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. Miz

    I disagreed with the war, but like Clinton people were being tourted and killed be Hussen and his sons. In WWll Americans said it would not happen again, what if it was your family and friends dying at his hands. Hillary was very right it is call being a hero!! That's Love to others.

    March 7, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. LAW

    I would hope that the average voter might stop to ponder what is happening as the two Democratic camps set about sharpening their swords. It is not a very flattering picture. Politics is never pretty, but at least the curtain is being pulled back so some sunlight can get in.

    John McCain is high on my list for respect for what he accomplished and endured in the military, but he is not the man I would like to see as President. Nevertheless, there certainly is no other good choice on the stage. At least with him the terrorists know that we won't tuck our collective tail between our legs and bare our belly for them to sink their teeth into. Iraq is a fact, deal with it. And that doesn't mean surrendering at the eleventh hour.

    I sure wish we would listen more to the troops on the ground over there. Not the exception here and there, but the average guy or gal who is involved daily. Why can they see what many others can't? Two words: blind hatred. Hatred of Bush has blinded too many Democrats. Even the media see that things are improving in Iraq. The Democrats will be the last to get it, if they ever do.

    March 7, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. Whats Next

    Take Down the "MONSTER".

    The Lying Monster, The Political Monster, The 35 Yr Experienced Monster, The Billary Monster, The No Show Taxes Monster, The Politics of Old Monster, The Don't Stop Rwanda Monster, The I Must Attack Obama, The 3AM Monster, The Clinton Monster Machine. Haha, that was fun.

    Obama the Lover, not a Fighter...for president!

    March 7, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. Patty

    "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."

    Did I read this right? He REFUSED to comment????? Sorry, but that is NOT good enough to "refuse to comment". Maybe it is time he run his campaign like a grown up with experience. He is not near as ready for day one in the Oval Office as Hillary is. He is a great and nice guy BUT not ready for prime time yet with all the problems this country has.

    March 7, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. Dan

    What will you Obama supporters do when she releases her incom tax and the diaries on how she met world leaders as first lady do when it's all kosher. I guess you'll be stuck with hope that Rezko doesn't spill the beans.

    March 7, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. Cindy

    To those who say that Hillary and Bill's tax returns don't mean anything well let me give you some food for thought.

    If Bill (as has been reported) has made tremendeous sums of MONEY from a foreign source whose government has committed horrendeous human rights violations, violations that have been decried on the Senate floor...then that is of import to the American public. There are things called "conflict of interest." AND it can be argued that by accepting money from these foreign sources, it could give the appearance that Bill is selling (peddling, making promises) to those governments by virtue of being husband to someone who could be the next president of the United States.

    IF HRC is on the up and up then what is the big deal about producing those records? What is the big deal about producing schedules and phone records from Bill's time in the White House? (Those by the way are "public records" and should be obtainable by the Freedom of Information Act) IF HRC is clean and lily white as she says she is then why the big deal?

    Can you answer that without casting stones at Obama? Just address the issue. They (Hillary and Bill) are giving every impression that they are trying to hide something so if they aren't then they should just produce the tax returns, schedules and phone records and all will be well.

    March 7, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. Jim

    Obama, you can not handle the truth. You are good for a pastor, not a president. you have no guts to vote in the house because u are afraid. That's why you voted more 100 times of "present". What does it mean "Present"? Present to collect salary? No shame.

    March 7, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. Kim, Dallas, TX

    I wish people were a bit more open minded and observant and could see what Hillary is doing. She is playing a psychological game with Obama's character. Her bad judgment and game playing should be called to task; not to mention her claim of years of experience. She appears conniving and manipulative, calculating and dishonest. Between her and Bill, they have run the most negative campaign. Hillary is in it only for the power and prestige, not for the good of our country. The three last states she got were due to Karl Rovian tactics and Republican interference to keep Obama from being elected-they voted for Hillary. They already knew that McCain would represent their party and MANY voted for Hillary as a result. Our country has a gift in Obama and we are going to let it slip by due to a gender, a famous name, political games, and ignorance.

    March 7, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. gary

    Iraq,Iraq,Change,Change,yes we can , yes we can, Nafta,Nafta, hope, hope, dream, dream , . Obama is like a broken record.He has nothing but smooth talk, negative addittude and arogant personality. He started the negatives since the starting of this race,with Iraq,nafta, and negative pamplets against HRC. HRC fights back and people make her the bad one.America better wake up and think about their country ,instead of being bias against the only one that can bring the changes you ask for.America needs HRC. You think the Super Deligates want to put an on the job training canadate like Obama in to office. Our country needs Hillary.

    March 7, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  10. Ken, San Diego, CA

    In other news, the Candian Prime Minister's Office confirmed that NO ONE from the Hillary campaign contacted them (nor spoke to them in any way, shape, or form) regarding NAFTA. The NAFTA/Canada red herring belongs solely to Obama...

    March 7, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  11. Chris in Va.

    Come on Dan, do you or anyone else out there really belive that if Mrs Clinton's "first lady diaries" and tax returns were "kosher" that she wouldn't release them immediately to bolster her monsterous ambitions?

    March 7, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  12. Belle

    What isn't mentioned about Obama....

    He claims he did not pay his college loan off until 3-4 years ago...yet 3 years ago in 2005, he bought his 1.6 million dollar mansion...(300K) less than market value, while Rezko's wife bought the land at FULL MARKET value....His campaign got a 3.5 million dollar loan from a Panamanian company.

