October 26th, 2007
09:00 PM ET
11 years ago

'08 Dems trade barbs over Iran

Watch Candy Crowley in the Situation Room Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination is heating up as Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York; Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois; and John Edwards, D-North Carolina, turn their attention to U.S. policy toward Iran. Watch Candy Crowley explain what the three Democrats have been saying about the Middle Eastern country.

Related: Iran becoming new Iraq on campaign trail

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iran • Iraq • John Edwards • The Situation Room
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Brian P Lenac, Everett WA

    So ridiculous.

    Everyone understands that Sunni and Shiite Arabs do not get along. One look at the daily reports of secterian violence in Iraq will illustrate that.

    It is a myth to state that Iran supports Al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden and his gang of criminals are Shiite. Iran is predominantly Sunni Wahhabist.

    They don't get along. They HATE and KILL each other. On top of it all, most Iranians are PERSIAN, not ARAB.

    Claiming we must attack Iran to stop thier support of Al-Qaeda is an utter joke.

    October 26, 2007 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  2. Lorenz, queens, NY

    Hillary voted for the Kyle/lieberman bill - she wants to go into Iran. She says our troops will still be in Iraq in 2012. Don't vote for her, she is a lier.

    October 26, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  3. kris, St. Paul, MN

    Both Edward and Obama are liars. Edward even didn't voted progressively when he was in senate and Obma just want to take senate money and never vote. OBama HUssein didn't have gut to show people what he believe and Edward can't vote now. They just Attacking Hillary's vote for political reason.

    October 26, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  4. Brian P Lenac, Everett WA

    The Democrats should stop worrying about how they are going to spin the coming war in Iran, and start worrying about getting us out of the illegal war in Iraq.

    They were elected primarily for this purpose and so far have failed miserably, hence their abysmal approval ratings.

    It's almost as if the Dems seem to think they can remain complicit about the Bush admins criminal lies that led us into Iraq since it's almost election time. How many of our boys and girls will die over thier before Jan. 09?

    They just don't get it, do they?

    October 26, 2007 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  5. TheInsider

    Dear TheInsider,

    I'm afraid your momentum-killer claims are inaccurate. All information I have indicates upward momentum from the Obama campaign. You underestimate the springboard he'll get from taking Iowa, and his inevitable traunching of the other candidates in South Carolina.
    Posted By TheOtherInsider, H Street, D.C. : October 13, 2007 4:01 pm

    He has fallen in the polls. His fundraising is down. On Monday, everyone will be able to see how much money he's blown to be so far behind.
    The only momentum the Obama campaign has right now is backwards, and you don't even have to be an insider to see that.
    Mark my words; Within two weeks (maybe less) the depth of the Obama campaign's troubles will be the biggest news coming from his camp.
    PS Real political insiders can spell.

    Posted By TheInsider : October 13, 2007 4:19 pm

    Obama Fundraiser Defects to Clinton

    By NEDRA PICKLER – 6 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A longtime Democratic fundraiser has abandoned Barack Obama's campaign to help rival Hillary Rodham Clinton win the party's presidential nomination.

    Bob Farmer, who was a top fundraiser for several past Democratic presidential candidates, had served on Obama's national finance committee.

    What'd I tell you?

    October 26, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. diane l. machesney park, IL

    what CNN and the rest of the media always fails to tell people is that Harry Reid told Obama that the vote would not be coming up at all. After Obama left for campaigning, Reid suddenly pulls it on the floor and has an immediate vote making it impossible for Obama to get back in time.
    Reid probably did this as his son works for Hillary and she thought without Obama voting, she votes for the measure and erails Obama.
    In other words, Reid sold Obama out.
    I really wish the media would tell the truth and quit moddy coddling Hillary all the time and giving her a free pass on everything.

    October 26, 2007 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  7. We can choose peace

    Hillary Clinton's vote on the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment proves to me that she does not possess the judgement to be my president. I am a mother of a teenager. I don't want to see the draft reinstated so that the U.S. will have the troops necessary to fight a war in Iran.

    Hillary Clinton will not get a "do over" like she did when she retracted the $5K baby bonds. She has already contributed to the loss of American lives with her Iraq war vote. While some polls may suggest that many have forgotten about this misguided vote. I have not. And I will work to make sure that others do not as well.

    No more Clinton's, No more Clinton's No more Clinton's.

    Let's move on and attempt to restore a time of peace for our nation.

