April 17th, 2008
03:18 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton: President, not generals, will be in charge in Iraq

Clinton is pledging to begin withdrawal in the first 60 days of her administration.
Clinton is pledging to begin withdrawal in the first 60 days of her administration.

HAVERFORD, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Hillary Clinton declared Thursday she will begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within 60 days of becoming president, regardless of what her military advisers say about the situation on the ground at the time.

"You can see which way the questions are going," she firmly told a mostly female audience gathered at Haverford College, a small liberal arts school outside of Philadelphia. "What if the military commanders tell you its dangerous to withdraw? That question is backwards. The president tells the military commanders what the mission is."

Clinton has faced a slew of hypothetical questions from reporters about withdrawing from Iraq after she said last week that her rival Barack Obama cannot be trusted to end the war.

In making that case to voters and the press, the Clinton campaign has cited an interview with a former Obama foreign policy adviser, Samantha Power, who told the BBC in March that the Illinois senator's pledge to withdraw all combat troops in 16 months was "a best case scenario."

At the Democratic debate in Philadelphia last night, Clinton was asked if she would bring the troops home "no matter what," even if that meant destabilizing the country.

Clinton said yes, promising to do so responsibly and with a strong diplomatic effort in the region.

"Our professional military are the best in the world," she said. "They give their best advice. And then they execute the policies of the president."

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Pennsylvania
soundoff (380 Responses)
  1. Greg

    Gee, I wonder if she is telling the "truth" here.

    April 17, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. Huntingdon PA

    Yes she can and she will.

    Hillary '08 & '12

    April 17, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. Concerned Democrat

    Hogwash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Ron Las Vegas

    Isn't this the same way Bush has handled things? Don't listen to anyone else, just go and do what you want.

    April 17, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. KiloWhiskey - Denver

    From the election I hope

    April 17, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    How about she starts with her withdrawal today!

    April 17, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Praetorian, NY

    As if we can trust anything that comes out of that woman's mouth.

    April 17, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. SBAMA

    "What if the military commanders tell you its dangerous to withdraw? That question is backwards. The president tells the military commanders what the mission is."

    – Isn't this exactly what Obama's response was during the debate...

    Geesh, can she do anything honestly??

    April 17, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. AZM

    Commander and Chief Clinton!

    I've had enough...

    Obama 08

    April 17, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. Andrew

    Brilliant idea! Pay no attention to the people who actually know what is going on. She must be an expert in everything!

    April 17, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. Jane

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Crickets.....

    April 17, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. The best

    You are only the best.

    Win now or win in Nov.

    Either way... NO Obama

    April 17, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Sean

    Like Bush did? He didn't listen to his military advisors and look where we're at! 4,000 dead soldiers. Maybe if he would have listened, we wouldn't be in this situation. She needs to do the same. Listen! Do you want those 4,000 deaths to be for nothing because you pulled out of Iraq too quickly?

    April 17, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. G.N. Penley

    Withdrawal is a policy that Hillary Clinton's father should have adopted some sixty years ago.

    April 17, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. Joe Ossai

    Lady please drop out. You are now a joker

    April 17, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. DH

    Schizophrenia
    is a serious disorder which affects how a person thinks, feels and acts. Someone with
    schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginar.....
    and may have difficulty expressing normal emotions in social situations..

    Better see a doctor, Hillary

    April 17, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Daniel T., Notre Dame, IN

    Now that it becomes more and more clear that she's not going to get the nomination, she gets desperate and starts making promises in the hopes of winning anti-war support. But's it's too late.

    April 17, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. Sante

    Last night Obama LOST!

    Peaple please outline me 10 thinks that make Obama ready to be Commander in chief.
    I will tell you 10 thinks that he is HOT ready:
    – Mysterious relationship with mysterious people
    – He is a snob and arrogant with people that he does not depend on, manipulator with those that he needs; behind there back he is sarcastic!
    – last 10-15 years what he has done like a Community organiser, Senator in Chicago or more so senator of USA
    /my answer would be :running for offices; professional runner/
    – credibility issues : big time, /many things that have been sad by him / but 1/2 of the Democrats do not to accnolige it for different reasons; one of them is Clintons haters.
    – lock of experience: that is NOT very responsible, because he will experiment with that country and the world: dangerous ambition
    – chameleon , very , very good at it.
    – he started to attack FIRST Hillary Clinton; during the debates still with Eduards and Richardson. I have a copy! The explanation was : she is a front runner!!?? Isn't it now opposite?
    – his campaign uses many hidden tactics, he supposed to be "different"
    -Very left – I call it SOCIALISM / NARCISSISM.
    -Bad debater,;and he supposed to negotiate with world anti American leaders?

    Hillary is a B... , but I am not planning to marry her, I need she to do job for me and my family!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    "What if the military commanders tell you its dangerous to withdraw? That question is backwards. The president tells the military commanders what the mission is."

    She copied that from Obama last night in the debate! You go girl use Obama's words to show who's boss! lol, lol

    April 17, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. Jan

    Clinton is the only one that is answering ALL the questions head
    on. Obama keeps back tracking on all his answers.

    I'll take Hillary's LITTLE lies over Obama's BIG lies.

    HILLARY IS A TRUE AMERICAN>

    Hillary 08

    April 17, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. Wes

    Thats just Irresponseable... she wouldn't admit it last night but she just pretty much did here. She thinks she knows better than the Soldiers handeling the War!! At the most fire the current peerson in charge and hire someone you feel knows better don't just say you do!Shooting cans in your summer cottage doesn't mean you know War!! I agree out troops need to come home but we want them home safely, Iraq knows ur plans already so it wont be any suprise as they attack our weak parts.

    April 17, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. jl

    OOPS!

    She means she will support OBAMA'S plan to withdraw the troops.

    And do whatever she can to support the policies of HIS presidency.

    April 17, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Yes we can

    And yes we will.
    Hillary the true leader finds her voice.

    She shone last night. What grace and poise and intelligence.

    She was brilliant.

    Just one problem…
    Just when I was starting to buy into the audacity of hype….I mean hope… don't parse my words.

    I am a uniter, I am…. You just don't understand me.

    I am a Christian, I am… I just practice a doctrine of Hate.

    I don't align myself with bad people…. no I don't… I don't really know them, I didn't have fundraisers at their homes… they didn't buy me a house.

    If you are not with me then you are all liars, liars pants on fire.

    Oh My…. Bye Bye 'bama

    April 17, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Jesse

    ~~

    Why doesn't she withdraw from this race??

    She is destroying the party

    April 17, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Amy Mather

    "You can see which way the questions are going," she told a mostly female audience gathered at Haverford College, a small liberal arts school outside of Philadelphia. "What if the military commanders tell you its dangerous to withdraw? That question is backwards. The president tells the military commanders what the mission is."

    I love how Obama said that yesterday during the debate. Awesome, Hillary! Who "xeroxed" that?

    April 17, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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