January 31st, 2008
10:02 PM ET
7 years ago

Schneider: Clinton running from the past

She’s arguing that she supported the threat of force as a means of avoiding conflict. That’s a complicated case to make – and it still leaves the question: why did she think President Bush had the same judgment she did?

But here’s a new angle she hasn’t used before in these debates: that she would never have contemplated an invasion of Iraq. It’s another way of trying to draw a distinction between her views and the president’s. She’s running from the past.

–CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (329 Responses)
  1. Tom

    It sure does seem that way.

    January 31, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. George from Minneapolis

    Why cant she just be HONEST and say she made a mistake.

    She is not a straight shooter. One more reason we need Obama in the white house. At least he can answer a question with an answer to the actual question.

    January 31, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  3. Torrey


    I just heard Clinton say essentially that she had the same intelligence as Bush, knew that Saddam had used "bad stuff" in the past, knew that he could possibly be a threat – made a sound and reasonable decision at the time with what she knew...

    ... and then it was Bush's fault because he 'executed' the plan.

    Are you kidding me?

    The GOP oughta replay that clip over and over and over again.

    January 31, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  4. deb

    It's double talk so she doesn't have to take responsibility for a mistake in judgement. I for one would think a lot more of her if she admitted she made a mistake like everyone else who voted for it. But she can't do that because she didn't even read the intelligence report and just recently she voted again to make the Iran Republican Guard a terrorist group.

    She tried to say it is a national security thing, but we are less secure today because of the Iraq War.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. ed

    she should simply say that Bush lied to her like he did to all of America and the world

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  6. robert s. mirin

    those who do not learn from the past are concemned to repeat it

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  7. Benjamin

    Obama says lets be as careful getting out as we were getting into Iraq

    Hillary before him explains in great detail WHAT it takes to get out carefully, and that you can't put a date on it, because without understanding HOW to do it carefully, how can you plan to do it carefully?

    Rhetoric from Obama vs. plans and understanding of HOW from Clinton.

    We ALL believed the war in Iraq was noble and just at the time, (and not with 20/20 hindsight), because of the labeling and description of the threat from our White House and Intelligence Bureaus!!

    Obama didn't even vote for it, he had no say, and it's so easy for him to say he was against it, because his opinion at the time did not matter.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  8. Garth

    How can she be running from the past when she'll be the first female president? With what we knew at that time with the WMD's, if she didn't support the war then she would be labled as being against the securities of the US.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  9. Doc Bee

    The same thing for Saddam. He expected the kind of wars that he and the world had been accosted to under President Bill Clinton.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  10. Justin

    No not really there are ways to impose a direct force without engaging in conflict. There are many reasons why bush and her had they same judgment, unforuntiantly Bush had another agenda.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  11. agron

    Bill Schneider...please more respect to HILLARY CLINTON...

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  12. Latino44million

    Obama shows the same arrogance of Bush, "I have the Judgement" for one vote. If he was honest, then he would have voted NO every time. But he did not he voted exactly as Hillary, what happened to his judgement? I think that he voted thinking as a politician, and Hillary voted honestly on the issue at the time.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  13. Janice

    I wish someone would bring up NAFTA and the fact it has cost America millions of jobs. Bill Clinton did that, not Bush.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  14. Zinhead

    Bill. Clearly you do not like Senator Clinton. It is becoming obvious from all of your posts. All of you in the media are giving Senator Obama a free ride. Its clear in the questioning tonight. If he becomes president do you think the American people will give him a free ride? Do you think Iran will? As a life long Dem, I want experience especially after the past 8 years.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  15. Barbara

    You must be part of the right wing conspiracy,Bill. Surely she never REALLY meant that.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  16. John

    CNN, can we get the pro Clinton analyst for a little while?

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  17. Kristy

    Barack has been so tentative in his responses. Hillary is clear.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  18. Kurtis

    Has everyone gone temporarily insane? Have we forgotten the past (last 8 years)? The threat of force has always benefited us. It wasn't the threat of force that weakened us, it was the use of that power that has found us where we are today.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  19. David

    I noticed that Bill, thats what im talking about, as a good president, you have to make good judgement before acting like a dolley. Obama made that decision back 2003. Thank you Obama

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  20. Mimi

    Maybe not running...ok, running

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  21. Rich

    They never gave jon edwards anytime

    the media is clearly favoring obama

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  22. Kelly Ayers

    I can see it now... Clinton will have the epitaph of her political career, if elected president:

    If I had known then what I know now....blah blah....

    What a cop out!

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  23. Josie

    Bill, that is a bit unfair. And we all seem to have retrograde amnesia when this question comes up. We are still suffering from the curtailment of our civil liberties in the wake of 9-11, and the mindset of the nation at that time was one of fear. And keep in mind that she was in NY, where life was drastically affected by the attacks. I don't even think it is a fair questions given the lies we were all told.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  24. Scott

    I think it's fair for her to say her vote was a preliminary vote of military action. To expect it meant Bush would declare war and invade without the President telling congress directly that he intended to do just that is unreasonable.

    Surely if Bush had trusted lawmakers more and made his case to actually go to war and not just "use force", using force may have meant a great deal of options that did NOT include a full invasion of another Country.

    Her husband used Airstrikes in the Balcans and to his credit and success.

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Why does Clinton get to talk twice as much as Obama? Why don't the moderators moderate talking time?

    January 31, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
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