March 7th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
7 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. MNDem

    Who cares if he wasn't in the Senate to vote against the war. His stance was made publicly clear in his speech against the war in late 2002. I urge all of you to actually read the transcript of that speech. It not only says that he is against the Iraq War, he states why. And, you know what, he spells out all of the problems that will happen AND HAVE HAPPENED.

    There has been no one in this whole campaign, Democrat or Republican, who has the judgment of Barack Obama.

    March 7, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. Grif

    I keep hearing about, how you " Obama" won 12 states in succession. Do you really think you would, have won those States if the Electorate had to know all about the Stuff coming out now .

    No WAY I call that. Cheating Mr The American Public knew William & Hillary.... As a result, they dig up dirt... YOU? Your Brand New!!!

    Just you wait till it's your turn......

    March 7, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  3. kz

    IS THIS THE REASON WHY VOTERS ARE VOTING FOR HILLARY?? GO FIGURE

    "Another undecided Democrat is Tom Ciesielski, 43, who owns a pet food store in the Pittsburgh suburb of McCandless.

    He might vote for Clinton because a win would put her husband, the former president, back in the White House too: "I like Bill Clinton. Life was good with Clinton."

    March 7, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. Black Republican in New York

    Obama, Clinton and McCain have to rely on their military advisers on troop withdrawal, regardless of how politically correct they want to come across.

    Obama has to also call a campaign staff meeting and order people to stop talking OFF THE RECORD or in PRIVATE CAPACITIES about policies and positions in the campaign.

    I'm still confident, though, that Clinton's MONSTER will continue to emerge over the next eight weeks, so there is no need for Americans to think Power was wrong to call the serpent by its name.

    March 7, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. Michelle

    WELL, THIS CAMPAIGN WAS FUN . BUT EVERY DAY OF HATRED MEANS ONE THING . IT IS TIME FOR THE TO END.

    IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO WINS NOW . SELECTING A CANDIDATE AT A HOSTILE CONVENTION AT THE END OF AUGUST, IS NOT EVEN ENOUGH TIME BEFORE THE ELECTION TO CAMPAIGN. MY PREDICITON IS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS BROKEN IN AUGUST. ALL THE KINGS HORSES AND ALL THE KINGS MEN WON'T BE ABLE TO PUT IT BACK TOGETHER AGAIN

    ANOTHER 4 YEARS IN THE WHITE HOUSE BY A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT

    HILLARY HAS WON THE BATTLE BUT LOST THE WAR. MORE IMPORTANT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE THE LOSERS FOR THIS HATRED AND BACK AND FORTH .

    NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT ISSUES ANYMORE JUST ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK

    March 7, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. CHICANO ART, ARIZONA

    Obama is getting over his head. Just watch he will start to unravel in about two weeks, maybe less.

    March 7, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. Sick of Obama

    CNN- please get rid of Jack Cafferty, send him back to Wb or ABC or wherever the hell he came from. His love for Obama is so nauseating I have to turn the channel whenever he is on. Also Please tell him to wear a jacket and get some botox for those frown lines.

    March 7, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. James, Wyoming

    Obama said these during interview and I quote;
    "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,” unquote.
    Did you notice that this is exactly what Sen. Clinton said on the 1st Super Tuesday debate? Isn't this Plagriarism? Maybe Obama just simply doesn't have a clue on how to handle IRAQ so he borrows Sen. Clinton's idea.

    March 7, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. La Raza

    I love it! You Billary Dummies are getting mad because Obama is striking back at the "pouncing" monster. Get used to it, there will be more after that stunt she pulled befor Ohio and Texas.

    March 7, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. johndimmy

    Let me add one final comment here; please read.

    Like most men, Obama does not believe in "attacking" a woman especially in public. Given that this is not in his character, I would personally like him to lose this nomination than "attack" a woman; the WORLD is watching us. Let the women attack each other!

    Most non-American nations have NO respect for women. If Hillary is bleeding before she "steals" the nomination, this nation will be sorry. As an example, I wonder how the Iranian leaders will ever respect Hillary!!! So, women need to be very careful and not be blinded in their support of Hillary.

    March 7, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. Bill

    Someone above tried to use polls to make a point that Obama is stronger. Well, the newest polls show that Clinton leads Obama nationwide and would beat McCain in the general.

    as for all the crap about her tax returns, its stupid and desperate on the Obama side. Clinton has said when she will release them and has released her finicials for the last 20 years. If there was something there, we would already know.

    I would love for anyone to show me actual proof of any wrong doing by the Clinton's. I will give you that Bill lied under oath, but if that's all you got, then you have a problem. What cheating man has never tried to worm his way out of a situation. That has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton and her ability to be President.

