March 7th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama defends Iraq stance

 Obama defended his Iraq stance Friday.
Obama defended his Iraq stance Friday.

(CNN) - Barack Obama hit back at rival Hillary Clinton's suggestions earlier Friday he wasn't serious about withdrawing from the war in Iraq, telling a Wyoming crowd he was against the war from the beginning while the New York senator "doesn’t have standing to question my position on this issue."

"Don’t be confused," Obama said at a campaign event in Casper. When Senator Clinton is not even willing to acknowledge that she voted for war. She says she voted for diplomacy despite the title that said ‘Authorization to use U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq.’"

The back-and-forth comes after former Obama advisor Samantha Power called Obama's Iraq plan a "best case scenario" in an interview with the BBC, and said the Illinois senator "will of course not rely upon some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or U.S. senator" to remove U.S. troops from Iraq.

Clinton pounced on the comments earlier Friday in a Wyoming press conference with reporters, saying "This is the latest example of promising the American people one thing on the campaign trail and telling people in other countries another."

Obama brushed aside Clinton's characterization of the comments Friday.

"Now what is true is that I want to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in. And I want to make sure that our troops are protected and safe as we are withdrawing them, and I don’t want us to see Iraq collapse,” he said. “Which is why I have put out the most detailed plan in terms of making sure that we have humanitarian aid in place, and making sure that we are working with the Iraqis to negotiate diplomatically inside the country as well as the regional powers there and that we have a international commission to monitor against war crimes that might occur as we are pulling out."

Obama refused to comment on Power's resignation from his campaign Friday and the heated rhetoric from both his campaign and Hillary Clinton's after the former adviser was quoted calling Clinton a "monster."

– CNN's Alexander Mooney and Chris Welch

soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. Pat M Canada

    Just because Obama foolishly produced his Income Tax Return doesn't mean all Candidates have to follow suit. What about John McCain, why aren't you asking him to produce his? And the only reason Obama produced his now is because his tax return for this year might be problematic if proven he has any questionable involvement with Rezko.Therefore, he gets his Income Tax Report out of the way now to take the heat off him! People are so easily fooled!

    As far as Obama's comments about Clinton and the Iraq War Yes Vote (which are getting very tiring and Old Hat.") The Report Titled "Authorization to use U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq’" apparently fooled more Politicians than Clinton. As there were others who also voted yes. And Authorization to Use US Armed Forces does not translate as "SHOCK & AWE" or BOMB THEM INTO SUBMISSION.

    And Obama's NO VOTE had no consequence as he didn't have to be held accountable for his vote at that time. But, I'm really surprised he didn't Vote Present on that one too like the one hundred plus other Presents he affixed his pen to.

    March 7, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  2. beebop

    Why is it that Senator Obama cannot answer a question? The issue of whether he means what he says has absolutely nothing to do with how Senator Clinton voted. He might want to stay positive and answer his questions. That's the type of leadership America deserves. We had eight years of but but but Clinton from the Republicans. I am a little tired of his no answers. When he takes off his shining armor, he really is the "invisible man."

    March 7, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  3. True Democrat

    YOU GO GET HER, OBAMA! AS INSPIRING AND SINCERE AS EVER!

    Meanwhile, Hillary just keeps up desperate, pathetic attack after attack. Reject her nasty politics!

    Vote for real change! Real hope! Real substance!

    OBAMA '08!!!

    March 7, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  4. Steve

    Factcheck says Strike 1 he takes his Lobyist money thru spouses and family
    Strike 2 the two mailers in Ohio &Texas were totally false
    Stike 3 The NAFTA Canada statement is true
    Stike 4 Resko he worked for while under investigation and has known hiim for years
    Now Stike 5 Irag and Bitian I can't wait to see what factcheck.org has the say about this next after they investigate
    How much more crap on Obama has to be proven before the Dems wake up. If he's nominated which I believe the Reps. want there Swift Boat Crew will eat him alive just like Kerry 4yrs. ago
    We need an awakening before it's to Late

    March 7, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  5. joy

    Anybody putting up with Bill"s roving eye's, hands, and god knows whatever else for over 35 years; has no other choice but to be a "MONSTER". It's called , "survival of the fittest". He's made her so hard and angery over the years that she feels that thats the only way to handle things. To be a "pit bull ", and you know what happens to them after a while.....
    8 years of Billary was enough, the times were good then. But that was the past , we as a country are trying to go into the future. A future that our children and there children will have to live in. They don't want to fight a war that your 35 years of experience have gotten us into. They think differently about things, then we do. This is there world and everything "CHANGES". Which means that it's time for you and Bill to sit back and let the youth take over the reins.
    Please...... It's not necessary to be so negative to make a point.
    Your horns and tail comes out a little too often. Then you show the real you. Which we already knew was there. Maybe Harvard will give you the "Hasty Pudding Award" this year !!!!!

