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. Nina

    To all of you who will certainly bash my spelling because you have nothing else to do, I was never very good at speed typing so pardon the typos on my last message.

    Please will someone qualified, really qualified enter this race. I am waiting and many others are to.

    March 7, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  2. Hillary For President!!!!!! Ohio

    Obama is NOTHING but a LOOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 7, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  3. moing

    Come on Barack show some common sense. People should be allowed to have an opinion. Meanwhile Hillary and her husband are saying anything they please whether its the truth or not. this is a non issue despite what the media says.

    March 7, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  4. marva

    I have often said I believe that Hillary Clinton would do anything to get elected so I think she is capable of anything and definitely not trustworthy!

    March 7, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. Wayne

    Here is a fact. HRC cannot beat Obama democratically. She will end this election cycle with fewer votes and having won fewer states. I dont know about you but in most games..the team with fewer points LOSES..oh..scratch all games. What she is doing now is prolonging her defeat and trying to tarnish the winner.

    March 7, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. Andrea

    Hey Vince,
    he never claimed to have been in the Senate at that time. Get your facts straight.

    March 7, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. Dina

    Yesterday there was a debate between Obama and Hillary supporter here in NYC radio show

    Conversation goes sth like this

    Hillary's supporter " Obama is bad because being a man, he is supposed to let a woman become a President, and he has made a lot of mistakes in his life. He can't be President"

    Obama Supporter-" So what!! Even Hillary has made a lot of mistakes"

    Hillary supporter -" This is politics- and Hillary is a human being. You can make mistakes in politics"

    Obama supporter had no words.He just could not believe what he just heard…

    Amazing Hillary Supporters!!!!
    (hope this gets posted)

    March 7, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  8. HM

    I think Obama is right on this one. Most of their policy papers are hypothetical, at this point. They are designed to be a foundation, and to give us an idea of where they stand. Anyone who makes it into the White House in January, will have to stray from their plan because circumstances will have changed. I doubt Clinton would implement a five year mortgage rate freeze next January (I least I hope she wouldn't). I think Obama and Rice are merely being truthful, candid, and reasonable when saying that plans need to change over time. This does not make me question Obama's commitment to bringing the troops home. Voting to fund them while they're there is the only decent thing he could do. That certainly doesn't mean he supports Bush's decisions about Iraq.

    Obama supporters: tone it down! The only thing that will result from insults is people disliking Obama.

    Clinton supporters: also tone it down! All that Kool-aid stuff is just as nasty.

    March 7, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. margie

    Oh boy. To think Obama was not sure how he would have voted in the Iraq vote.
    This is crazy. This guy is so inexperienced its unreal.
    By the way I am a black woman.

    March 7, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. TerryD

    I do not understand why Barack Obama supporters keep insisting the people do not like Hillary R. Clinton.

    Quite the contrary, most of Americans and the International countries, like her very much because she has so many great qualities such as

    She is brilliant

    She isdecisive

    She is a leader

    She is a uniter, of several groups, especially Africian-Americans

    She is a champion for the underdog

    and best of all she will make an excellent first female President 2008

    March 7, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. Kim Lee

    Hillary's secrecy is the least of her terrible attributes. All she does every day is to seize on some minor issue and then twist it to her advantage. She is destroying the Democrat Party but is too power hungry to care. Today she once again did her STRATEGIC TRANSFERENCE trick where she picks something she is guilty of and then blames it on Obama. Todays trick was to fault Obama for saying he could get out of Iraq in sixteen months while expecting us to forget that she tried to trump Obama by saying that she would get out of Iraq in sixty days. Does she think we are idiots. Her last trick was to say Obama was two faced on his NAFTA policy while we have sinced learned that it was her staff that contacted the Canadians about NAFTA. Of course she played her trick just before the Ohio vote with no time for the truth to come out. Hillary is the most despicable example of a Maccavellian politician

    March 7, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. Austin, Texas

    Chris in VA. you're delusional. fabricate all you want, It was infact the Obama campaign who contacted Canada. They did deny it at first, then said he acted away from the campaign, then he said they misinterpretted his wording.