    Obama supporters bring up the Paul v. Clinton case in California....a case which Senator Clinton was dismissed from, and is in appeals right now.
    The supposed "smoking" gun video...which I have seen, is Senator Clinton calling the Entertainment company and thanking them for all of the effort and energy they put into the event. (Year 2000).

    Paul says because Senator Clinton called him, it meant she was part of the planning. I don't know about you, but if someone held a Hollywood dinner for the DNC that tributed my husband, and stars all over the place attended....I probably would call and thank them too...

    March 7, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. PCS / North Carolina

    Hillary has experience, what experience as the "first lady" ? Then Laura bush has more experience than Hillary ! If not for "Bill Clinton" there is no way Hillary would be in this position. Obama was nobody 4yrs ago, and built up this phenomenal movement. All Americans should be proud of this achievement , instead of making derogatory and acrimonious comments.

    Why did Hillary authorized this merciless Iraq war if she has EXPERIENCE, !! Presidents need to have good Judgment, rather than artificial experience.

    Nobody will have experience to make that 3am call, until they become the president. That was a fear mongering at it's best. With all her mood swings we see during this campaign, when the 3am call comes in, she will press the nuclear button in a heartbeat.

    March 7, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. Donna

    Obama is the only candidate running that can convince other countries to replace US troops with an international Peace Force. US cannot get out of Iraq without replacing those soldiers with some other alternative more acceptable to Iraqis and the rest of the world. Hillary cannot and will not get out of Iraq in 60 days. That's a fairy tale.

    March 7, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. Joe

    Umm.. guys you forgot that he gave a speech before to the vote opposing it...don't you think billary would make the same point but they know he gave this big speech so they haven't thrown that at idiots watch the debates,

    March 7, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. John

    Please Clinton Campaign, Stop talking lies by taking against Obama's word. Do it for the sake of the Democratic party.

    March 7, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Jo from Texas

    I've heard that Obama wasn't present for the vote on Iraq, is this true? If so he couldn't vote against it -he wasn't there. Also, I'd like to know how much of his campaign funds if any were contributed by the Middle East? We just don't know enough about him...hmmm

    March 7, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. jayhii

    In response to jay:

    The last thing Hilary Clinon wants is a close examination of her "experience". She is using a ploy form the Art of War: Use your weakness to attack your enemy at their strength. We saw this 8 years ago with W Bush attacking McCain on his military record, his temperance, and his record. Mrs. Clinton is counting on the for-profit media (CNN included) to focus the attention away from her background and on Mr. Obama's status as a freshmen legislator.
    I am opposed to Hilary on the following (fact checked) items:
    Her involvement Entergy Energy & Rose Law) with privatizing the Indonesian public utilities.
    The Rose Law records that were secreted away at the White House residence.
    Her current use of DeLay/Bush tactics to secure the nomination (fear, secrecy, etc.)
    The acceptance of record K Street monies.
    There are many more, but I'm out of room.

    March 7, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. Obamaites.......

    Especially 'real change' you stand for:

    1. nuclear weapons
    2. disenfranchising voters
    3. cocaine use (Sinclair vs. Obama)
    4. only kids covered for health care (trying doing the math – it will not work)
    5. supporting NAFTA
    6. supporting some form of the war and if the are found back in Iraq to go back in? duh – they are there now.

    Just to name a few of what Senator Obama stands for.

    Well, I must say that I disagree with yours and Senator Obamas supports. I am most certainly not in support of nuclear weapons, disenfranchising voters, no health care for adults (and what is the CHANGE with that?), NAFTA, and going back after withdrawing from Iraq.

    March 7, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  20. Miz


    March 7, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  21. George from Minneapolis

    As a Obama supporter, I am not worried at all. Obama should win the nomination and trounce McCain in the general election.

    If Hillary is allowed to hijack the nomination, she would lose to McCain in the general election. In that case she would be hated throughout the country and in 4 years the democratic party will come crawling on its knees to Obama to save it.

    No matter what happens, as Obama says, Hillary is the past and he is the future.

    March 7, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. An Independent for Obama

    Prior to the last few weeks I was pro Obama or Hillary (an independocrat) however, after Hillary's performance I am now pro-Obama. Lets face it I wouldnt want a Pilots wife flying my airplane because she is married to a Pilot! There is only 2 ways I would allow that: 1.) She has actually attended flight school and logged flying hours or 2.) She is surrounded by competent pilots.

    Lets not forget the Peter Paul case: Paul v. Clinton when you think of Rezko. The media doesnt cover this??? I urge you do your research! Hillary is a fake! Look for the public or

    March 7, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  23. simple thought ?

    i didn't know obama spilled coffee in2005?

    and he has a late library book?

    that's just unamerican.

    sounds like an Oprah episode to me.

    follow the elder vote, there past being nieve in a time of two wars.

    one of which mr. obama could make a difference in but is too busy trying to up his pay grade to conduct NATO meetings that could have produced more NATO troops instead of sending more Americans.

    March 7, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  24. Larry

    YOU GO Angela CBC, Hello, Sarah, Vince, Nina and everyone who has finally see through phony Obama !!!!!!.

    We have too many issues facing our belove country and therefore, we need a strong leader to make the changes this country needs and that is certainly not fake Obama. He claims Hillary will say anything to get elected. Ha, haa, the pot calling the kettle black

    March 7, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. 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 he is just speech and shows how inexperienced he is on not being able to control his own people… Go and vote for Hillary!!!

    March 7, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
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