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. Kevin, Arizona

    Granted I dislike both Obama and even more so Hillary, I cannot say that she has much to stand on as far as her National Security stance goes. Last I checked Bubba Clinton's presidential race was well funded by Communist China, in return for the Clinton's graciously selling them our rocket secrets! I guess treason counts as experience...

    March 7, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. let's be fair

    Hillary is the worst of the worst . She will throw a rock then hide her hand . What a coward . At least if Barack makes a mistake and he's made a few . He at least admits he made a mistake . It's been well documented . But with Hillary we get a whole article of bumpling rheotric . Just like her husband . I tell you America i did not have sexual relations with this woman . What it took a yr or so then a blue dress shows up . Oh my what's this i thought you got rid of that thing . I guess the same with the tax returns . I filed mines last week and received my refund already . What's the hold up ? Maybe they also had a Bill stain on to ?

    March 7, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. Obama's hoodwinked you

    The man is a moron when it comes to foreign policy – it's easy to make one speech and say you were right – BUT would he have done the same if he were actually in the senate when the decision was made? I doubt it.

    March 7, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  4. Eric S

    If Obama does not mean to bring US troop immediately, he should be at least honest with the voters. Don't raise false hope and dump them after you get into the office.

    March 7, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. James in Ohio

    Is there anyone out there who is completely sick and tired of hearing what a "bad person" Hillary Clinton is? And what a "wonderful glorious person" Obama is? I guess all the commentors know them both personally and have known them personally for years and years.

    Is there anyone else out there who is made completely ill by the nasty, nasty rhetoric that is spewing from the mouths of Obama supporters? Who, btw, are supposed be supporting the candidate of positive change and unity.... Clearly many of them have NO idea what unity means (unless it means agreeing with everything they and their candidates says).

    I for one am sick of it. I had absolutely No problem with Obama before. I had continually said i would vote for Either Hillary or Obama, becuase anyone was better than a republican. I was wrong – many of the Obama supporters who post are clearly worse than republicans. It has gotten to the point where I would be Ashamed to call myself an Obama supporter. Especially seeing as he and his advisors and staff don't bother to speak up against the ridiculous attacks made on Hillary's character. I guess it is OK to be a sexist, and to hate a woman who choses to be strong.

    All I can say is if Obama wins, I will vote for ANYONE but him. The hypocrisy from his supporters and the nasty web comments that his supporters make (because they are made safe an secure by the annonimity of the web) makes me physically ill.

    I am utterly disgusted by Obamma's camp.

    ANYONE but Obama '08!

    March 7, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. kz

    Hillary's new name:

    Billary "Monster" Clinton.

    It's hard figuring out which one will show up each day!

    March 7, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. KE

    Sen. Obama makes speech tough on American ally and lenient with world figures with human rights problem. His foreign policy may be weak and shaky on national seculity.

    Confusion with "negative" campaign. Sen. Clinton gives facts to the voters to reflect on and Sen. Obama gives misleading facts about NAFTA and the Health Care on Sen. Clinton as well as his own flip flop stand, for an example NAFTA and now war.

    Also on "clean" campaign, the media should focus on Caucuses a little bit, there are some rumors.

    March 7, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. anonymous

    Let's talk about honesty.....Clinton claims "This is the latest example of promising the American people one thing on the campaign trail and telling people in other countries another.".....helllo??? Didn't we just find out it was the CLINTON campaign that told Canada not to worry about what she said about NAFTA while campaigning – then tried to blame it on the Obama people???? Apparently she hasn't heard the news yet – or she has but she just doesn't care, she will keep spinning and hope that if she says it long enough, people will believe it to be true....just like Bush.

    March 7, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. w

    Obama should be clear to the people on what he wants to do and what his plans are and should be consistent publicly and privately... with all these issues coming up from his advisers like NAFTA, Iraq, it looks like these are all for political show... whats going on?? Go and vote for Hillary!!!

    March 7, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. Obama's hoodwinked you

    Latest polls show Clinton leads Obama 52 to 38 in Pennsylvania.

