October 11th, 2007
04:15 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama: Clinton vote on Iran shows 'flawed' judgment

Watch portions of Wolf Blitzer's interview Thursday with Sen. Barack Obama.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama criticized Sen. Hillary Clinton Thursday for her vote in support of a resolution calling an Iranian group a terrorist organization, saying it exhibited the "flawed" judgment she used during the vote to authorize the Iraq war five years ago.

The resolution, which declared the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, could be used by President Bush as a "blank check" that he interprets as authorization to take military action against Iran, Obama said.

"We know in the past that the president has used some of the flimsiest excuses to try to move his agenda regardless of what Congress says," Obama told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

When asked by an audience member at a campaign event Sunday why she voted for the resolution that the questioner said authorized military action against Iran, Clinton said, "The premise of the question is wrong," and went on to argue that the measure calls for the terrorist label so that sanctions can be imposed.

The sanctions, Clinton said while campaigning in New Hampton, Iowa, will in turn "send a clear message to the leadership" and lead to stronger diplomatic efforts.

Full story

– CNN.com Senior Political Producer Scott Anderson

soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Tom, ALBUQUERQUE, NM

    Though I am a Clinton supporter I do think Obama is correct in his criticism of Hillary on this vote. Knowing what she know now about the mental judgement of the pathological moronic President Bush, she was wrong to give him any leverage toward conflict with Iran.
    This vote could prove to be Hillary's sword of damocles.

    October 11, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    Jayson, Beale AFB, CA:

    Obama is a member of the Senate, not the House of Representatives.

    Furthermore, why is a country trying to defend its actions from 90+ years ago. Most Historians readily agree that Turkey was wrong for the genocide. Its takes a big man to admit when you are wrong, and it is time for Turkey to be a big man.

    October 11, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Sue in Michigan

    The original Lieberman amendment DID allow Bush to declare war on Iran, but thanks to a lot of dedicated emailers and others, that amendment was significantly changed, and THAT's what Congress approved. If you want to be angry, direct it at Bush and Cheney, who have in place an executive order allowing them to declare martial law in the event of a "national emergency" (anyone see 9-11 2 coming?) and then suspend elections! These power-hungry maniacs must be stopped before they destroy the world as we know it. They have already totally trashed the Constitution in the name of "keeping Americans safe." Sorry, but right now, I feel more terror coming from the WH than from abroad.

    October 11, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. Mayans, Whittier CA

    he didnt vote so he wouldnt have to face critisism on the camp trial...loser...now he is attacking Clinton – it just goes to show he is playing the "old" politics he runs against...He needs to step up his game and put his words into action..SORRY OBAMA.....ID RATHER VOTE FOR YOUR MAMA!

    October 11, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Chris, Middletown, CT

    If Obama ran – he might have a good shot of winning the whole thing. If he runs with Hillary...its like mixing ice cream with vomit....first bite you will know theres something wrong....as will the American people....Hillary is unelectable (well...except in NY and in MA)

    October 11, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. W, Worcester, MA

    Is there a single Hillary supporter out there who believes invading Iraq was a good idea?
    No?
    Good, then vote for someone with real judgment. Stop making excuses for Hillary because you all like Bill.
    Obama is the best choice, with the best judgment. Obama '08

    October 11, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Providence, RI

    Dear Obama Fans: I respectfully dissent with you. Obama is inexperienced,and does not have the Presidential materials in him. He is too liberal, unlike Hillary. When Obama was a IL State Senator, he voted for partial birth abortion (Crushing the skull of full, grown baby; murder). Hillary is a centrist, unlike Obama. Bush banned it, and he did the right thing. I have a great respect and love for Obama, but I do NOT believe with conviction that Obama can be competative in moderate states, like Minnesota, Ohio in the general election. Please visit http://www.hillaryclinton.com, and help her to make a history by electing first female President in American history, and end the cycle of sexism and patriarchy.

    Posted By Providence, RI : October 11, 2007 12:58 pm

    October 11, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Danyy San Diego, CA

    Obama is talking crap. If he thinks the resolution is wrong, why didn't he vote against it?

    Obama has taken a stand against the Iraq war and this recent resolution by not taking a vote. Wow! What a leader!

    October 11, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. Jason W, Omaha NE

    "It's impossible to know when votes in the Senate are schedule." What Senate is Obama working for? All of the other presidential candidates seem to make it back to DC in time to vote, what do they know that Obama doesnt? It's funny how he just happens to be unaware of a vote that is controversial, and it's more interesting that He waited to see primary voters' reaction to Hillary's vote before he spoke publicly about it. Obama is a follower, and he could never win the general election.