    October 26, 2007 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  8. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Whats the politically correct way to say "I voted for the war....before I voted against it"?? (no matter – Hillidiots will back her regardless)

    October 26, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. sf, ca

    Diane, who told you the truth? Some frustrated, over jealous web blogger for Obama? The truth is Obama was in NH for campaigning during the vote. He could not cancel his campaiging as it was scheduled long back. He can take a chartered flight to come over to Beltway for an emergency and it takes only an hr from there. But Obama didnt feel the vote was an emergency. Now make your decision and stop taking your frustation out on media like the right wing Faux News does.

    what CNN and the rest of the media always fails to tell people is that Harry Reid told Obama that the vote would not be coming up at all. After Obama left for campaigning, Reid suddenly pulls it on the floor and has an immediate vote making it impossible for Obama to get back in time.
    Reid probably did this as his son works for Hillary and she thought without Obama voting, she votes for the measure and erails Obama.
    In other words, Reid sold Obama out.
    I really wish the media would tell the truth and quit moddy coddling Hillary all the time and giving her a free pass on everything.

    Posted By diane l. machesney park, IL : October 26, 2007 11:03 pm

    October 27, 2007 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  10. Daniel, NY

    Too bad for Obama he co-sponsored the same amendment last April.

    October 27, 2007 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  11. Glenn,Bham,Al

    Having a military presence in Iraq is American policy (Democrats & Republicans) congressmen & front running President elects agree. Its the same reason we still have troops in Germany,
    Japan & Korea. We live,all of us (conservative liberals & moderates) in a violent aggressive & competitive world. WE Americans love to burn oil & live energy consuming lives. We will pay big bucks to do this. Example (Al Gore). Result we need a big HIRED armed force to do this....

    October 27, 2007 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  12. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Diane, IL, "Reid sold Obama, Hillary has free pass, Media didn't tell the truth". Your expectation is incorrect. Obama said his judgment is better than Hillary's experience, why Obama depends on Reid or Media? He is running the President of USA, he should know what to do, he should decide what he needs and he has the money, why didn't fly back to vote with that much fund and give us a flimsy excuse. The reason he didn't vote is that he doesn't want to make another mistake because he hated naive and inexperienced title. Now he attacks Hillary with vote, is it fair? No.
    Diane, Obama proved his God is highier than our Country(flag pin, didn't put hand on his heart, he said he is God, Joshua and JFK etc...), Obama's inexperienced career is too weak to handle Republican's dirty trick, your Obama support helps Republican. You should open your ears and eyes, then you will have the truth, don't blame others, Obama is responsible for his words and actions. Hillary has no free pass, she earned everything with hard work. She is a smart leader and will be next President.

    October 27, 2007 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  13. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    Sen. Obama opposed the Iraq War Resolution. Good for him; of course, he wasn't in the Senate at the time.

    As Senator, he fled the Kyl-Lieberman vote to campaign in New Hampshire. Afterwards, he called the Resolution, which does not authorize or even urge the use of force against Iran in Iran, a "blank check" for the President to wage an Iranian War.

    When he had to put this "blank check" language in writing, he quickly downgraded the Kyl-Lieberman threat to one that raises the "risk of war." Much lamer.

    Then, Senator Clinton pointed out that he was one of the co-sponsors of S.970, which would, if passed, designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist "organization," similar to Kyl-Lieberman.

    Sen. Obama responded that what he really objected to was not designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. (How could we so mistake the man?) No, what he really didn't like about Kyl-Lieberman was that it advocated using U.S. forces to combat Iran in IRAQ.

    So THEN Sen. Clinton was forced to disinter this excerpt from a speech Sen. Obama gave last year, saying:

    "Such a reduced but active presence [the smaller U.S. troop size in Iraq Sen. Obama was proposing] will also send a clear message to hostile countries like Iran and Syria that we intend to remain a key player in this region."

    Later in the same speech, Sen. Obama added:

    "Make no mistake, if the Iranians and Syrians think they can use Iraq as another Afghanistan or a staging area from which to attack Israel or other countries, they are badly mistaken. It is in our national interest to prevent this from happening."

    How would he prevent Iranians from doing anything they pleased in Iraq, except through the combat use of the reduced but active troop presence he advocates in the speech?

    Taken together, H.R. 1400 and this speech represent almost the identical position espoused in Kyl-Lieberman. But with respect to the many different stories Sen. Obama has told about the basis of his opposition to Kyl-Lieberman, it's difficult to tell what his position is, much find a clear difference between his stance and Sen. Clinton's.

    October 27, 2007 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  14. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    diane l. machesney park, IL:

    The "truth" about Sen. Obama's missed vote is that he chose to leave Washington to campaign in New Hampshire rather than staying in the Senate for the vote. Sen. Reid said that there would be no vote in the near future. "Near future" is a vague term. Sen. Reid clarified his statement by saying that expected "tonight" to bring more clarity to the issues holding up the vote. That was indeed what happened and the vote occurred on the next day. Sen. Obama either wished to evade the vote, or thought it more important to campaign yet again (!) in New Hampshire rather than voting on what he later termed a "blank check" enabling the President to start a war, or both. That's it, end of story.