    Nationally she is also beating him in the national polls by 48 to 43%.

    Looks like people are starting to see right through Obama.

    March 7, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Nancy, Oklahoma

    It seems to me that many who support Clinton are somehow unable to see the despicable tactics she uses. Or maybe they simply approve of those behaviors. The Clinton's fully knew that NAFTA "memo" was coming out. It was planned to come out the day before the election. They knew full well that what was being said was untrue. Further, for Obama to defend himself and point out wrong doing does not make him a hypocrite. He is entitled, no OBLIGATED to expose the Clinton slime. Obama however is a decent man. An educated and cultured man. He finds it difficult to stoop to those levels. Quite honestly Obama's former foreign policy advisor was right. Hillary is a MONSTER. And I won’t apologize for saying it.

    March 7, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Sue

    The papers that Hillary has released about her income is what is required for the Senate. A tax return gives much more detailed information about WHERE the money comes from. She has not released her income tax records since she was elected to the Senate. She keeps talking about her 35 years of experience and being ready on day 1. Well, let us see the proof of that experience. She should release the schedules and phone logs from her White House Years.

    To Hillary fans: Hillary has teared up twice, whined twice about being ganged up on, whined about the news media paying more attention to Senator Obama – and you complain that Senator Obama whines?
    The NAFTA problem with Canada came from the Clinton people NOT Senator Obama's people. The Canadian Government has clarified that it was someone from the Clinton campaign. Clinton recently has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Obama and yet, you Clinton supporters claim that Senator Obama is the one who is negative. Get a grip!

    March 7, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. Sick of Obama

    Right on Bill
    anyone who blinly wants to demonize Mrs. Clinton should at least get the facts straight and not from these smearing websites of the likes of Ken STarr, Peter Paul and Dick Morris

    March 7, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. let's be fair

    Has anyone notice no media outlets been talking about Barack unless it's something negative . I guess it was the meeting of the good ole boys saying if we can't get this n****r out with the voters we just have to make everyone hate him by bashing him with our media influence . YE HAW ................

    WHY THE DOUBLE STANDARD CNN , FOX , MSNBC , ?????

    March 7, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. Nathan

    Here's something you have to remember. Even without campaigning, Clinton only got a bit more than 50% of the Florida and Michigan votes. Let's imagine with Obama campaigning heavily in a "do over" in Florida and Michigan, that Clinton still beats him with 60% in BOTH states.

    Because delegates are apportioned a 60% "win" for her will only give her a few more delegates in Florida and Michigan than it gives Obama. BEST case scenario, she gains maybe 10 or 20 delegates total. Big deal. She's trailing by 100. In fact, if Clinton wins every single remaining state with 60% (it's not going to happen), she still loses to Obama.

    I don't know what the Clinton supporters are smoking, but it must be good stuff.

    March 7, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Independent-Latina-voter, Salt Lake City, UT

    TO ALL OF YOU, DEMOCRATS: YOU ARE DESTROYING YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING IN NOVEMBER. AS CLINTON CONTINUES TO DESTROY OBAMA, THE RNC IS CLOSELY TAKING NOTES!

    ARE YOU PEOPLE STUPID? HOW CAN YOU EXPECT US TO VOTE DEMOCRAT, IF YOU ARE DESTROYING THE BEST CANDIDATE YOU PEOPLE HAVE?! AND ITS ALL ABOUT EGO. WHEN YOU LOSE THIS ELECTION YOU CAN BLAME IT ON MRS. CLINTON FOR POINTING OUT SEVERAL TIMES HOW MCCAIN IS JUST LIKE HER, 'TESTED' READY TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF!

    WAKE UP DEMS! BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!

    March 7, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. Josh

    I don't understand why the media is not covering clintons' scandal behind the nafta gate. I am very surprised. Clintons stole the vote of the Ohio people. We want to know the truth. Let the truth come out.

