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. sonya, atlanta, ga

    If you watched Cspan you would see how things played out with that ammendment. Reid did pull the ammendment off the floor the day Obama was present saying that it was on idenfinate hold. 24 hours later Reid put the ammend on the floor for the vote, he clearly told staff to inform senators who were not present. An hour later the vote happen. Obama was already gone after the senate session the day before. Obama released his position as soon as he was informed on that a vote would happen. So, the Obama bashers get your facts straight. It makes no sense for Obama to not vote against the ammendment.

    October 11, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. sf, ca

    What was Obama's vote on this? Absent!

    Oh someone said his campaign schedules were pre-planned earlier so he could not make an emergency stop for the vote.

    Is our country more important or Obama's campaign schedule?

    Someone said on C SPAN it showed the voting was on hold for 24 hrs and Obama had left by then. I thought Obama has great judgement and this Iran discussion was crucial for America but Obama still had to sneak out before voting?

    Again someone said Do not forget that the margin for this bill passing was a wide one, so it would of not mattered if Obama voted. Well that means majority of Democratic Senators voted along with Hillary in the same way as she did. But why not influence and change all senators mind as a President on the Senate floor? If Obama can not rally his fellow senators then what charisma he has?

    Hypocrisy, double standards, superflous speeches dont go long way when reality and substance hits the country!

    October 11, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. david,montreal, canada

    really want to know why hillary voted for that resolution?its not a matter of flawed judgment but a matter of corruption.hillary gets the most money from the jewish lobbying group aipac. dont wonder why she votes for all resolutions favoring israel. it is not a US agenda to block iran but an israeli one.lieberman who is jewish is the co-sponsor of the resolution. the US needs someone working for the american people and not the aipac lobby group.

    October 11, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. david,montreal, canada

    hillary got paid to vote for this resolution, u want to know by whom?guess who gets the most money fron the jewish lobbying group aipac?hillary gets by far the most money.who cosponsored the resolution?lieberman(jewish).who benefits the most form the resolution?israel does and not the US.america needs someone who will work for them and not be a lobbying group surrogate

    October 11, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Steve

    "Is there a single Hillary supporter out there who believes invading Iraq was a good idea?

    Is there anyone out there who doubts that Cheney, specifically, lied his ass off about WMDs and especially nuclear weapons? Does anyone out there ever blame BUSH for what HE did?

    Pull your head out. Nearly EVERYONE was misled, including approximately 90% of Americans in 2001.

    October 11, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. pl. at the UN for a while.

    A war with Iran is unavoidable, Mr Obama–with or without your vote.

    October 11, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Jason Katzenberg, Duluth, GA

    Obama by avoiding to cast the vote thought he can have bothways. Very smart tactics! For the primaries, he can argue that the 'yes' vote is a blank check to Bush and I did not vote, but Hillary did. That will clear him on democratic mind that he is against attacking a country, but not for Hillary. If he wins the primary, he can get support from democrats for sure, but to republicans he can argue that his 'absent' vote is really not 'firm' vote, as Hillary's. But, Hillary can argue that her 'yes' vote is not a blank check to Bush. But at the same time she is tough and determined to attack Iran if the situation arises. Its mind bogling how these politicians play the tricks. Obama is certainly wrong in this and will loose his chances as VP if Hillary wins primaries.

    October 11, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    I wish someone would tell Edwards and Obama to stop distorting the truth on this.

    – It's not an Authorization to go to war with Iran.
    – Webb and Clinton have a Resolution (s. 759) already in the system that states the Bush can't use "any" funds to go to War against Iran without a vote authorizing it from Congress.

    So how can this be authorizing it in a resolution thyat denounces the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps
    While at the same time, you have a resolution saying "No War in IRAN!" to Bush in another?

    Seems Obama and Edwards are not telling us the truth.

    Telling it like I see it,

    October 11, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Uma, mpls, MN

    Mr Obama you ignore senate vote and you don't vote most of the time that doesn't make you perfect sir.
    Hillary's vote is not a flaw that is strength in her side. She knows she is doing.
    FYI, it is not a bill to invade Iran; don't think that voters are stupid. we do research about each candidate; you have enough dirt in your plate in your short time of political life.

