October 13th, 2007
02:10 PM ET
11 years ago

Edwards attacks Clinton stance on Iran

The Edwards campaign criticized Clinton's recent comments on Iran.

(CNN)–Former North Carolina senator John Edwards campaign accused Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York of flip-flopping her position on negotiating with Iran.

“Senator Clinton needs to be honest with the American people about her plans – but on everything from Iran to Iraq to Social Security, it seems she's trying to have it both ways," said Chris Kofinis, communications director for Edwards' campaign in a statement on Friday.

During a Democratic presidential debate in July, Senator Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said he would be willing to meet without precondition in the first year of his presidency with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.

Standing with him on stage, Clinton said she would first send envoys to test the waters and called Obama's position irresponsible and naive.

But asked about it Thursday by a voter, the New York senator said twice that she, too, would negotiate with Iran "with no conditions."

"I would engage in negotiations with Iran, with no conditions, because we don't really understand how Iran works. We think we do, from the outside, but I think that is misleading," she said at an apple orchard.

“It is very disappointing that Senator Clinton seems determined to hedge her responses on the issues that matter most to the American people. After six years of the Bush Administration’s disastrous foreign policy, the stakes in this election are too high," Kofinis went on to say in the release. "The American people deserve a president who will tell them the truth and offer straight answers, not flip-flops and political double-speak.”

Edwards was scheduled to campaign in New Hampshire on Saturday and Sunday.
Click here to CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iran • John Edwards • New Hampshire • Race to '08
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. fred,NH

    Tell her like it is John...way to go

    October 13, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Lakisha st.Louis, Mo

    Call her out John. That's right she is a complete flip-flopper.

    I am supporting Obama and hope you will become his VP

    October 13, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. pl. at the UN for a while.

    Cool it Mr Edwards, and let Ms Rodham Clinton take charge. She knows what she is doing and saying very well.

    October 13, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Jen, Gainesville, FL

    Edwards is definately right. Obama-Edwards 08!

    October 13, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Lance in Monrovia CA

    Typical Washington doublespeak by Clinton, the same sort of talking out of both sides of her mouth that she and Bush are both famous for.

    At least Edwards, as well as Obama, are actually saying what they mean and saying it consistantly from beginning to end of the conversation.

    I have a great deal of respect for both Edwards and Obama. I feel like they both represent a good directional shift in this country, a true voice of change. Although I like Edwards, I feel that Obama actually has the momentum to decisively defeat the RNC and become the next President. Edwards would be an awesome vice president.

    Obama has inspired me to really get involved in politics for the first time in my life. He continues to be a leader instead of the status quo.

    October 13, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. pl. at the UN for a while.

    Mr Edwards, please change your thumbnail: it makes you look scary.
    I suppose that at this point you must be going all-out to be the pawnbroker/kingmaker at the Convention?

    October 13, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. tony, san antonio, tx

    old hillary is not honest about anything. Just look at her record and that of her husband. People need to be doing some real research on these too and discover what they have really been up to all these years. The news organizations don't seen to have the internal fortitude to report it, so we have to do our own research. The clinton's can't cover up everything. Reasearch, reasearch, reasearch.

    October 13, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. TheInsider

    In six months, he'll be a contestant on, "Dancing with the Stars". He stands a much better chance of winning there...

    October 13, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Ben W., SLC, UT

    It is interesting to watch the polls that show how congress's approval ratings are lower than the President's, yet the top Democratic candidates are or were from the Senate. I'm really surprised Bill Richardson isn't playing up that side of the issue.

    October 13, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. THOMAS BILLIS las vegas nv

    Great after the war mongering Hillary seems to build an insurmontable lead the other candidates realize they are not running Pope.

    October 13, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Daniel NY

    Yesterday, Obama and Clinton exchanged some very harsh blows on Iran, and the Democratic race turned nasty. Edwards clearly feels that he has been left out of the Clinton-Obama dogfight and is trying to jump back in - only problem is that Clinton is refusing to answer Edwards's attacks. Full analysis on Campaign Diaries.

    October 13, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Turn up the volume on her, guys. She reminds me of the Wrigley gum chicklets who give us "two, two, two minds in one" candidate!

    October 13, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. PollM, Dallas Tx


    This is clearly a "switcharoo", call it what you want it is what it is.

    Any kind of distinction they're trying to make is full of you know what.

    Is Hillary Clinton making a clear and compelling distinction between meeting the Iranian

    President and Government to Government? http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=696

    October 13, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Maria, Houston

    Yes, Hillary would first send one of her famous Focus Groups...

    Speak up John, speak up about every lie, every manipulation! American voters need to learn the truth.

    Majority of Democrats are not voting for Hillary Clinton and many of her current "supporters" are just mislead by her name recognition and the initial media blitz. It's a bubble. The Emperor has no clothes! Point it out!

