March 7th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
10 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. jay

    What actually is the special "experience" of Hillary Clinton? The rhetoric about her being the more "experienced" is so vague. She has been an attorney, First Lady, and U.S. Senator. In contrast, Barack Obama has been an attorney, community organizer, State Senator, and U.S. Senator. Why does Hillary not specifically compare her qualifications "toe-to-toe" with Barack Obama to show how/why she is the better qualified candidate? Hillary's husband was a Washington outsider, with NO federal government experience, and he was elected president. I would like to know specifically what makes Hillary Clinton's experience any better than Barack Obama's experience. Can someone give me some feedback on this?

    March 7, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. Sarah

    Those of you who oppose the war, why in the world would you vote for that Clintons woman. She voted for the war in Iraq.

    March 7, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. kz

    If Hillary was smart, she would want to back away from any conversation pertaining to Iraq. She has no credibility on this issue!!!

    March 7, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. Mike Brian PA

    What a flip flopper. Mr. Obama, I am tired of your 'words......'

    March 7, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. real change

    I’ve had it and I’m sick and tired of all the Clinton supporters getting it backward about who of the two candidates is stronger in November. New rule! Clinton supporters have to know something before they open their mouths. EVERY poll indicates that Obama is stronger against McCain than Hillary. EVERY poll shows him getting more popular votes against him than Hillary. EVERY poll shows him winning more electoral votes against him than Hillary. Please check which compiles a consensus of all the polls and also check the Huffington post which has just done a 50 state trial run of the general election.

    Sorry to let you know this for the first time Clintonistas but a lot of people don’t like Hillary (gee I wonder why). She peaks out right about 50%. A very large number of Americans indicate that they would not vote for her under any circumstances. That obviously makes her very vulnerable, especially against a Republican who is generally well liked among moderates.

    You folks might ask yourselves why Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan are all actively attempting to help Hillary win the nomination. It’s because Republican know more than you fools, and what they know is that they might be able to beat Hillary but there is no way they could beat Barrack.

    March 7, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. Democrats

    Please understand that a vote for Clinton is a vote for Mcain! She can't win against Mcain. Even the republicans know this... Also, please do some homework, Clinton does not have anymore experience than Obama.

    March 7, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  7. Barack Oprah

    I don't want to see USA collapse with you, Mr. Obama!!

    March 7, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. Angela

    Hello People – this is from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Co)

    Clinton never briefed Canadian officials on NAFTA stand: PMO

    Hillary Clinton's campaign team has not told any Canadian officials that their candidate's anti-NAFTA statements are just political posturing, the Prime Minister's Office said Friday. more »

    Related: Government will probe 'entire' NAFTA leak: PM

    So give it a rest – I know the reality check is a tough pill to swallow.
    Maybe Clinton isn't the wicked witch of the west?
    Maybe Obama isn't the Wizard of Oz (who turned out to be the fraud by the way)

    I cannot believe how negative and awful the Obama supporters are...Which is soo ironic considering that you seem to be attracted to his message of hope and change and positive thinking – I guess opposites do attract....

    March 7, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. ABG

    Senator Obama always answers questions regarding his stances or campaign by attacking Hillary Clinton. During the debates, he is the one who attacked her first. I wish someone would replay these moments so evryone can see what reality is, not the spin. I doubt he could have answered the tough questions if he WAS asked first since his responses were either to agree with Senator Clinton or to attack. No original ideas. He was not in a position to vote on Iraq. He agreed with how Bush was running the war. If all he can talk about is that vote that we all know was not to go to war, since Bush knew what he was gong to do from the start, then he does not have much to attack with Hillary Clinton. His supporter, John Kerry voted the same way. Why is Obama accepting his support and thinks he is great? Double standard!

    March 7, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. John

    This guys isn't smart at all. I think my cat could come up with a better foreign policy and he's neutered.

    March 7, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Mark

    Why are you always in defensive with that "m***ster" who's always stooping?? why don't you attack Barack?

    March 7, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Avis C, Richton Park,IL

    I don't think Hillary Clinton is in any position to question Barack Obama on Iraq! My god does she really want to go there!

    YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OBMAN 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES WE WILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 7, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. TOMMY



    March 7, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  14. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Hillary voted for the AUMF without reading the NIE and did so as part of her rather successful attempt as a Senator on the Armed Forces Committee to show that she is militarily just as irresponsible and bellicose as the Repellican boys. That's why she lacks cred on Iraq.

    March 7, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  15. peter in PA

    I am really really really really disappointed that the Obama campaign isn't coming out swinging at Hillary. Instead they are letting this woman set the agenda like the revote in MI and FL, who is her VP and firewall and so.