    Sorry Chris in VA, Clintons are innocent on this one, sorry to disappoint.

    March 7, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  13. Gemmeg

    Where are those who protested against the war, it is the best time the protester should march on every single city in USA to make their voice heard so that those who vote for the war to pay the price on this election.

    March 7, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. Ron

    Hey someone KO Mr BO cause he has bad BO Smelly.He will stink up the white house HILLARY 08

    March 7, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. J

    Clinton supporters "you've lost, you just don't know it yet." Hillary would have to beat Obama by better than 10 percentage points in every remaining race to win the pledged delegate race. She has proved she could consistently do that. The longer she goes quite simply the more of a chance she will simply just divide the Democratic Party and that's about it.

    March 7, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  16. jean worthington

    Am I going to kicked out also. As I do sincerely believe that Hillary Clinton is definitely a Monster and I don't believe the lady should have been let go. Truth is the truth and her actions truly are those of a Monster. God help us all if she gets elected.

    The lady has a fantastic reputation and after all this is Americ a the land of Free Speech. It seems that Hillary can do no wrong but the rest of us had better watch out. What happened to free speech?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????//////.

    March 7, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. jp/michigan

    Obama tells the American people what they want to hear on specific issues , like the Iraq war. He states I'll get them all home within 16 mo. and then back pedal. His stand on the Iraq war was a farce. He voiced against the war because at the time for him it was politically correct to do so. While in the Senate he vote the same as Clinton and McCain who he said gave Bush a blank check, because that was the politically right thing to do. He is not courageous in his stand , he is calculating and cunning. Any one who takes the time to read about Obama can see for themselves.

    March 7, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. johndimmy

    So many idiots keep repeating that Obama was not in the Senate at the time, thus he could not have voted for the war.

    1. Did you or did you not support the war? If you did not, then your vote (i.e., your judgment) is respectable. If you did, then it is good that you are only supporting Hillary. These are matters of "common sense."

    2. No Senator has come out to say Obama is wrong in making this statement, that "he did not vote for the war." So, people need to exercise basic judgment that this professor continues to show.

    March 7, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  19. terry

    As an independent, I think the Democrats are doomed now. One thing is for sure: I will NEVER VOTE FOR HILLARY.

    March 7, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. RobNSF

    I'm a Clinton supporter. However, I am seriously concerned with the portrayal of each candidate by supporters of the opponent. Clinton v. Obama is not Good v. Evil or vice versa. Seriously folks, they are both amazing people and inspiring options. Let's talk about policy distinctions.

    March 7, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  21. AISHA



    March 7, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Naomi

    Whoa Wait, So how's Obummer's Iraq policy Different with GW Bush's policy??????

    This guy is going down fast....

    March 7, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. bo

    duh...who didn't know all along that once they got into office the story would change and after "consulting with military personnel pulling out if not feasible."


    get your facts straight people. and hillary did not vote for WAR she voted to approve giving the president permission to use miliatry force if it became necessary.

    March 7, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  24. Analyst

    I observed Hillary stand strong & fight back tough when the cards were stacked against her (losing series of smaller state primaries starting with S. Carolina). Like I've said, she's a tough lady & she proved it once again by bouncing back from the losses which the pundits called impossible & improbable. Who looks the fool now?

    What did Oprahbama do when Hillary took RI, TX & OH primaries? His concession speech went – "We still have the same amount of delegate lead now as when we woke up this morning!" It's actually laughable since his rep is a good speech maker.

    Why isn't the media pouncing on OHbama's flipflopping on Iraq. What he's claiming now on Iraq sure sounds like what Hillary was saying at the last debate. Maybe the media's right, that Obamama is a rock star. Most rock stars are decadent, spoiled & whiny adult childs.

    March 7, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  25. HALA







    March 7, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
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