    March 7, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  18. Rob

    A brief recollection of history. Sen. Clinton is one of two senators from New York that voted on S.J. Res. 45, A Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq on October 10, 2002: Just 13 months after Sept. 11th. Before you criticize her judgment you should read her floor speech regarding this vote. A fair analysis is that she urged further diplomatic measures with UN involvement and believed that the White House was committed to that goal but wanted to let the world know that America was unified in its resolve and Hussein know that this was his last opportunity.

    March 7, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  19. Shane in TX

    Obama stating that he opposed the war from the beginning is like a citizen of this country who doesn't vote in the general election who complains incessantly about the president. If you don't vote your voice doesn't count! He wasn't even in the senate at the time. He needs to watch what he says because some of his political backers voted with Hillary on the same bill he continues to point out for his reason people should back him. If he becomes the nominee, which I doubt he will, I WILL vote for McCain along with many others to ENSURE he doesn't become President of the United States. The job is too prestigious for a bag full of fruitless hot air! GO HILLARY!!!!

    March 7, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  20. Dusacre

    MATHEMATICS

    It is mathematically impossible for Hillary to win the nomination base on elected delegates. She is behind by 150 elected delegates. Now she will spend millions of dollars to trash Obama, and many of her supporters are doing the same. The goal is to convince the super delegates that Obama is not electable according to the Clintons. Now how does it help the Democratic Party?

    Hillary will loose, it is mathematically too late for her.

    March 7, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  21. JOHN

    LET'S FACE IT HILLARY CLINTON IS TEARING APART THE DEMS. AND THE PARTY. HER 35 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE HAS GROWN TO A LIFE TIME OF EXPERIENCE, AT THE SAME TIME SHE PRAISES MCCAIN ON HIS LIFETIME OF EXPERIENCE, IS SHE JOINED AT THE HIP WITH MCCAIN AND BUSH, I THINK SO. NOW SHE'S TRYING TO SAY OBAMA WONT WITHDRAW THE TROOPS, OMG. SHE NEEDS TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND FIRE WOLFSON, RELEASE HER TAXES AND THE OTHER 1500 DOCUMENTS THAT SHE IS KEEPING FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FROM THE CLINTON LIBRARY. SOMETHING STINKS IN CLINTONLAND, WHAT IS SHE HIDDING

    March 7, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. Sick of Obama

    Why is everyone so shocked the Clintons have money.... theyv'e published best sellers, given honorary speeches and are very good investors...dah............
    I am more interested in how much of the 55 Million dollars that Obama recently raised came from the Kennedys and Oprah.

    March 7, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. NC

    The Obama haters will get excately what they deserve if Hillary wins this, McCain will win by a landslide because REMEMBER Hillary said he is more fit for C in C than Obama, meaning he's also more fit than Hillary since he's older and has been in Washington longer. I can't wait to see what they do with the clips from her praising McCain on several different dates.

    She's destroying the party because she wants the power. It really doesn't matter to me if it's a republican in the officer or a democrat because I've had to survive on my anyway BUT I will happily vote for Obama with bells on. But if he doesn't make it, my life won't drastically change from when any other president has been in office.

    March 7, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. JP SW

    Barack Obama stood up and gave a speech. With everything that was going on he skated on smooth ice. Where you all you Obama supporters that you can not remember that NOT voting for military force if necessary was UNPATRIOTIC and the over whelming voice of congress was , yes, use force if necessary.

    Riddle me thing...what if those weapon and chemicals had been found or what if Hussein had unleashed chemical warfare on those he hated. Everything pointed to it. We expected to end it like we did Desert Storm.

    BUT, remember the Republican President Bush and the Republican Congress. Instruction given to the first wave of troops into Baghdad was not to save the priceless to historic relics in the National Museum of Iraq, BUT, to protect the oil field maps.
    Our biggest threat will come from the Middle East. Terrorism is alive and well. Anyone out there doubt that? Obama is not going to reason or talk them tout of it. We're going to live with it for decades to come.

    Hillary for President!

    March 7, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  25. Dave

    James, OBAMA has been using that line since JANUARY OF LAST YEAR!!!!!!!!!!! Man these Hillary supporters are desparate! Just like Hillary herself.

    I guess it is true, she does get the uneducated voters!!!!!!!

    March 7, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.