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. Enrique

    Hillary Clinton is so hell bent on winning that yesterday she praised John McCain's foreign policy experience. She might as well have endorsed him for president. Since she and John McCain voted for the war, it's not surprising.

    Now she's attacking Obama's stance on the war to distract us all from the fact that she would rather see John McCain win in November then a Democrat. Shame on her. She's pathetic.

    March 7, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. Bob G.

    There you have it! Another instance where BO utters the same thing HRC has been saying for months now.

    As I have said before so many times –

    It's 3 AM an BO answers the phone and says " Can you wait ten minutes, I need to ask Hillary what she would do"

    I do hope they get to debate again and have CNN ask BO the first question everytime to see if he can be ORIGINAL with an answer.

    I'm sure he'll answer Change we can believe in or Yes we Can.

    PS: Nina and Vince are Right on!!!

    March 7, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. richard

    To be sure, many patrons at the crowded diner applauded Obama and wished him luck. But when he left, with a cheeseburger and vanilla shake in hand, he hit another bump.

    Noting the sunshine, he called out to reporters, "it's really nice in Wisconsin." Immediately catching his gaffe, Obama added, "and Wyoming!"

    His wife cant pronounce Nevada correctly. He cant remember what audience he is speaking to. These people dont care about you. I can sit here all day and show proof. They have been organizing in there own neighbor hoods for years and expect the USA to buy into it. Do the research folks. He is a motivational speaker not a President.

    March 7, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. nikki

    wow, where to begin, oh yeah, shrillary is a LIAR!!!!! being someone's wife does not automatically give you "experience" to take over the job that your husband had...and by the way shrillary is a MONSTER!...

    OBAMA 08' YES WE CAN!!!

    March 7, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. NoMoreRecounts!!!

    Too much rhetoric going on.
    One thing is for sure – Obama is drawing crowds, Clinton is drawing Republicans (only because there is a Republican nominee already) – which means that her ability to draw Republicans is a strategic decision in Republican voters' minds to make the Dems infight.
    No running mate as in Obama/Clinton.
    Obama/Richardson would be the smartest thing ever!!
    Restore America's image around the world – immediately.

    The only problem about any of this, is that we can't vote Obama in to office today.

    March 7, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. Trouble In Rivercity

    The problem is, we are so worn down by the George Bush administration that we will be too tired to protest against Billary. Why will we want to protest, you say?

    It's Billary, there will be lots of reasons to protest–they lie, steal, cheat, deceive, and pretend they are for the American people, when they're just for making history, i.e. more money.

    Don't do it America, we're worn out already from Bush.

    Obama 08

    March 7, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. Independent

    Thank you Barack Obama for running for President. I took the time to make a list of the qualities that a presidential nominee should possess. I have confidence Obama can lead us on a path to the best future America.

    Obama 08'

    March 7, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. Paul

    Hillary might just make a man out of Obama after all. His wife sure hasn't been able to do that. Obama must learn to fight if he wins the nomination and hopes to beat McCain. We all know how tough Hillary is. Love her or hate her- she is a fierce politician and undoubtedly the best choice for Democrats.

    March 7, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. joe




    HILLARY 08

    March 7, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  10. Yes

    Yes, we expect Hillary to turn in her taxes as everyone else has done.

    Tick tock Hillary–the American people are calling.

    March 7, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  11. bo

    with all of the real problems going on in the world, cnn, like other news stations, just keeps going on and on about the same old trivial election coverage.

    why did you not cover bush's failed meeting with opec that is going to be costing us $4 a gallon and how opec is making the prices artificially high to send us into a recession? we need a presient who can deal with these problems and GET SOMETHING DONE

    it's also sad how it took an snl skit for the media to wake up to their lame election coverage. obama just keeps getting sadder by the day.

    clinton or mccain '08

    March 7, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  12. David from Texas

    Obama will lose California for the Democratic party. I hardly think Hispanics are going to vote for Obama in large numbers-being he has lost nearly all states in the Southwest with large hispanic populations-and he will never carry the Blue Dog Democrats in large numbers-as Hillary will and has in the various primaries. It is very disappointing to see how so many Obama supporters are so quick to call fellow Democrats stupid, ignorant, etc....if they don't support Obama and his issues. I have news for people that are so ignorant in their thoughts. It doesn't help your cause when you totally turn off people to him, especially when you will need these very people that you have insulted later on to win in November. I like Obama, but will never vote for him because of his supporters attitudes. I have spoken with many people and they feel the same way. When you insult people you defeat your cause. Think about it!

    March 7, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  13. Val in PA

    What a piece of work that Hillary is. Oh, but you want Barack on your ticket? Hillary is a monster. A vicious, vindictive, monster. The truth hurts.

    See ya in PA Obama. "Come Barack the vote, Barack the vote baby, Barack the vote. Let's tip the votes over, Oooo Hooo Hooo! Barack on with your bad self".

    She will never take Philly, and I've your back in the suburbs. Bring it on sister, it's all over but the shouting. Ha ha haaaa!