    October 11, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. JB Hull, IA

    Yes, there was no way Obama could have gotten there in time to vote on the amendment, since Reid had said that it was tabled "indefinitely" the day before when he was there. Hillary supporters think that the fact that Obama wasn't there that day gives her a pass for her vote. It doesn't. It wasn't Obama's fault he couldn't be there to vote. It was entirely Hillary's decision to cast that vote.

    October 11, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. jmaya, ihio

    I support Hillary's judgment any time and any day than Obama's. Obama harldy has any policy. He is the one of most flaw candidast so far we have. Barack is not Brad pitt and George colony so people has to vote for his look and suite. Mr bring your policy how you are going to run country.
    Americans do you forget that these Revolutionary Guard captured American diplomats and killed some of them in '70s. Obama work on senate, go to vote and feel guilty just taking people tax money dude. Not voting doesn't make you perfect; it makes you clueless politician and thats what you are.
    FORHilalry, '08

    October 11, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. TC Minneapolis MN

    Ha! My comment got removed because I said that those of you who think George Bush wants to go to IRAN are idiots and not well read. The United Nations is more behind going after Iran than G.W. Bush. Quit blaming him for everything.

    October 11, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Rodney Dallas TX

    It's funny you say Obama missed the vote. Every other candidate made it. Obama was elected to be a Senator from Illinois. He should be doing his job in Washington first and running for president second. He has obligations that he clearly isn't taking care of. What makes you think he's gonna do a good job as president? He can't even do it current job!

    October 11, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. jmaya, ihio

    Dear Obama supporters;
    I am a die-heart Hillary supporter. I did my research to support her; you treat Hillary supporters are as dumb. I admire Bill Clinton but i am not supporting Hillary because she is his wife.

    Whoever thinks that Hillary supporters are supporting Hillary due to Bill factor is insane. Mr/Mrs you do research about Hillary's policy on different issue. She is the most experience, intelligent and knowledgeable presidential candidate we have.
    I hope this helps the person who is curious about Hillary supporters!
    Hillaryto win, president, '08!

    October 11, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |

    This guy is always working against U.S interest in the Islamic world. Check this out.
    First, he said that he will attack Pakistan which is the only U.S. ally in the Islamic world fighting terrorism.
    Second, he stopped wearing the U.S. flag lapel pin.
    Now he is criticizing Hillary for voting to call Iran's revolutionary guard a terrorist group. What is wrong with this guy? He is always protecting U.S. enemies or he is afraid of them and doing things that make them happy. What is wrong with him?

    I am asking the same question with Ken, NYC, NY. Does he have to keep all the left over campaign money after he looses the election? I hope not.

    October 11, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  16. Ron, TX

    Would you rather vote for someone who was -misled- by Republicans, as Hillary claims, or someone who can see past the Republican charades and make the correct decision.

    Everyone needs to remember what Barack Obama said in a speech on Oct 26, 2006:
    "I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

    I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars."

    Would you rather have someone who went along with the Republicans, or someone who got it ONE HUNDRED PERCENT correct?

    October 11, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. Ron, TX

    Would you rather vote for someone who was -misled- by Republicans, as Hillary claims, or someone who can see past the Republican charades and make the correct decision.

    Everyone needs to remember what Barack Obama said in a speech on Oct 26, *2002*:
    "I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

    I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars."

    Would you rather have someone who went along with the Republicans, or someone who got it ONE HUNDRED PERCENT correct?

    October 11, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Enrique, Sierra Vista AZ

    Frankly, WHO REALLY CARES what this guy has to say about Senator Clinton. We all know he doesn't stand a chance on getting elected. If we just continue to stay focused looking toward the future then we will vote the right way, for the Honorable Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

    October 11, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  19. e, new orleans

    Barack Obama is saying his campaign will be moving into a new phase. It isn't quite new to be reiterating that Clinton supported the 2002 resolution in a louder voice. When will Obama challenge Clinton where it hurts?