    Now, let's look at your scenario. Sen. Reid, to help out his son, prostitutes his leadership position to trick Sen. Obama into leaving the Senate so he'll miss the vote. Only problem, he makes the announcement before the entire Senate. All of the other senators running for president (except John McCain) stay and vote. Senators Obama and McCain are the only senators who miss the vote. Are these two senators more stupid than the other senators running for president? (I exclude Sen. Clinton of course who, in your script, was probably in on the plan.) Alternatively, did Sen. Reid call up all the other senators and tell THEM when the vote was REALLY going to be? If he wanted to benefit Sen. Clinton, why did he let Senators Biden and Dodd in on the "secret" that he was hoping for a vote very soon? (Which he also announced to the whole Senate.) This theory makes no sense and is an unwonted attack on Sen. Reid's ethics in conducting his leadership duties.

    October 27, 2007 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. VanReuter NY NY

    ...If, as Obama's supporters contend, Harry Reid tricked Obama BECAUSE his relative works for Hillary's campaign, to MAKE Obama miss the vote on the non-binding resolution declaring the Iranian Guards elite squad a terrorist organization, what would the MOTIVE be? For the sake of argument, let's suppose that the Clinton people had such a hold over Reid because his relative had a job with the campaign (how likely is that?) that he, the senate majority leader would schedule a specific vote to, "trick", a SINGLE senator into missing it. Why would CLINTON want him to miss the vote? What's the motive? Obama supporters are ardent about the potential HOW, despite the, "six-degrees-of-Kevin Bacon"-ness of it, but even allowing FOR it's tissue-thin plausibility, what about the WHY?

    What benefit would Clinton derive from Obama missing the vote? Did she plan to make an issue of his missing the vote, perhaps as part of a larger strategy of highlighting Obama's dismal attendance record during his short tenure in the august body? That MIGHT make sense if she was trailing him in the polls, but as you don't go after the people behind you, unless responding in kind to a statement from a rival campaign, it isn't likely.

    Did she KNOW which way Obama would vote? There isn't any record of his speaking out against the nbr prior to the vote, so if she did, it wasn't public knowledge to the best of mine anyway, but again, for the sake of argument, let's suppose she did. What benefit would she derive from making him miss a no vote.
    I can't for the life of me think of a single one. It wasn't going to affect her vote and she knew that she would get some flak, at least from Dodd, who HAD spoken out about the vote and Biden who I can't find anything on one way or the other, if HE voted against too, so Obama voting no wouldn't really mean much to Clinton, because there wouldn't be any difference in how Obama voted FOR Clinton.
    The conspiracy theories fall apart because there's no motive. The Reid, Reid's relative, Clinton connection and contention isn't very plausible to begin with, but in the absence of motive, it doesn't really matter.

    When I was thinking about the idea of motive, I asked myself, "Who WOULD have motive to make Obama miss that vote, and the glaring, obvious answer almost smacked me...Obama, that's who.

    Nobody had more of a motive to intentionally miss the vote than Barack Obama. What would be the DOWNSIDE of missing the vote and what would be the UPSIDE?. That all depended on how he was going to vote. (Again if there is some ironclad, incontrovertible proof that was repeated in the reputable media that his intention were clear prior or the vote, I'm only writing this because I couldn't find any, so I'm stuck fleshing out both scenarios) If he was going to vote YES, it could be a problem; He'd be savaged by the netroots, who had begun to sour on him due to his failure to go after Hillary with more venom and he'd lose his anti-war cred that was his biggest debating point against Clinton who was DEFINITELY going to vote YES.

    If he voted NO, he ran the risk of seeming WEAK on defense, and he'd be vulnerable to attack from the republican candidate in the general election on one of the most important qualifications voter's take into account, and an area that public and internal polls told Obama he was already seen as lacking in, being a STRONG leader. If he voted no and won the nomination, he could lose the general election on this one topic. It's the ONLY republican strong suit left, but more than one democrat had fallen on this single issue before, (calling the "duke".) and Obama is too smart to set himself up for defeat.

    Looking at it logically, he ran risks voting either way, but ran almost NO risk by MISSING the vote. His vote wasn't going to make any difference one way or the other, as the motion passed by a huge margin, 76-22. It was a non-legislative, "sense of the senate" vote carrying all the weight of law that the Petreus/betray Us denunciation, or National Potato Week does. There was really more reason to miss the vote than make it, and more risk in voting than missing the vote.