    March 7, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. Marina

    It is so unfair......In history, have we ever seen a former President and his wife campaign for the Presidency of the U.S.? What a joke....if we weren't the laughing stock of the world before, well we surely are now. The Democratic party better pull it together.....or 1) they'll be accused of being controlled by and kowtowing to the Clinton machine, or 2) they'll end up just handing the Presidency to McCain.....they might as well just do it now. Great job. Howard Dean, you better get those Clintons in check, because we're about to loose the White House..

    March 7, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. Sharon

    I believe Senator Clinton's point was actually that Senator Obama's rhetoric doesn't always match what his advisors say in other countries. That he says one thing in a stump speech, and then his advisors go out and say another thing (oh, don't listen to what he says on the stump, that's just rhetoric to impress voters).

    What I find amusing, is the media doesn't realize how often he fails to answer any charges directly. His response always seems to have some spin, deflection and redirection, whereby he ends with a negative attack against Senator Clinton. The media, rather than catching on, always ends up running off to check into his attack against Senator Clinton. Case in point, the media ask him about Rezko, and he walks out of the press conference and his campaign comes out the next day with another demand for Clinton's tax returns, so the media runs off and asks Clinton about her tax returns, never realizing that this has become a repetitive pattern, and that their original questions were not answered.

    Now, I respect Senator Obama, but feel he is not yet ready to run for president (and I made that decision after doing research on his website). I'm also getting sick of him constantly going back to the Iraq war, aside from his speech, I don't think he has identified any actions he took to stop the war or to bring it to an end. Unless he can point to specific steps (actions) he took to keep us from going to Iraq, or to end the war while he was in the Senate, then his speech is not enough for me.

    March 7, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  8. K.Celina IL

    Voters, i can't imagin how people, young people are naive.
    Obama is nothing, just simple man, who was told; " Boy, you won't be able to keep any job, you are lazy " words of a daughter of the property owner, who hired young Obama to do some garden work.
    Obama was a teenager, living at that time in South Carolina.
    Obama is lazy, not organized (his words:I need someone to help me out, becouse i may loose it, before I need it), poor judgement ( Rezko link). I don't see that man in a very responsible position !!!!!!
    HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT !!!!!

    March 7, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  9. E1944

    Tommy
    Is the Peter Paul case finished? Is the Norman Hsu case finished?
    Where are the tax returns? I could go on but it wouldn't do any good
    because you're a brainwashed I_ _ _.

    March 7, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. Deb C

    Wow! Hillary is fired up about a campaign aides comments. She is aiming at anything. It is scary, her ways. She attack on the little things when one attacks her on a major issue, her judgement. Let's face it. She has not change from when she was first lady in the whitehouse. It reminds me how the Clintons tip-toped on many issues that were hardcore against them during the Clinton presidency. Putting the focus on others so that no one would really see what is really going on with them. This is not a way to go and it is definitely turning me off. I have been swaying from Clinton to Obama. I see Obama as steadfast. I see Clinton as punching, pushy and changing with the tide. This is not one I would say has a decisive judgement.

    March 7, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  11. african american for Hillary

    Obama has never been upfront to answer questions to the media, what are you hiding Obama?.

    March 7, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  12. ashlee

    I am seriously concerned for all the Obama supporters who continue to drink the Koolaid. Getting caught up in the hype was one thing, but now Obama has been exposed. He is not for change at all. Same old crooked politician, in bed with Resko, making back room deals with Canada, Columbia, and telling the American people what they want to hear about the Iraq war. Additionly, he has no experience and is is campaigning just as any other politician. At least Hillary supporters are not under any illusions. We no what were voting for. Do you? Have another sip of the Koolaid!!!!

    March 7, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  13. Sarah

    LOL the same defense obama uses for everything, I MADE A SPEECH IN 2002. What a MORON, OBAMA HAS NOTHING BUT A SPEECH HE GAVE IN 2002, THAT'S IT, NOTHING ELSE!!! How did it happen that there are SO MANY IDIOTS THAT SUPPORTED OBAMA? Must be the same crowd that voted in bush.

    March 7, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  14. Mike A

    read the quote in the story and you can see Obama is contridicting himself. He knows all of what he just said cant be done in a year but he continues to say that he will have all troops out by the end of his first year. Its impossible to withdraw troops, have diplomacy, and have peace with iraqs neighbor all in one year

    March 7, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  15. M Johnson

    If Obama does not represent hope, he is the next best thing to it... and we need it bad! I'd say it's worth a chance, because if we keep going down the same old road we are doomed. I think Barak knows a lot more about the price of a gallon of gas and a quart of milk than Clinton, Bush, McCain do.

