ALIQUIPPA, Pennsylvania (CNN) - One day after telling General David Petraeus and Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker that it would be "irresponsible" to continue American military involvement in Iraq, Clinton took the issue onto the campaign trail and claimed her two rivals for the White House cannot be trusted to end the war.
Before a backdrop reading "Solutions for a Strong Military," Clinton accused John McCain of wanting to keep troops in Iraq "for up to 100 years," a charge McCain's campaign has disputed.
"Yesterday, he basically reiterated his commitment to the course we are on," she said. "Well, I don't agree with that."
Clinton's plan calls for the U.S. to begin withdrawal within 60 days of her becoming president, in consult with military advisers. In her speech Wednesday, she questioned Barack Obama's commitment to achieving the same goal.
"Sen. Obama on the other hand says he will end the war, but his top foreign policy adviser said he won't necessarily follow the plan he has been talking about during this campaign, that his plan is just words," she said. "You can count on me to end the war safely and responsibly."
(UPDATE: McCain, Obama camps respond after the jump)
Clinton was referring to Obama's former adviser Samantha Power, who told the BBC in early March that it would be difficult for the next president to firmly commit to a campaign pledge to withdraw troops, when no one can predict what the situation on the ground in Iraq will be in January 2009.
Power, who resigned last month after calling Clinton a "monster," said Obama's plan to withdraw combat troops within 16 months is a "best-case scenario."
"That's the choice," Clinton continued. "One candidate will continue the war and keep the troops in Iraq indefinitely. One candidate only says he will end the war. And one candidate is ready, willing and able to end the war and to rebuild our military while honoring our soldiers and our veterans."
UPDATE: The Republican National Committee, reacting on behalf of the McCain campaign, blasted Clinton's comments. “Senator Clinton’s calls for retreat would leave Iraq to the terrorists, and lead the U.S. into a wider and more difficult war in the future," said RNC spokesman Alex Conant. "It’s clear Clinton is listening to her party’s left-wing base and not General Patraeus and Ambassador Crocker.”
Later, the Obama camp weighed in. "Hillary Clinton's tired and discredited attack is just the same old politics that won't end this war that she voted to authorize, and won't change the fact that she has repeatedly misled the American people about her Iraq record," said spokesman Hari Sevugan.
"We're happy to have a debate with Hillary Clinton over who the American people trust to end this war, since Barack Obama is the only candidate who had the judgment to oppose the war from the very beginning, not just from the beginning of a campaign for President."