    October 11, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    The interesting point I find in all this is that he claims it "speaks to his judgement". It does because he didn't vote on it! Each candidate knows when the votes are going to be called by the Majority Whip of the Senate. At least Edwards had the right to comment because he did vote against it. Obama has no such right.

    Again, the resolution does NOT give Bush any authority, moral or legal, to act against Iran in any way other than more sanctions. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps are a mercenary organization that isn't under the control of the Iranian government. It's sole purpose is to support the islamic revolution that started in 1979 in Iran. And continues to work extraterritorily to push this same agenda. It has been known to support palestinian organizations such as Hamas and currently is beleived to be behind some of the more technically sophisticated IEDs that are blowing up troops in Iraq. Calling them what they are isn't authorizing a war. It's simply labeling them a threat.

    Someone earlier claimed that the congressmen that voted "for" the war with Iraq were "gullible" to go along with the authorization. I have to say that is a pretty easy thing at this date. But when the War Powers Resolution was used to authorize the war in Iraq was brought to the floor, it wasn't that easy of a decision to make. We had been given at the time solid proof of Iraq's WMD program in the form of the attempt to buy Yellow Cake from Niger, which later proved to be wrong. We were told by the CIA that by their assessment Iraq could mount a nuclear or chemical attack on another country in the middle east, maybe even as far as Israel. Were these facts true? No. But Congress was only given false intelligence to judge whether to go to war or not. I do not blame them. I do blame Bush and his administration for pushing the authorization and drumming up the facts to make it possible to go to war.

    Clinton did her duty as a U.S. Senator, and she did so again when the Resolution against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps came up. But Edwards and Obama are playing politics with the reality of the situation. We need decision makers in Washington, not more political grandstanding and namecalling.

    I do not agree with any course that takes us to war with Iran, but I also don't think we should back away when they send mercenaries to kill our men and women in Iraq.

    Telling it like I see it,
    Wynter

    October 11, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Alex

    Am not sure which is worse for Clinton – that she authorized Bush to go war in Iraq on the one hand – or that she did not believe her vote was an authorization to go to war? I think believing that she did not authorize Bush to go to war in Iraq, and she does not realize that she just authorized Iran invasion is more than poor judgment, bordering more on gullibility.

    October 11, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. not a blind follower

    It is a shame that Obama criticized Clinton for vote on Iranian’s revolution guards. Where was he? HE PURPOSELY ESCAPED THE VOTE (SAME AS THE VOTE TO CONDEM THE AD BY MOVEON.ORG TO CRITICISE GENERAL PATRIAUS). No matter how one voted, he/she will be criticized by others. If one voted yes, he/she will be criticized by some as helping Bush; if voted "No", will be criticized by some as helping terrorists. So what Obama did? He escaped the vote, which is what he was elected to do, so he can watched the wind and say whatever he wanted to say depend which direction the wind blows. What a dirty politician. Who gave him right to criticize anyone while he is a biggest coward? He should not be elected to the Senate in the first place, let alone to run for president!

    October 11, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Smith, Washington D.C.

    I don't understand, does he not have any idea of the system he works for?

    In order to "go to war" with Iran, the white house would have to get some sort of approval from congress, it's by no means giving the president a blank check.

    I am sick of hearing congress whine about this rampant presidency. They have the power to constiutionally check the white house they just haven't used it.

    October 11, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Ken, NYC, NY

    I have a question, if Mr.Obama lose the primary,does he keep all those left-over campaign contribution ?

    October 11, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. Bob Dole, Hills, MTV

    To the person who said that the Shiites in Iraq are causing the trouble, the majority of terrorists in Iraq are Sunni, not Shia. This is evident from the fact that the Sunni's have a strict construction of the Koran while the Shiites have a looser construction.

    October 11, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Observer, Jacksonville, FL

    There is no question as to who has the best judgement and leadership foresight between Clinton and Obama. This vote by Clinton should clear the doubts of those who still think that Clinton would make a better president. Obama for 08!

    October 11, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. Mati, Seattle, WA

    Yes, many of you pointed out that Obama has no right to criticize Hillary. He keeps reminding us his "judgement on Irak" like Giuliani using 9/11 to manipulate voters.

    If the vote on the Iranian Rev Guard was so important, and Obama also had this premonition about 'not giving Bush a blank check', it means that going to the Senate to vote was supposed to be more important than campaigning. Why didn't he reschedule his trips and go there? I admire Hillary, at least she doesn't hide when she has to make decisions.