    While Harry Reid seems to be very clever, I don't think he could out-wit Barack Obama. Maybe I'm wrong, but he seems like he can run RINGS around Reid, physically and mentally. To believe that Harry Reid was able to TRICK Obama into missing a vote is a bit of a stretch. Not that anyone had motive to get Reid to trick him in the first place. By missing the vote, Obama was free to use Clinton's yes vote in his campaign rhetoric while not having to explain a yes vote, if he is the nominee. Pretty smart if you ask me, whether he gets the nomination or not.

    October 27, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. Uriew, CA

    BS. What do you mean "what did I tell you?" You think Bob Farmer did not feel obligated to the Clintons after he decided to work for Obama? Cmon he worked in the Clinton administration and was always being pressured by the Clintonistas even after he decided to support Obama. Maybe he was told to defect or lose some favor that the Clintons had promised. For us we sa "Good riddance?" I am still waiting to hear from you claim that Obama burned out his money even after the FEC reports showed only a difference of 2 million with Clinton in the bank, and then Obama asked us supporters to fill that gap and guess what we did it in 4 days by donating $25 unlike Hillary bundlers who are forced to donate 1000s of doallars each for her to be able to compete in the same league with Obama. So if you think the leaving of Bob Farmer means the campaign is losing ground continue dreaming my friend. The world is littered with dreamers who dont realize the time has come. And it is time for Obama. Wait this coming week for a great gift to Hillary for her 60th birthday, a documentary showing how the Clintons deceived people with their fundraising with Peter Paul. The Clintons then turned their backs on someone who had helped them raise millions of dollars and now they are calling him a pathological liar. I am sure Bob Farmer was afraid of the turncoat Clintonistas! We can all see the beginning of the end fo Hillary!

    October 27, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Jeff from Jersey

    Kyle/Lieberman bill does nothing but keep all options openIt doesn't mean war.It doesn't meam bombing.It doesn't mean invasion.It sends the message to Iran that you will not be able to influence our presidential elections by threat or by pandering.It also keeps those options on the table for leverage in the diplomatic effort to keep pressure on Iran to peacefully resolve the situation regarding nuclear weapons,terrorism and other critical issues affecting the safety of the world.Clinton was absolutly right in voting in favor of the bill.

    It is crystal clear that the anti Clinton factions are either ignorant of the facts or are just knee-jerk idiots looking to smear her with their own fears,fantasies and failings.

    In case you just woke up from a coma:


    October 27, 2007 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  18. Tere, FL

    Cmon Dawn,
    Dont be naive! You think Reid was worried abou Biden and Dodd. They are second tier candidates give me a break. Obama is the only big threat to Hillary so he is the one Reid was more interested in getting out of Washington so he can schedule the date. BS, you think when someone says "no vote in the near future" it could mean a next day vote is not a near future? Stop being delusional! When I say that statement, "no vote in the near future" I definitely dont mean the vote will be anytime at least in a week, Cmon. Maybe Reid has learned to use vague terms just like Hillary does. So you think that is a vague term and that it is justified for Reid to schedule the vote? Another thing is that the other senators Dodd and Biden were not scheduled to be away on a campaign trip and neither was Hillary so Reid took advantage of that situation. In few weeks we will be asking Reid what he meant by "no vote in near future." An intelligent person at least with a GED can tell that it does not mean a next day vote! Dont give us that BS about ethics for Reid! No matter the situation, the fact that Obama did nt vote does not mean Hillary's Yes vote should not be attacked coz we all know it was wrong. I am sure the Hillary campaign is beginning to run out of cut and paste responses to attacks such as "what happened to the politics of hope." The fact is that Hillary's vote was wrong and the Obama campaign will not be silenced and it will bite her back as we begin to see the beginning of her end

    October 27, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |

    I would love to blow up Iran, but would we live to regret it?

    October 27, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. TheInsider

    BS. What do you mean "what did I tell you?" You think Bob Farmer did not feel obligated to the Clintons after he decided to work for Obama?

    You know nothing...

    Farming for dollars
    Chris Bull, senior political correspondent
    If money is the lifeblood of American politics, then Bob Farmer is the Democrats’ arteries, veins and heart.

    The openly gay Farmer is national treasurer for John Kerry’s presidential campaign, which has raised a whopping $204 million. That cash infusion has allowed Kerry to level the playing field, at least financially, against President Bush, a prodigious fund-raiser in his own right.


    Farmer is just the first defection that you'll see between now and NYD.
    There's another biggie coming in November, that will be called a re-organization, but is really a shake-up.
    The machines are still working, but the patient is DEAD.

