistake voting for the Iraq War in 2002 shows her bad judgment. Bush did exactly what Clinton voted for. He tried diplomacy for FIVE months. Diplomacy failed, so he went to war. No ifs, ands, or buts about it... that is EXACTLY what Hillary voted for.

    The Iranian Guard is Iran's Army. There is no proof that they terrorize. The problem with the bill is not that it -directly- gives Bush the power to go to war, but that it beats the war drums by labeling the guard as "terrorists." We have declared war on "all terrorists." That's Bush and the Republicans belief. Labeling an Iranian Army as terrorists -IS- heading us directly down the road to war. First, you separate yourself from the enemy. Then, you attack.

    October 10, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    John Edwards is a loose canon, and there goes his VP chance. Just like some of his court cases as a lawyer, he fabricated truth to confuse the audience.

    October 10, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Ray, Rochester

    If Edwards is elected, Iran will have nuclear waepons before his first (and only) term ends.

    October 10, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. Neill C., Montgomery, Al

    One of the Democrats needs to come out and repudiate Ex-President Jimmy Carter the anti-semite. He is completely bonkers and needs to be reined in.

    Whichever one has the courage to do that would jump over the rest in my opinion.

    October 10, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    Edwards is distorting the resolution that was passed in the Senate.

    It is not a declaration of war upon Iran. Nor is it the first step in starting one. What this resolution does is start addressing a situation diplomatically that has been going on in Iraq for the past year. To simply ignore the acts posed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard inside Iraq would be turning a blind eye to the truth and allowing them to continue to provide munitions and funding to the insurgent forces planting IEDs against our troops.

    What we need to do is start dealing with the truth instead of burying ourselves in political maneuvers like this. At least Clinton is facing the hard questions that are currently going on in Iraq today. Obama simply "did not vote" which is avoiding the question.

    Telling it like it is,
    Wynter

    October 10, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Richard Tabuteau, Atlanta, GA

    Edwards is right to attack Clinton. As a presidential candidate, he must distinguish himself while presenting a well articulated position on Iraq and Iran. President Bush has consistently broken the public trust and that of the Congress. You give him an inch, he takes a mile (with impugnity). Clinton should know this better than anyone considering that her vote in Congress led to the Iraqi invasion. If the same scenario plays out with Iran, I don't want her giving lame excuses saying, "if I knew then what I know now."

    October 10, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. Ricardo Belluci, NYC NY

    If it is a doubt in anyone's mind that declaring an entire army a terrorist group with no allusion to rational evidence, then I'm affraid America is going to be under the wrong hands if Mrs Clinton wins the nomination of her party.

    It seems we still haven't learned from our past mistakes and as history suggests – The memory of cold realities are always eager to hunt us when we fail to learn from our failures.

    Mrs Clinton was wrong believing there was WMD's in Iraq and she's wrong suggesting Iran's national guard is a terrorist group if she can't prove it.

    Shame on her!

    October 10, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Mike, Houston, TX

    Hillary needs to thank Edwards. His rantings have allowed her to move far ahead of Obama. His luntic left ideology makes Clinton's leftist ideology seem centrist.

    October 10, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. James, St. Louis, Missouri

    Its time Americans stop being scared little children and ignore Iran. Move on with your lives instead of trying to destroy everyone who you think might be a threat in the future. I'm not afraid of another terrorist attack happening. I'm in the middle of the midwest. No terrorist cares about us nor do we care about them.

    October 10, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. MAURICE, WASHINGTON, DC

    JOHN EDWARDS: ONE WORD ONLY 'DESPERATE'

    HE IS GETTING MORE DESPERATE BY THE SECOND. I HOPE HE THINKS AHEAD TO THE NOMINATION. SOME OF THE THINGS YOU SAY CAN'T BE RETRACTED DURING THE NOMINATION. HILLARY WILL GET HER PARTY'S NOMINATION AND THE REPUBLICANS WILL USE JOHN EDWARD'S WORDS TO ATTACK HILLARY, JUST WATCH!!!

    October 10, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    People like GWB and HRC make me scared. I'm 18 (will be 19 next month), which automatically makes me a candidate for a military draft. We've lost nearly 4000 soldiers in Iraq since 2003. How many more Americans must die in that cursed region before we pull out for good? If Clinton is planning war with Iran in addition to Iraq, she loses my vote for good. What will she do to help the situation, make Puerto Rico and Iraq the 51st and 52nd states of the US? Edwards is not my first choice, but he is more level-headed than Hillary.

    October 10, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    Hillary Clinton's position is impossible to determine in advance. What is known for certain, however, is that her decisions will be biased by what she believes will help her politically. I support Obama (as a more inspirational candidate), but Edwards is correct in sending out this warning signal about our terrible "front runner."

    October 10, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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