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. Cynthia, Laguna Niguel, CA

    Sorry Obama,

    Hillary will be president in November... (Will bring our troups home) Will have a Univerial Health care Plan, Will produce jobs for (Green Environment) . (Will have a positive Cash Flow)

    March 7, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. KHAL Houston,.Tx

    I think Barack is a media darling and should stay that way....Good Bye Hillary ,Old Women...Mean Old Women(I thought the Queen of Mean had died)

    March 7, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. Truth Be Known

    Let us continue to pray for those who serving in the War.

    March 7, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. Hawaiian Woman

    To Barack Oprah: you said it in a nut shell. Right on! Go home BHO.

    March 7, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. Donna, Antioch TN

    I am tired of all the rhetoric from the Obama campaign – instead of asking for tax records, etc., tell the American people your plan to put millions back to work and how you really didn't mean it when you said you were going to bring the troops home immediately – at least that is what one of your advisors said on the BBC or what you stand for besides HOPE – hope without work is dead according to the Bible. So come on lets debate the issues and stop the personal attacks on our candidate – Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton. She is proud of her name.

    March 7, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  6. Onyemkpa Chukwuma - Brussels

    The scandal is NEVER about what Obama said....it has become about what his people says!

    "If an enemy cannot destroy the father – it destroys the son in other to get to the father.

    I think there's a conspiracy in Obama's camp.
    OBAMA BEWARE..check your house!

    That Obama do not want to fight dirty has given Hilary the freedom to gloat in her negative campaign rhetoric's.

    March 7, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. Real change

    ABG are you really such a fool as to believe that Obama is the nasty one? Please...pay more attention.

    March 7, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  8. Nina

    My question to Obama is, How did you vote? I forgot you voted against the war even though there is no record of any vote. That's right you weren't in office to vote at the time!!! Funny how you can vote against something but not be on the roles for a vote because you didn't hold office then!! My other question is: What makes you any more qualified to run the country then the rest of us? You never ran a company you have no experience in business. I guess I'm as qualified as you are to run. My last comment is if you want to unite the people then why aren't you address the people that are threating to roit if you don't win? As a veteran and American I think you should be stomping this kind of talk. I have an open mind about everyone running and I want to know what you are bring to the table besides being a motivational speaker. That isn't going to keep this country secure. I also want to hear the canidates talking about the space program and technology we are letting slip thruogh our hands. Lets talk about what we are going to do and what qualifies these people to be the next president.

    People need to open their eyes. I am only hoping a qualified independent enters so I might have a logical choice this November.

    March 7, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  9. Hawaiian Woman

    To Barack Oprah: you said it in a nutshell! Right on. Go home BHO.

    March 7, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  10. Nikole

    JOHN-And Hillary's foreign policy is what? Not much different from his.

    March 7, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. Bayou Joe

    He didn't vote because he was not in the Senate at the time. So what is the big deal.

    March 7, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. Democrats

    If Hillary were smart, she would drop out of the race immediately. Knowing that she can't beat Mcain and Obama can. Drop out For the People Hillary!

    March 7, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. Chris in Va.

    Why have the "best political hacks on thelevision" dropped the NAFTAGATE story? I guess the Clinton News Network can't bear to report the truth to the American people. The fact that she chastizes Obama when it was HER campaign ( read:Bubba) that made promises to the Canadians about NAFTA (wink-wink), and then lies to our faces should be front page and lead story headlines. It certainly shows the character of Mrs. Bubba. I guess CNN wants to be the first in line to kiss her arse. I'm sure this post will be conveiniently forever in modseration. By the way if you are going to solicit comments you should post them.

    March 7, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. Bob in NC

    Umm, I could login to Turbo Tax in 5 minutes and print out my last 5 years of tax returns and fax them to you.....

    The amazing thing is I seriously doubt there's anything dubious, except that they don't want people realizing these people have a net worth of 100million dollars, while her opponent had college loan bills still to pay up until 3-4 years ago.

    March 7, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  15. Dusacre

    John March 7th, 2008 6:20 pm ET ,

    Maybe your cat can run VP for Hillary!

    Anyone who says Obama is not smart enough is really amusing!

    March 7, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Vince

    Obama was NOT in the Senate to vote for or against the war, therefore he is not being honest!