    October 11, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |

    I don't know why my last post was deleted but I guess I will try again. Not being present for a vote does not inspire thoughts of leadership in my mind, it inspires cowardice. Intentionally not being present for a vote that may appear as divisive is a reprehensible thing for Barack Obama to have done. What I find even more pathetic is the fact that he had the NERVE to criticize Senator Clinton for voting for the resoluting saying she had flawed judgement.

    I wish all of Obama's supporters would realize that he is not qualified to be President. The only thing that he tries to use as his qualification for him to be President is the fact that he didn't vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq. What he doesn't say is that during that time period he was a State Senator in Illinois and could not have voted one way or the other on that particular issue. As I read some of these postings some people actually don't know that Barack was not in the Senate at the time of the war authorization. He does an excellent job of blurring this fact.

    This latest vote should prove to Obama supporters that he can't stand up to the heat of this political arena. It takes real leadership to make decisions and stand by them no matter if they are popular or not. This is why I applaud Senator Clinton. The Iraq vote has been a drag on her campaign but she has not fallen to public pressure and apologized for it or call it a mistake. This is the kind of leadership we need. Not someone who ducks and hides when the call to duty arises.

    Hillary 2008

    October 11, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Obama is trying to give this country a history lesson to avoid this country from sending our young men and women into unnecessary wars. This current administration has ignored the American peoples request to end the war and are looking forward to starting other wars without the help of Hillary.

    October 11, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. Getta Grip

    Oh for God's sake, give this a break already. Clinton voted on the same bogus information we were ALL fed by that war-monger-idiot Bush.
    Obama, give it up, you've already lost, stop wasting your time, the media's time and the country's time...go back home and claim you lost because of discrimination.

    October 11, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. A REALIST, L.A., CA

    Do your homework people.. Obama did not vote on the resolution because it was taken off of the schedule indefinitely the day before the vote. So Obama went to New Hampshire and that morning, Harry Reid (who coincidentally has ties to Hillary)brought the resolution back to vote that day. Obama did not have a chance to get back in time.. People, display the facts and don't just say he did not vote because he did not want to or whatever else the Hillary Kool-Aid tells you to say and think... This was the spin the Clintonites were hoping for.. They can say well at least she voted for something, which ignores the fact of what she did vote for and ignores the circumstances surrounding why Obama could not vote..
    Vote for Change America and see that Hillary is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

    October 11, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  24. Buggie, San Diego, CA

    Mr. Obama,

    Your assertion is at best a severe misrepresentation of the facts and at worst a lie. Unfortunately for you, most will simply view it as the latter; a lie to help your collapsing campaign. What was left of your dwindling credibility has just evaporated. I urge all voters to investigate this matter for themselves and not take your desperate ranting as the truth.

    October 11, 2007 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    Dan in TX.:

    "Calling part of the Iranian military a terrorist organization, when we are in a war on terror is significant. We should be able to strike terrorists whereever they are. If Iran is harboring terrorists, we should attack."

    Saddham Hussein was, I believe, labeled a "state sponsor of terrorism." President Bush accused him of harboring and training terrorists, as well as having links to Al Qaeda itself. AND YET, he had to go to Congress and get an authorization to use force against Iraq. And that was when his popularity was sky-high.

    In addition, in case you didn't know: Iran is ALREADY labeled a state sponsor of terrorists. They've "harbored" Hezbollah for years. So, by your logic, President Bush is ALREADY entitled to strike Iran as a place where "terrorists are."

    Sen. Clinton has previously warned President Bush that he does not have authority to attack Iraq. In February, I believe. She's co-sponsored a resolution to that effect.

    Whenever anybody tries to explain why Kyl-Lieberman is a "blank check," they always have to fall back on vague, lame claims of "moral authority," that completely ignores the language in Kyl-Lieberman, the legal basis for authority to wage war, as well as relevant recent history. The reason it's so difficult to explain why Kyl-Lieberman is a "blank check" is because it isn't.

    October 11, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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