October 10th, 2007
03:19 PM ET
11 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. peter Robman

    It is about time someone took issue with Hillary. I am a liberal voter and proud of it and I will never vote for her. She is trying to play it in the middle and does not seem to really support anything except getting elected. Her initial vote for the Iraq war without reading the evidence is appalling but to do the same thing when it comes to Iran is unpardonable. If she wins the election (which I doubt) do you really think that she will have committment to pull out the troops and revamp health care? It will be business as usual with excuses made about the republicans blocking her efforts.

    October 10, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Julie, Atlanta, GA

    John Edwards is right...God knows he's right on so many things! Too many of us seem to fixate on haircuts and homes (like that stuff matters)...but many of us are ready to focus on what's REALLY important.

    KEEP SPEAKING UP, John Edwards. You are THE most perfect candidate!

    America MUST wake up and realize that we have to break the Clinton/Bush cycle and after our current most disastrous administration, wouldn't it be WONDERFUL to have a president we can TRUST.


    October 10, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. John, Richmond, Va

    He's right. But she, even if she wants to go to war it would go through because going to war with Iran now or any time soon would truely hurt the army like never before.

    October 10, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Colony 14 author, Mount Prospect, Illinois

    North Korea, Iran, and al Qaeda (and probably Putin and Chavez) must be salivating at the thought of a John Edwards in the White House. Throw in Obama as Vice President (in charge of singing Kum Bah Yah around the campfire) and Jimmy Carter (offering foreign policy advice), and they'll be overjoyed! Jeez, Truman only allowed spies in the State Department, while Edwards and Company would no doubt barely lift a finger when the jackboots take over the Strait of Hormuz and hold the world hostage.

    I won't vote for Hillary either, but at least she can throw a frying pan if push comes to shove.

    October 10, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Ron, TX

    Of course the Clinton campaign had no comment. Her campaign continually repositions itself to sway with the tide of public opinion. She has no firm policy stance. When will the public begin to think critically and stop eating out of politicians hands?

    October 10, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. Jane IL

    I guess some people don't know how the political game is played. John Edwards is doing exactly what he should be doing. He needs to tell the voters how he is different than the other candidates. The voters also need to know what problems they will have with Hillary as a general election candidate. In a general election Hillary is not going to able to show how different she is from the GOP on the "future Iran war". She voted with them. So far, the other candidates have been very nice to Hillary. Rudy & the others won't be. How many commercials will be shown against the Clintons featuring all the scandals (Monica, Jennifer, white water, etc, etc, & etc). Is it fair to use Bill's scandals against her. Probably not. But Hillary can't have it both ways. Since she uses Bill to her advantage. She's stuck with the baggage too.

    October 10, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. Tonya, Cupertino CA

    Does Edwards do anything else besides attacking Clinton and Obama?
    He seems to position himself as "I am not them, vote for me"
    A bit too early to act as a sore loser.
    I am still trying to see if the man has any strong points, any fresh ideas.
    Please John, help me!

    October 10, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. laurinda,ny

    FLORENCE KENTUCKY.."Mr. Edwards in on the right track"..he's not on the right track, he's in the stable. Stick to horse racing.

    October 10, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. Ben St. Louis, MO

    What I hate about statements like this is that they don't say what they would really do. Obama for instance is always stating that he originally didn't support the war. Great. Good for you. Now what do you do now that we are at war? Whether it was the right decision or not should be left to history, I need to see what you do in the here and now.

    Edwards is done. If he wants to win he needs to say what he is going to do in a concise clear, motivating way. We don't care that you disagree with Hillary! We already assume that you do since you are running against her!!!

    October 10, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |

    President Carter is not anti-semetic. He has been steeped in the Israel/Palestine conflict for years. He has a better grasp of whats really going on than most candidates (Rep and Dem) running. It's time the United States stopped drinking the "I'm such a victim" Israeli koo-aid and started dealing with our own problems. Israle and Palestine must come to grips with the reality of sharing (equally) a piece of real estate and stop making the world miserable because of ancient text. It's beyond ridiculous!

    October 10, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Gosh... didn't John Edwards discuss his position with CNN bloggers Wynter and Dawn from Maryland? Both of them vehemently deny Hillary's vote on the Kyl-Lieberman Resolution gave President ANY power other than economic sanctions!!!

    Gee Wynter, Dawn... John Edwards is lying now???

    October 10, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  12. Tom Dedham, Mass

    "Plant, he's a plant, vast right-wing conspiracy, help me Bill, people are asking questions, hard questions".

    Hsu, Hsu, bless you Hillary said Bill.

    I love Sandy Berger too Bill, why do you ask?

    Oh yeah, I have the media and the apologists to answer for me.

    OK, you guys do that and I will offer baby bonds, 401k's to everyone, in-state tuition for ILLEGAL immigrants (missed that in the news did ya?), make everyone stop smoking, but charge whatever poor smokers that are left huge taxes to pay for insurance for the people that make a good living and are 25 years old, BUT ARE VOTERS.

    Come to think of it, I want nobody on this planet but her in charge of my new $1000 401k as NOBODY on this planet can turn that $1000 into $100,000 overnight as easy as her.

