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. Georgia

    Mr. Obama, do you see what you inspire? Hatred and division.

    March 7, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA

    Is Hillary running to be John McCains VP?

    What is this woman's problem?

    She already lost mathematically, what is she trying to accomplish?

    March 7, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. Yes, I'm A Cheater

    Yes, American people,

    I have lied and cheated my way to make you believe I have experience. Well what are you complaining about– it worked.

    So just keep voting for me, and I will pretend I really care about your high gas prices, your mortgages and all the things the little people are enduring.

    LOL...Washington will not change, I've promised too many corporate lobbyist, I'd keep their pockets full. But if you want, I'll write another book on "How I Became The First Woman President", and I can give you my autograph for $29.95. Who knows, it might even give the economy a jolt.

    Coronate...I mean vote for me, soon.

    Your girl–the other half of Bill.

    March 7, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. Dan

    The party is really over for sen Obama's supporters, mabe Howard Dean, giving how much he opposes the war, will finally count the votes in Florida. It's another sign that Barack's not ready to be president. Can you imagine the republicans running with this story. Through his own admission when he won the senete said he wasn't ready, well he was right on that, but some people and rich ones too pushed this man into this. Most journalist are for Obama but they all make good salaries to pay for their homes and would like to try somthing new, Do journalist really care about forclosures or job losses or healthcare. The way they put down sen Clinton who has a real plan to fix these problems and Pres Clinton whom has helped people the most is mind boggling. With Hillary the troops are comming home period.

    March 7, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  5. Anna

    I am soooooo sick and tired of listening to Obama, he was against the war from the beginning and Hillary voted for it! Well, he wasn't even in the Senate so he did not have the same info that our US Senators had. Also, over 70% of the people were in favor of the war when it first began. I wonder how many of you blasting Hillary now were actually for the war when it first began? Lastly, have any of you Obama supporters read the article in the New Yorker? Obama questions wheather he would have voted for the war if he had been in the US Senate.......

    Hillary 08

    March 7, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. kathleen.

    Was Hillary's "pounce" similar to a huge boulder falling
    on to the Highway?

    Obama 2008 for President of the USA.
    No to a "Dream Ticket" Dreamed up by the scammer herself. Obama would never work under a liar, because He is not a liar..and would
    never contend with her conduct.

    March 7, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. slim

    who cares about the clinton's tax returns? we all know obama's been greatly funded by rezko (in exchange for favors).


    March 7, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. naomi

    Dear Obama,
    You supported Kerry last election.
    He also voted for going to war with Iraq.
    This isn't just old washington politics,
    it's relaly old.

    I also don't understand why the tax returns are such an issue. Comeon Mr. Rezko....

    March 7, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. Michelle

    Looks like CNN supports Hillary! Look at all her coverage! Wow, isn't that something! Media has a lot to do with this!

    To my FELLOW Democrats:

    If McCain can attack Obama enough he knows that he has the Presidency for sure! The TWO Clinton candidates can't beat McCain!

    The remainder of the Republicans are encouraging the TWO Clinton Democratic nom.

    Don't Be BLIND to the other parties tactics!!!

    March 7, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Lou-NH

    Nina – What is your point? We can't pull out of Iraq that fast? or we shouldn't pulll out of Iraq at all?

    23 U.S. Senator voted against giving the President the authority to use force. The then State Senator Obama spoke out strongly against giving that authorization at that time. Why would you suggest he would not have voted as the 23 other U.S. Senators.

    At least he would have read the intelligence report and made an informed decision instead of counting on a briefing for a decision of such magnitude.

    March 7, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Be patient Obama supporters. I said it once and I'll say it again, Hillary will create her own demise. The more she lies, the more she has to lie until she has no more wiggle room. Remember she is a Clinton and her "experience" is lying.

    March 7, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  12. Patty

    Obama has been a great politician, we need him in the White House.
    This has nothing to do with him being weak, he is about change.
    as a female I don't think Hillary would make a good President. we've had 8 years of Clinton and 8 years of Bush. Hillary . Niether one of them new what was ahead of them. We need change in America we don't need to believe what hillary thinks about Obama, we need honesty. She can't wait to beat up on him. What has she got to hide, she's running on the 8 years of Bill. Don't be fooled america, she can't change anything. we need change in america not the same old mess in the White House. Wake up america

    March 7, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  13. Drew in Cali

    The irony of it all. Obama is yet another run of the mill politician who talks out of both sides of his mouth. Don't hate him, our culture and human nature was not designed for everyone to agree on everything. Our Politicians have to song and dance there way through. One false step and your toast.

    The irony is that for all his talk of "Change" he has created a movement of divisiveness, anger and hate. The audacity that Democrats would be so hateful of the Clinton era where we had a great economy and prosperity. Have you all forgotten It was the republicans who declared war on the Clintons so many many moons ago and here we are years later buying into what they engineered. Are they truly the smarter Party?

    Half of the Democratic party favors Barack while the other favors Hillary. Have we forgotten how to be Liberal in our way of thinking? Have we become "Conservatives?" with only one way of thinking, their way. Take a deep breath, relax. Remember what we stand for. Because right now, we are acting like the other party.

    March 7, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  14. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Hillary is "EXPERIENCED" in lying and that's the only detail experience she has.