    October 13, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. laurinda,ny

    Talk with Iran? You can't talk with Iran. They know that our country has been weakened in the eyes of the world by this present administration. That guy is laughing at us. I saw him on 60 Minutes and he was so arrogant and even twisted everything around. You can't reason with a terrorist. Hillary is right.

    October 13, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. Lioness, Washington DC

    Edwards is dead on.

    October 13, 2007 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |


    October 13, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    Same old, same old:

    From the CNN/YouTube Debate Transcript:

    In 1982, Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel, a trip that resulted in a peace agreement that has lasted ever since.
    In the spirit of that type of bold leadership, would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?

    Please note that the question is about meeting with the LEADERS of the named countries and says nothing about establishing country-to-country negotiations with the states mentioned. If you read the whole transcript of the Q&A that has prompted this latest flurry of false charges, it's clear that she hasn't changed her mind about having a face-to-face meeting with Ahmadinejad, whom she termed a "figurehead."

    Senator Clinton has ALWAYS been in favor of negotiating with Iran. She has REPEATEDLY called for a robust diplomatic effort with Iran. Only the (unexpected) dishonesty and understandable desperation of Senators Edwards and Obama makes them pretend that they don't know and understand this.

    October 13, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. Obeserver

    Hilary is a flip-flop. She just says thinks to play to the crowd but her voting history is spineless and lacking in principle and quality leadership.

    October 13, 2007 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. Mark K, Vermilion, OH

    This is typical Clinton politics. Change your message based on the audience.

    Tell a group of veterans or military families you support them 100%.
    Then tell the anti-war groups that you think the military is too big and needs to be redeployed.

    Of course if both crowds are in the same venue, make sure to say, "I don't respond to hypotheticals". Just Perfect.

    Clinton needs to understand that every debate, interview, press statement, dinner, and presentation is part of a job interview. Its for the President of the greatest nation in the world, the United States of America.

    You don't got into a job interview for any position stating that you won't answer questions dealing with situations that are happening, will happen, or can happen.

    That is a sure ticket out the door and into unemployment.

    October 13, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.


    As we speak, the United States is carrying on government to government negotiations with North Korea. To my knowledge, President Bush HAS NEVER MET with Kim Jong-il.

    President Clinton too, carried on government to government negotiations with North Korea: I don't believe he ever met with the "Dear Leader" either.

    President Carter re-established diplomatic relations with Iran after the Shah was deposed. Lengthy negotiations were carried on between the governments of Iran and the United States to free the hostages. To my knowledge, President Carter never had a face-to-face meeting with any high-ranking government official in Iran as president.

    I could go on and on and on. But let me stop here and ask the question: can there be a clearer or more compelling distinction than one that exists in REALITY?

    October 13, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. Lee, Boston, MA

    Why is it so difficult to see the difference between negotiating government-to-government and meeting leader-to-leader? Really, can Senator Obama and former Senator Edwards not see this distinction, or do they actively choose not to?

    October 13, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. Carmen, Miami FL

    The term "flip flop" should be retired from any kind of political discussion.

    October 13, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    Edwards is absolutely correct – Hillary is the biggest flip-flopper on the entire planet. I would liken Hillary to leaf-tailed gecko (look up this little creature – he is pretty "cool") – he is an expert at hiding against the bark of a tree, just like Hillary is an expert at changing her positions whenever is it deemed necessary for her political gain. Another prominent feature of this specie is that if it is spotted by a predator, the gecko quickly sheds its tail, a trick that confuses the enemy while it escapes: something similar to the incident in Iowa when the voter approached Hillary about Iran (only Hillary attempted to confuse the voter, but he came out victorious, while she was left as a victim).

    I am not a Democract, but here is a piece of advice: if Hillary is your nominee, you will no doubt lose general election once again. Which of course is fine by me.

    October 13, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Melvin - Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    In her Iran statements, the keywords are "no condition" and the words "I will". I believe this situation exposes her game of creating false impressions on her opponents to score some propaganda points. She admitted that winning propaganda battles is her chief concern. Though she is skillful in manipulating the media, the problem is this approach doesn't fool people very long (ASK G. BUSH). I hope people wake up before its too late. I feel that she fails to think outside the box…thinking conventionally in unconventional times.

    Hillary Clinton says she will negotiate with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard with no conditions.

    Hillary Clinton votes to label this group a terrorist organization.

    Hillary Clinton says she will not negotiate with terrorist groups.

    Hillary Clinton ... seems conflicted...
    If you're trying to gain leverage with someone, you probably shouldn't eliminate an entire avenue of going forward (i.e. diplomacy) with the cast of a vote.

    Barack Obama has the ability and experience thinking outside of a box that Hillary is desperately trying to base her campaign on. Her experience, if she truly has any, is the wrong kind for our country at this point in history.

    October 13, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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