    She is in for a rude awakening come next year and the media will not be able to IGNORE the onslaught of TRUTH.

    Telling it because I know it.


    October 10, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. Debi, Philadelphia, Pa

    I am so tired of hearing Edwards putting down the other candidates, especially Clinton. He seems to be whining about someone else constantly. If this is how he handles things we don't need him in the White House. Why does he think he has the right to push Clinton to say she is sorry for a vote 5 years ago? Let it go John, tell me what you can do as President, because as it stands now all I see is a whining man and that is not how I would like our country to be represented globally. I don't need him to point out others shortcomings to me, I am bright enough to see them myself as are many, many other Americans.

    October 10, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  14. peter rodman

    Calling President Carter an anti semite is stupid. It is dishonest to label someone a anti semite because he dares speak to Israel about its treatment of the Palestine people. He has said he supports Israel's right to exist but thinks more could be done by the US by being more balanced in its relationships between the two sides. No one running for office has the courage to bring this up.

    October 10, 2007 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    Kyl-Lieberman does not authorize war against Iran in Iran. It requests the President do what he has doubtless done already, i.e., take military action against Iranian forces in IRAQ.
    Nor, as Sen. Clinton's opponents lamely argue (when they're not deliberately misreading or not reading the resolution), does Kyl-Lieberman beat any drums that lead directly to war. Iran has ALREADY been declared a state sponsor of terror. Bush has ALREADY said that those who sponsor, train, or harbor terrorists are terrorists themselves. If this were enough to foment a war in Iran, his work would be done.
    At 80% popularity (or whatever it was) Bush STILL had to go to Congress before attacking Iraq. At 31% or thereabouts, he is still more strongly compelled. Congress WILL NEVER give him such an authorization. His only hope of starting a war in Iran is PRETENDING that Kyl-Lieberman or some other red herring gives him such authority. That is the only scenario I can envision that would lead inevitably to every sane Republican (meaning every Republican at risk in the next election) deserting him on Iraq once and for all. He would be lucky to escape without impeachment.
    The whole brouhaha over Kyl-Lieberman as passed is entirely fabricated.

    October 10, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  16. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama


    It has become painfully clear that former Senator Edwards' daily rant against Senator Clinton is not working. His anti-campaign against her has done nothing to sell himself to the voters. In fact it appears to be causing a decrease in his polling numbers.

    His fifteen minutes of fame appears to be over. He needs to pack up the wife and children and return to his lavish estate in North Carolina.

    I wish him and his family well, but please go home.

    October 10, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  17. josh

    Wake up Donkeys. The only candidate who has promised to end this war is RON PAUL.
    RON PAUL 2008!

    October 10, 2007 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  18. Mrs. America

    Sounds like he's not particularly interested in running on the Clinton ticket as Veep.

    October 11, 2007 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  19. Robert, Dallas, Texas

    By declaring an entity(Iranian Revolutionary Guard) the enemy of the state, gives the President legitamacy in using his war powers. What, I am starting to think that the American public does not realize that if we declare war on Iran, there will most probably be a draft, and take a guess who will bear that burden...... If that is what you want by all means hold fast on your beliefs, the military needs help anyways.

    October 11, 2007 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  20. AP

    John you are a great guy and would do a great job as President or Vice President, but I am so SICK of hearing you attack Hillary I could puke. Enough already!

    October 11, 2007 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  21. anon, new york, NY

    Yes, clinton should not dignify edward's comment with a response.

    Edwards is a big loser, after the 2004 election. He is now 3rd in polls and falling. He has realised that nobody listen to his issues, and the only time people (mostly obama camps and republicans) listen is when he bashes clinton.

    He will be finishe politically next january. There is no chance that he will be clinton's VP running mate.

    October 11, 2007 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  22. Rose Hann New London, CT

    I feel bad for Edwards. He has moved away from talking about issues, to talking about Senator Clinton. I'm not sure if he aware that his insults have catapolted her. Stay on message John, you are a second teir candidate.

    October 11, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  23. Linda - Albany, NY

    None of us want to go to war with any country, however, I don't see how this [going to war w/Iran] is avoidable. Iran wants a war – that's pretty clear. I'd like to know how Edwards thinks he can prevent one, especially if Iran initiates it.

    October 11, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Dawn – MD

    You wrote, "Kyl-Lieberman does not authorize war against Iran in Iran."

    Dawn – considering ALL the engagements the US has been involved WHEN has congress officially declared war??

    Let me help you:

    War of 1812 – yes
    Mexican-American War – yes
    Spanish-American War – yes
    World War I – yes
    World War II – yes
    Korea – no
    Vietnam – no
    Iraq/Kuwait – no
    Bosnia – no
    Afghanistan – no
    Iraq – no

    Keep spouting how Kyl-Lieberman doesn't authorize war with Iran. The President doesn't NEED permission, Dawn. What he DOES need is political cover. Thanks to Hillary he has it.

    October 11, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. Cathy M in Tn

    Shhhhh and listen ! He is telling the truth. If you let the media lead you into electing Hillary you will get more Bush c**p in a female version.

    October 11, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
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