    Obama is quoted as telling John Kerry that he wasn't sure what vote he would have casted if he was in the Senate at the time.

    This doesn't sound like he knew what he was doing at the time.

    March 7, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. Tom, Oregon

    Barack keeps harping on Hillary's vote to go into Iraq. Drop it man, virtually all of congress voted for it. It was considered unpatriotic to vote for invasion of Iraq back then. Barack was only saved because he wasn't in congress at the time. If elected he will be face the realities of politics and all the interest groups. He will try to keep them all appeased and bold stances will melt away like butter under a hot sun.

    March 7, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. Long-term Memory

    The problem here is what the adviser–that is, surrogate–said: he "will of course not rely upon some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or U.S. senator." American voters vote based on the plan that the candidate puts forward now and through 4 November, and he has said he would have troops out by the end of 2009.

    It would have been completely acceptable for him to say that he was going to sit down with those on the ground and begin a phased redeployment of the troops. Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain have talked about the need to sit down with military leaders (but they have different plans). This particular flap is analogous to the NAFTA episode as well as the other Obama security adviser saying that neither Clinton nor Obama would be ready to answer the phone at 3AM.

    A presidential candidate must have a plan–that is the commitment he or she makes to the voters!

    March 7, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  19. Stephen

    Not enough. Not nearly enough. She is smearing him left and right and he thinks that he can deflect it with a couple of offhand comments. His supporters want him to HIT BACK and I don't know if he's even able to.

    Hillary even said, in debates, that she would make a plan with the people on the ground and adjust her plan accordingly. That's what Power said, and yet this is considered flip-flopping.

    March 7, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. JamesRR, Wyoming

    One thing I like about Sen. Clinton is that her stance in IRAQ has always been the same; She supported the war in IRAQ based on post 9/11 and this administration's intelligence report. It was the right thing to do then based on the information provided by this administration. Now tell me what is Sen. Obama's stance on IRAQ?
    He told the American voters what they wanted to hear but based on
    Ms. Powers statement Obama will not do exactly as what he's been telling the American people – THIS IS A NASTY POLITICS!

    March 7, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    On Sept. 7, 2007, the California Appellate Court will hear arguments regarding bringing Senator Hillary Clinton back into court as a defendant in the Paul vs. Clinton case.

    An appeal was filed by Clinton donor Peter Paul's attorneys in March, 2007 seeking reversal of an order granting Senator Clinton first amendment protection for her illegal campaign solicitations under California's anti-SLAPP law that stems from her 2000 U.S. Senate campaign. Her Finance Chief David Rosen, was indicted and tried for causing false FEC reports to be filed by Senator Clinton's campaign

    March 7, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  22. johndimmy

    On Sept. 7, 2007, the California Appellate Court will hear arguments regarding bringing Senator Hillary Clinton back into court as a defendant in the Paul vs. Clinton case.

    An appeal was filed by Clinton donor Peter Paul's attorneys in March, 2007 seeking reversal of an order granting Senator Clinton first amendment protection for her illegal campaign solicitations under California's anti-SLAPP law that stems from her 2000 U.S. Senate campaign. Her Finance Chief David Rosen, was indicted and tried for causing false FEC reports to be filed by Senator Clinton's campaign

    March 7, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  23. Rohit

    Obama's supporters are negative? Anyone who even sees Clinton's face or hears her voice turns negative. It is to Obama's credit that he has maintained his icy cool demeanor against her. Rest of the nation doesn't have that patience.

    Read Larry David's post on huffington. You will get a reason to go negative against Clinton.

    If Clinton wins the nomination, I am rooting for McCain.

    March 7, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. Vince

    Obama was NOT in the Senate for the VOTE. HE COULD NOT VOTE!!!

    He had NO stance on the war. And if you remember, about 75% of America was FOR going to war in Iraq at the time. Or did you all forget the speech that Colin Powell gave??????

    March 7, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  25. Andrea

    Fact is she voted for the war he opposed it. He does have good judgement! That is importent to future discissions that have to be made concerning this war and others. It seems Clinton tells you what you want to hear, Obama tells you the way it is. He keeps being dragged down by her dirty politics because thats the only way she knows to fight.

    March 7, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
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