    If you have access to Obama, please tell him that he needs to take his gloves off and start hitting this woman's campaign where it hurts. She did it to him over the past weeks to eek out three wins this week. What is he worrying about? She has thousands of dirty laundry. Just pick top five and go at it. You can bring her down in no time. Just control your advisors though. Those morons go out make comments that are totally against your platform.

    I am not surprised that OHIO voted in favor of Hillary (I still think a large number of republicans voted for her). Ohio is kind of a backward state along with West Virginia and Pennsylvania. There are too many old heads in those states. So if Obama is counting on PA with this type of campaigning, he might as well kiss it goodbye. Like James Carville said, PA is a state with Pittsburgh in the West, Philadelphia in the East and Alabama in the middle. You shouldn't be surprised if the people in middle of the state have lived their entire life with out ever seeing a black, Latino or Asian. Obama can't get a single vote out of these village folks. He can only make them degusted with Hillary and sit out the primary by revealing Hillary's dirty laundries.
    You don’t want to pair up with this shrewd woman..She will eat you alive. BTW, I like my woman in the bottom.
    It's time to take your gloves off Obama! Let’s go buddy!

    March 7, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  16. let's be fair

    President Obama stay strong don't shown any sign of weakness when you are dealing with a " monster " . Fight fire with fire . If she wants to spreading lies on you . Keep telling the truth about her and keep your head up . As much as a lot of haters want people to believe you are losing support i can tell you different . Everywhere i go i see Go Obama 08 !!! So keep chucking at it and i'll see you at your inaugrual reception in 09 . Remember we want change and yes we can have it .

    Go Obama 08 !!!!!!

    March 7, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. Gary in CT

    It appears that he is settling back down and taking her on the way he needs to. He needs to ignore most of crap she is saying and keep on his original message of hope for a nation. He needs to point out that all of this bickering that she continues to start is just the stuff that makes America look bad. He needs to keep pointing out that what she doing is just what most Americans have grown tired of in American politics. I STILL BELIEVE!!!

    March 7, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. Darth Vadik, CA


    From what, a dumbwoman who didn't have sense enough to vote NO on war.

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no, you don't have to defend your stand Barack, the dumb one who voted for it should defend herself.

    March 7, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. HELLO



    March 7, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. Katherine Oliveira

    The Clinton machine will take anything and twist it to their liking. You cannot believe anything that comes out of their mouths. Who can trust these people. "I DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH THAT WOMAN". Hillary would have Bill has her VP if she could. Please, people, don't forget what sleeze and disgrace these people brought us. And as far as Hillary goes – she's done nothing for women by staying with such a man, What a horrible message it sends to women that you can sell your soul (i.e. take the philandering) if you get the promise of support in a political race. Women everywhere should be outraged.

    March 7, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  21. Cindy

    Wow, an Obama story on CNN!!

    It's a miracle.

    CNN = Clinton News Network.

    It's all Clinton talking points, all the time.

    Tomorrow's headlines?

    "Clinton camp says Obama spilled coffee in 2005"

    "Clinton slams Obama on overdue library book"

    "Clinton teams new attack ad say Obama has terrible penmanship!"

    This is not journalism, folks.

    March 7, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  22. Joshua

    Another case of Obummer's Double Talk

    Another case of Obummer's Double Talk

    Another case of Obummer's Double Talk

    March 7, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  23. INDEPENDENT, Wyoming

    Should I believe anything that Sen. Obama is saying? After his NAFTA fiasco and now his stance on IRAQ. I don't think I can trust him to answer that phone call at 2 a.m. believing he will make the right decision. I like his speeches but so far they are all empty words. I am going to vote for Sen. Clinton now and I hope all Independent voters will do the same! Sen. Clinton is the best candidate for real Change for the sake of America!

    March 7, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  24. April Showers

    I do not know why Hillary is so focused on Iraq and her 8 years of National Security exerience she claims she has from being 1st Lady, because her husband Bill Clinton had very limited (if any) National Security experience when he ran for President.

    40% of America's CEO's fail in the first 18 months on the job, because they use poor judgement and have not surrounded themselves with people who are smarter than they are.

    March 7, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  25. Cindy

    I think both Clinton and Obama are committed to getting out of Iraq.

    Hillary will probably keep sticking to her commitment to 60 days, just cause it "sounds" better than Obama's planned redeployment.

    She'll probably.. pull out 1 soldier.. maybe 2... and then say, "see? I kept my promise, didn't I?

    March 7, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
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