    March 7, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  14. Jermaine

    Hillary Clinton supporters are so stupid, yes I said it. SHE IS A MONSTER...I will be extremely HAPPY if Hillary win, because I know the Republicans will end her campaign in October. I for one a life long DEM will vote for MCCAIN or stay at home if Hillary is anywhere on the ticket!



    March 7, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  15. lugina

    I think OBAMAS time its much problems...[NAFTA–IRAQ–MONSTER AND,AND..]

    March 7, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. Georgia

    That's because she didn't have the option of voting "present."

    March 7, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  17. Richard

    Hillary's campainge is still under investigation about "the grain of salt" remark on NAFTA. We will soon know the truth. Now she is trying the same tartic on Obama's intention to withdraw from Iraq. Don't be fooled Americans.

    March 7, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  18. Hillary 0-Never

    Sorry Hillary, Obama will be the president in November and you and your henchmen will have to cheat to over-rule the people.

    March 7, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. April Showers

    Why is Hillary talking about Iraq today? when today we had one of the worst days in history on the Economy. That's where all three candidates need to be focused. If they want americans to continue to contribute to their campaigns then we cannot continue to have the economy go down the tubes and for americans to lose their jobs.

    Hillary does not realize this because she has connected with less than 60% of the voters in the states that have already voted. The only state that gave her more than 60% of the "Popular Vote" was Arkansas (not even NY where she is Senator). That should tell us something. However, Obama has received over 60% of the "Popular Vote" in 13 states plus the district of Columbia.

    March 7, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. j. h.

    I believe Clinton needs to be called on the Canadian memo article that was reported In the New York Times stating the Clinton camp were the ones behind it. What Powers said about Clinton was no worse than when Clinton called someone a ' slum landlord '. Now
    she is saying people need to wonder what else is being said behind closed doors in the Obama camp. I also do not believe Florida and Michigan should be allowed to vote again. What the two states need to do is fire their governors for going against party rules as if they are superior to everyone else and can do as they please. If someone breaks the law they suffer the consequences so should the governers for breaking the rules. As a voter it is disgusting to see what the Hillary camp is getting away with while trying to say because Obama is trying to run a clean non-mudslinging election that means he is weak and not able to confront the countrys enemies. WAKE UP AMERICA AND SEE HILLARY FOR WHAT SHE IS. SHE WILL SAY ANYTHING TO GET THE VOTES AND SHE IS THE ONE WHO IS ALWAYS CHANGING HER WORDS. I KNOW THE MEDIA SHOULD SEE WHAT SHE IS DOING BUT I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THEY ARE GETTING AWAY WITHOUT CALLING HER ON THE STATEMENTS SHE IS MAKING THAT I KNOW THEY HAVE PICKED UP ON!!!

    March 7, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  21. averagejoe

    The only pattern that the American people are seeing right now is BO's double-talk. All his speeches are meant to say what they want to hear but he doesn't mean it at all. His primary focus is his political ambition. First, he was exposed on NAFTA after his senior economic aide told Canadians not to worry because everything he said to Ohio voters was just for a show. Now, here comes his foreign policy adviser saying that his Iraq stance may just be another show. Two people from his inner circle couldn't be making up these admissions. There must be some truth to these statements. BO now to apologize to the American people for engaging them in these double-talks, i.e. promising something but not being serious about implementing them. He should be ashamed of himself for LYING to them just in the hope of getting their vote. He's now TOAST!

    March 7, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. beckstone

    And she would defy the opinion of the ground commanders and pull out as a political move. Turn up the heat Barack, for god's sake. She is gonna do the same thing. I was relieved when I read that you will be very cautious about it. Democrats can't just pull out willy nilly cause the country is tired of it.

    March 7, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  23. KE

    A rumor about Sen. Clinton considering her running mate Sen. Obama is interesting, because there aren't many differences between them, Sen. Clinton has years of experience and Sen. Obama has ideas.

    March 7, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. Gary - Denver, CO

    The stock market tanked again today, we can't afford to drive, can't afford the war, losing our homes, joblessness going up, terrorist threats all over, and despite Bush's best efforts we manage to still stand up (although wavering).

    I admit, I am a Barack Obama fan. Do I think he can get us out of this jam the country's in? That would be a silly expectation at this point. But I do know this; I want to see our country take a different approach in how it operates on this planet. In the long run, he is not only our best option, but he also gives us a better chance to get on the path back what we had and who we are. I like Hillary Clinton, just not for this job.

    March 7, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  25. Eric in Ca

    Can't understand why the hostility towards Obama and the comments made by an advisor. I think it's very prudent to sit down and address the troop/Iraq situation from those immersed in knowledge of the best way to redeploy. It's the same thing that I hope ANY president would do.

    At least Obama was/is a straight shooter about the REALITIES of withdrawing troops. No one person has the answers but at least Obama keeps it real with how things need to be. Hillary isn't held to the same standards, what are her specifics – as president on the issues?!

    March 7, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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