    As for her experiance. I do not need to see her White House papers. I lived during that time. I know what she did as First Lady. I also know that she counts a lot of that experiance before she was first lady, when she worked on children issues,environmental issues, fair wages, and many other issues. As a state senator, she has a remarkable record. If you are so unsure about her claims, CNN and ABC did a fact check and found that Clinton's claims are true.

    Now in the last week we have two stories that show Obama has mislead the public on where he really stands..He can make excuses all he wants, but there was a lie, and Powers may not be his expert, but trust me, she knew what she was saying.

    In the end, all you have about Clinton is malicious gossip. Its sad.

    Hillary 08

    March 7, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  12. Barack Oprah

    I will go home soon.
    Thanks.

    March 7, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. April Showers

    Hillary probably does not want to disclose her tax forms because it will probably show that George Bush paid off both Hillary Clinton and John McCain if they voted for the war (smile).

    Obama needs to highlight in his conversations with the voters how many days we have been over in Iraq since George Bush said "Mission Accomplished" , the number of deaths, and how much it is costing us on a daily basis to keep this war going and compare that cost with how much healthcare we could be providing "free of charge" to americans who do not have it because they can't afford it.

    March 7, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Don King

    I would like to see Obama categorically rip Billary a new one.

    March 7, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  15. Tick Tock

    MRS HILLARY CLINTON....are your 2006 and 2007 taxes done?

    Ready or not, here we come, you can't hide...America's going to see you for just who you are.

    March 7, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  16. Steve H minneapolis

    John you sound like your neutered

    March 7, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  17. Sarah

    obamas a fake, now he wants everyone to ignore the fact he again has been caught saying one thing to the American people while telling foreigners something else.

    March 7, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  18. Nina

    Right on Vince. He is dishonest. He was quoted many times saying he voted against the war and in fact he wasn't in office to make a decision. It's easy to claim that he wouldn't have voted that way when he wasn't called to cast that vote.

    Simple fact is we are there and anyone saying they are going to pull us out as soon as they are in office is not telling the truth.

    I was deployed in the Army and with the exception of Somalia in which we were a already pulling out of it is not possible to pull the amount of people we have in Iraq out that fast.

    Haven't we learned anything, if we pull out now, whether we should have been there or not, we will be giving the country over to Iran which is worse then any terrorist group. Will will be back in a few years and have even more causalties.

    We need to focus on the problem at home, something that can be done even while our military is in Iraq. Immigration is out of control. Getting our nation to stop being so dependent on other nations is at the top.

    March 7, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  19. Joe

    When you are running on the "strength of your promises" Obama and all we see is your foreign policy advisers fumbling and your ecomonic adviser meeting with Canada and we have NAFTA-gate and today we have Iraq-gate then YOU have a problem.

    You promised us you were a different kind of politician and your foreign policy expert says your Iraq stance is naive. Your economic adviser tells Canada to take what you say as "just politics"....You have a problem.

    New politics sounds pretty scary.

    March 7, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  20. Enrique

    Hillary Clinton voted to give authorization to George W. Bush to invade Iraq. Hillary Clinton cast the same vote as John McCain. Because of their votes, we're involved in a war that was waged under false pretenses.

    March 7, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  21. I must admit

    I watched both of the Town Hall meetings in WY, and Sen. Clinton was quite a bit more impressive than Se. Obama. I'm just sayin'...

    March 7, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  22. derrick

    It's a crime against all Americans (dead, alive, and yet to be born) when media houses like CNN actively and covertly support a candidate.

    That goes to show democracy is a joke.....I will rather vote a Saddam than Hilary...at least he knows how to handle political organizations like CNN.

    March 7, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  23. MN Woman

    On most of the blogs today Obama supporters are completely hysterical. I thought all of you were about hope and change. Yet you come off as malicious, petty, vindictive and vile. One of the reasons we don't want Obama for president is because his follower are cult like and seem to all have border line disorders. Yech!

    March 7, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  24. Lynn

    What we should be concerned about is Clinton praising McCain as a good commander in chief considering that he wants to stay in Iraq. How could she say that? Does that mean that she is not serious about pulling out of Iraq? I don't trust her anymore.

    March 7, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  25. Michelle

    Peter Paul versus Hillary and Bill Clinton Lawsuit
    WOLF - by the way -- Another day another Clinton LAWSUIT ... gee I can't imagine how much the Clintons PAY YOU to not report this ..

    Why is there little to no coverage on the Peter Paul versus Hillary and Bill Clinton lawsuit and the Hillary Clinton federal elections fraud involved with this suit?

    This torrid tale, and active lawsuit, involves inside Hillary Clinton staff prosecutions and deals with Chelsea Clinton,Bill Clinton and the Stan Lee the creator of Spiderman,and Marvel Comic et al.

    I understand there are a great deal of litigations, evidence (where is that blue dress?) and investigations to choose from when discussing Hillary and Bill Clinton, yet this is a real time lawsuit.

    March 7, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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