    October 27, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. TheInsider

    am still waiting to hear from you claim that Obama burned out his money even after the FEC reports showed only a difference of 2 million with Clinton in the bank,:

    You know nothing...

    Burn Rate Obama 1.04, Clinton .81

    Final FEC expenditures for Obama STILL not filed.

    Obama Campaign Spending Report Incomplete
    WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 — In his third-quarter financial report filed this week with the Federal Election Commission, Senator Barack Obama did not provide a full accounting for where his campaign had spent money on travel, catering or a variety of other expenses."

    Outraised by 6.5 MILLION in Q3. The, "gap", was already much greater than 2 Million. His flat-lining in the polls is driving his bundlers crazy and his donors to hedge their bets and close their wallets.
    Your talk of the difference between who contributes to campaigns confirms your ignorance. go here and learn;


    Money follows a winner, and those who see Obama winning are dwindling daily.

    October 27, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. the monster masher, philadelphia, pa.

    We have to do something about Iran before they do something to us.

    October 27, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. Ron, TX

    Obama's issue is not calling the Iran Revolutionary Gaurd terrorists, an idea he agrees with. THe bill Obama voted for last April EXPLICITLY said that the bill was NOT justification to attack Iran. Obama's issue is linking TROOP LEVELS in Iraq to Iran. And, there is NO explicit statement baring an attack, in fact, there are explicit statements that support military actions. THAT is what the Kyl-Lieberman bill very clearly does. It also VERY CLEARLY says that the US may use "military instruments" against Iran. Hillary is a spin-master. Read the key text from the actual resolution for yourself:

    (3) that it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies;
    (4) to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy described in paragraph (3) with respect to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies;

    October 27, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    Hillary has NOT increased her lead Nationally. The Media, who is Campaigning for her, keeps reporting polls of 300-999 LIKELY voters who do not have cell phones or computers to vote. Just old fashion home phone. Even with that, if you look at 2004. What ever the National poll numbers are around April of 2003 are what they stay at all until people vote. The media just plays numbers games I guess to make it interesting for them. Look it up and you will see that in 2003 Feb to April poll numbers were what the final numbers were for the winners in the Democratic Primary. Clinton is up in April Nationally about 15% and still is at 15%. The 30% 50% 100% NOSENCE reported by the media is just that NONSENCE.

    Obama has been Rallying 24,000 to 2,000 folks at his Rallies across the US. With thousands of volunteers on the ground though out the US. Obama has just has raised 2.1 Million in 2 days. He has raised the most primary money than all candidates. Including Hillary. Obama does not need to go negative. When the time is right which is NOW. He will highlight the differences between them. The Media just wants Obama to play by their playbook, which is outdated. As far as the notion that Hillary must make a mistake to lose. No, she has already made enough mistakes in the last 20 years to lose. Obama just has to start pointing them out.

    October 27, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Uriew, CA

    Trust me. Obama money support from small donors like us is not dwindling. I am always ready to send money whenever he asks so are more than 365000 other donors like me. Why is it that Clinton does not want to disclose how many donors she has. She needs the big money special interests like Peter Paul to donate huge sums unlike Obama who depends on real day to day people who are not millionaires but want to own the campaign and bring change from the bottom up. You wanna talk about changes in campaign staff? How about how many people who were serving in the Iowa staff of Hillary have left her campaign? Dont give us that BS. The report you refer to about not disclosing expenditure yet has more to do with specific expenses not the total amount of expenses. It takes time to mention that Obama paid $200 for a hotel room in this particular city in Iowa or NY, but the bank balance has already been filed and is complete. We know the difference in bank balance at that time was 2.1 million dollars and guess what, we Obama supporters contributed samll amounts in 4 days to come up with that difference. I am sure it will take a lot of arm twisting for Hillary's campaign to achieve anything like that. I am sure people like you are mad as hell that we have taken away many former Bill Clinton associates into our campaign such as Governor of Massachusetts etc. Prepare for the end of Hillary in the next few months. I am not sure if you are an intern of the Clintons or what coz you seem prepared to defend almsot anything the Clintons do no matter how obviously wrong. The gap we are talking about is primary money so heck with teh 6.5 figure you are giving. Right now the focus is on the primaries and trust me the other election money is irrelevelant for Hillary since even if she wins nomination, which trust me she will not, the Republicans have been preparing for her and no matter how much money she has then, she is FINISHED. Prepare for the end sooner though, at the primaries. It will be less painful then and we can even sympathize with you and invite you to the Obama wagon. Lets go change the world, TheInsider.....

    October 27, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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