    October 11, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Wendy

    Why does CNN always promote Obama? Everbody knows Obama chicked out the vote for being afraid of the consequence of the vote. Why did CNN interview someone who does not even have the courage to vote to give opinion about someone else who does have the courage and does fullfil her Senator's responsibility, in contrast to Obama who escape the vote!!

    October 11, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. Rodney Dallas TX

    W, Worcester, MA

    Yes, there is a Hillary Supporter who supported the attack on Iraq. ME! The President LIED to everyone. She gave permission right along with the majority of the other politicians because they had "knowledge" from the president. She has said many times since that she regrets that vote because they were all mislead. I supported Hillary then and I support her now with her vote on calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Listen very closely, this bill DID NOT give Bush the authority to invade Iran as so many people think. Where did this idea come from anyway?

    October 11, 2007 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. don, Mississauga

    Obama is great at criticizing everything said and done by others.
    Yet has has not taken one diffinitive stand on any issue, and what he would do about it.
    He is the cheapest candidate in the race. He only reads the headlines, not the article

    October 11, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. Joanne, Des Moines, Iowa

    I like Clinton. I believe she would make a decent president. But making Clinton the Democratic nominee was be a catastrophe. Her polarizing effect will cause the Democrats to lose both the Senate and the HOR. No bills will be passed. The Iraq war will continue, forget about universal health insurance, not to mention any education or economic legislation. That's why I'll be voting for either Obama or Edwards. This country needs to unite and stop fighting internally if we are to ever make any progress and be respected by the rest of the world.

    October 11, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. Coach Haughton NH

    Dear Obama Fans: I respectfully dissent with you. Obama is inexperienced,and does not have the Presidential materials in him. He is too liberal, unlike Hillary. When Obama was a IL State Senator, he voted for partial birth abortion (Crushing the skull of full, grown baby; murder). Hillary is a centrist, unlike Obama. Bush banned it, and he did the right thing. I have a great respect and love for Obama, but I do NOT believe with conviction that Obama can be competative in moderate states, like Minnesota, Ohio in the general election. Please visit http://www.hillaryclinton.com, and help her to make a history by electing first female President in American history, and end the cycle of sexism and patriarchy.

    Posted By Providence, RI : October 11, 2007 12:58 pm

    Partial birth abortion is a non-medical term coined by the extreme right. The procedure you refer to is an Intact dilation and extraction. This procedure is sometimes a medical necessity for the life of the mother.

    Leave the baby killer scare talk to the republicans because most democrats including hillary are pro-choice. If you want to end the cycle of sexism you should applaud Barack for voting agaist putting laws on a woman's body.

    Calling hillary a moderate is a bit laughable when she is the person you see on TV bashing republicans constantly. Blaming the opposite side is the divisive game of political ping pong that Independants in moderate states don't like.

    Implying that voting against hillary is sexist is the same as implying that voting against jesse jackson or al sharpton is racist. C'mon man.

    October 11, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Heather, Nashville, TN

    And what exactly was your vote Mr. Obama? Oh that's right you weren't there to vote. What was more important than doing your job? Oh that's right campaigning. So we only have your word on what your vote supposedly was going to be.

    October 11, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. not a blind follower

    It is a shame that Obama criticized Clinton for vote on Iranian’s revolution guards. Where was he? HE PURPOSELY ESCAPED THE VOTE (SAME AS THE VOTE TO CONDEM THE AD BY MOVEON.ORG TO CRITICISE GENERAL PATRIAS). No matter how one voted, he/she will be criticized by others. If one voted yes, he/she will be criticized by some as helping Bush; if voted "No", will be criticized by some as helping terrorists.

    So, Obama escaped the vote, which is what he was elected to do, so he can watched the wind and say whatever he wanted to say depend which direction the wind blows. What a dirty politician. Who gave him right to criticize anyone while he is a biggest coward? He should not be elected to the Senate in the first place, let alone to run for president!

    October 11, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. Kristy, Chicago

    Those of you who are complaining that Obama didn't vote need to realize something. When you schedule appointments on a campaign trail, you do so well in advance. These are scheduled well before the agenda of any one senate meeting is planned. At that point, the candidate has to decide whether it's worth cancelling his scheduled appearance for the vote.

    The person who said he voted for partial birth abortion. You need to get your facts straight. He didn't vote for partial birth abortion, he voted against a ban on partial birth abortion. Was there a reason for this? Of course there was!!! He didn't vote for the ban because there was no clause stating an exception to protect the health of the mother.

    October 11, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
1 2 3 4 5