    March 7, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. Paul, Northern Ireland, UK

    I cannot believe that people actually vote for that woman. Are people really that stupid?! I'm from the UK, and have been glued to this democratic race (and watching McCain when I couldn't sleep, which put me out like a light). Clinton is sneaky, snide, sleeked, insincere, vindictive, and power-hungry. She would sell her own grandmother, just to win. She really must have a big problem with insecurity, given how she tells blatant lies about Obama, then goes out of her way to be publicly offended when she gets a taste of her own medicine (re: "Shame on you, Barack Obama!")! After everything low-down and nasty she has said about Obama, along with the fear politics strategy she has adopted recently, I was shocked that people were still voting for her. She appears to be very good at covering things up and making the public forget how nasty and underhanded she can be, but surely, SURELY you people who support her can see through her? I wouldn't want someone with her character and attitude running MY country, and I'm astounded that so many of you Americans want a person of such ill repute to run yours!
    Obama is, by a country mile, the best candidate, and on so many levels. If you're smart, you'll vote for him

    March 7, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  16. Arlene N.Y.

    So, by your comment a women should never run for U.S. President
    because some countries don't respect women???...Tell that to the current 16 women world leaders! Also, are you forgetting that the women monarchies in Britains past commanded large British Militaries, and were successful leaders, and the countries that you speak of did not respect women back then, either.

    March 7, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. keg

    This only shows how mean and desperate this woman is.Here we go again.She will sell bill and chelsea just to get to the white house.She is too destructive.

    March 7, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. JenniferB

    I challenge the readers here to go to Hillary's website and try and comment. You don't have to say any mean...just point out a fact and/or question any message being put out there that might not ring totally true. Your post WILL NOT show up.

    Go to Barack's website and post, whatever you will show up.

    So, if you don't want to say "Go, Hillary! We love you!", don't bother going to Hillary's is full of brain-washed nuts with a cult like following. And she's going to take the Constitution out of cold freeze, eh? What about freedom of speech??? (I guess just not on Hillary's website...)

    March 7, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Basquale

    Americans must ask themself why they are so being hated all over the World. Because of this foolish war in Irak! And Hlllary voted for it. That's a wonderful 35 years of experience! Even teenagers know that war never resolves problems.

    March 7, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. Ian

    Let's see if I have my facts straight...

    -70% of U.S. wants the troops home (Give or take)
    – Dem's gain majority and vow to bring troops home
    – There's enough money in the budget to fund the troops for months
    – If there's enough money to support the troops for months the Dem's could block any further funding of the war and use the remaining money to bring the troops home in a safe fashion
    – Dem's vote for additional war funding and they don't even get any kind of timetable

    But who cares, right? Let's bicker back and forth about Clinton and Obama because the rest of the Democrats in congress have our backs, right? The phrase, "Don't shoot the messenger" comes to mind.

    March 7, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. Allison Marie

    Go home Obama, come back in 8 years when you have the experience to do the job.

    Florida, uncounted voter!

    March 7, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  22. kathleen.

    I am a Democrat professional w/ woman of 63. I was
    100% for Obama from Day 1. The people who do not
    see thru Hillary's lies must not want to vote for a Black
    Man. He is my Hero. He tells the truth.

    In the beginning I said that I would vote for Obama first,
    but if he did not win the nomination I would definitely
    Vote for Hillary. Now I could never, never vote for that
    woman. After all she has said. The way she has acted
    is atrocious.

    The numbers of people that are voting in the Democratic
    race came out because of Obama. If they came out for
    Hillary, they came out because they thought she was losing.
    If Hillary wins the nomination, There will be many, many
    Democrats who will not vote.

    Can't vote for Hillary now!!! And certainly not McCoon,
    Who paid for McCains BBQ? The mens cronie slumber
    party. Did Cindy cook? Did Mr. Bush attend?
    Why did McCain fall in Pres. Bush's arms on the
    porch of the White House. That was a goofy photo
    for the Pres. and a "woulda, coulda, Pres. contender.


    March 7, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  23. BL-NYC

    I have to say, I am really glad that this Democratic campaign has gone on this long so that we could really see Senator Obama's TRUE colors...
    AMAZING... We have heard this "careful getting out as we were careless getting in" speech for a year...
    He gave ONE speech people years ago and is running an entire campaign based on that speech... This is insane, but I am super happy that we see his real light!!!

    March 7, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. Sally

    Every time I lisen to Barack speak I intuitively feel he is the better candidate. His truth is self evident and it becomes very obvious to me the man walks his talk. He obviously has others as his first priority. Hard for me to understand how other people can't see that.

    March 7, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  25. SMART1

    You Clinton people have no idea what your in for, the nit picking with "he said this" as though the "cry baby" has never eworded her comments. I a sick of the pettiness. She lies about her involvement with foreign policy, she had little to do with most of these committes. But what does "experience" count for did Bush have experience? LOOK WHAT EXPERIENCE GOT US!!! I am also disgusted by her turning on her own party member (Obama) to side with McCain so she can get votes. She is a "MONSTER" The delegates can see that she is a liability and they don't want to work someone with no integrity.
    Obama 08! and 09!

    March 7, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
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