    March 7, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. Liv Manto

    There's a lot of negative attacks coming from Obama camp these days. SORE LOSERS I guess.
    Hey, ask him why he didnt want to bomb Iraq? O
    Also please tell him, that the tactics he is employing is so juvenile. Employing a white girl to call Hillary monster. So what were you expecting , Hillary camp would respond with Michelle Gorilla? If she responds as such, then Obama camp would go : AHA!! RACIST!.
    Hahahaha, have run out of ideas so now they want to bring in the race card. WHAT A BUNCH OF LOSERS.
    Just because we are keeping quiet doesnt mean we are buying your baloney. We feel good these days because we won so there's no need to add insult to injury by answering you losers. :P

    March 7, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. Kelly

    These message boards are extremely depressing. I think everyone should work on having discussions using fair-minded words. It's okay if we disagree but do so in respectful ways and focus on solutions to issues instead of just calling out all of the problems.

    In regards to Samantha Power - I'd also ask that before you start casting stones at her for a regrettable statement (that she has apologized and taken resposibility for) - actually take a look at what this woman has done in her life. She is an incredibly brilliant woman who has a real reverence for human dignity. I'm inspired that Senator Obama reached out to someone who will speak up for those less fortunate. I, personally, am bummed that she has stepped down as an advisor but have hope that she'll continue to be consulted informally on foreign policy issues.

    March 7, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. Arthur-Texas

    I am so tired of Obama saying he was against the war.If that is his only claim to be elected president then he is vey naive.
    Now what he has been saying about pulling our troops out of Iraq,has been only a sham.His chief advisor on Iraq said in England that do not have a plan yet.
    So what Hillary has been saying about him not being ready on day one is true.
    I wonder how many more lies he is telling voters out there?

    March 7, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  19. JIMMY

    OUR COUNTRY AND ITS CITIZENS ARE GETTING AND HAVE GOTTEN ALL THE IRAQ WAR ISSUE AND SPEECHES BY THE DEMOCRATS AND THE REPUNLICANS.. WE ARE NOW GETTING TIRED OF THE REPETITIOUS AND IT'S NOT EVEN OUR MAIN CONCERN , SEEING THAT NOTHING WILL BE DONE UNTIL AFTER A NEW PRESIDENT TAKES VER IN 2009.
    NOW OUR COUNTRY IS FACING A HOUSING CRISIS, MORTGAGE MELTDOWN, JOB LOSSES, AND HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT AND THE SKYROCKETING GAS , HEATING OIL, DIESEL PRICES CAUSING A DOMINO EFFECT ON THE PRICES OF OUR BASIC NECESSITIES..
    FOOD, MEDICINES, HEALTH CARE,
    AMERICANS ARE BEING SQUEEZED OUT OF THEIR HOMES DUE TO FORECLOSURES. AND THE SUBPRIME LOANS THEY WERE SUCKED INTO SIGNING.
    OADVISERS ON FOREIGN POLICY WENT SO FAR AS TO TALK TO CANADIAN OFFICALS ABOUT NAFTA AND ABOUT HIS REAL IRAQ POLICY. , IN ADDITION TO TALKING TO A FOREIGN PRESS
    REPORTER CALLING HILLARY CLINTON" A MONSTER" "OFF THE RECORD" THE ADVISER THEN RESIGNS AND SAYS SHE HAD ADMIRED HILLARY CLINTON . THAT'S THE ABSOLUTE HYPOCRITE
    I AM JUST WAITING TO SEE IF SHE WILL NOW TURN REPUBLICAN.

    March 7, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  20. Pat, Lexington, Ky.

    Do people really believe what candidates say they're going to do?? It would probably be a whole lot more realistic if we remember that yes, they may WANT to do these things but whoever is elected has to work with advisors, "experts", Congress, etc. So Clinton and Obama may say they'll take out 2 brigades a month from Iraq, but neither one of them has a clue as to what will really happen. And neither does McCain. I this was a dictatorship, yes. But it won't work in our democratic system. For which I am extremely grateful!

    March 7, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  21. anne

    Come on– wise up. If Hillary wins this nomination on her so called “experience” John McCain will rip her to pieces, after all he does have the most experience. You Hillary supporters will get exactly what you want, John McCain as your president so the old politics can continue on.
    Wise up and go for real change!

    March 7, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  22. Charlotte

    He doesn't have the foggest idea how we are going to exit Iraq. You cannot set a deadline, that is irresponsible. There are too many variables at this point. His own advisor knew that.

    March 7, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. K.Celina IL

    CNN, you keeping my comment in moderation, while more nasty comments are posted !!!!!!
    Read; Whats Next comment !!!! Is that O.K. for you ??????
    I wish, people could smarter, than that !!!!

    March 7, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    change the way you are acting and have a clean and fear election.

    March 7, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  25. Hans

    Go Hillary !

    America uses more then 8 years to solve the Problems. Very clever with Obama as Vice. You've got the chance that the Democrats stay with a more experienced Obama after your term. Tell it the voters!

    March 7, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
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