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. CHERYL FOR HILLARY

    HILLARY WILL BE IN CHARGE!!!!!!!!!!

    THANKS FOR NOT BUYING INTO OBAMA'S BULL!

    BYE-OBAMA!!!

    April 17, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. CHERYL FOR HILLARY

    OBAMA LOST LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Good one Capt. Smash.

    April 17, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    J.N.Penley.... God bless you.

    April 17, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. Bettie

    Hillary needs to step a side, republican is gaining so much from this ridculs attacks. offcourse abc has joined fox news. i know i will never ever watch abc. but it was very sad to see american news behaving in way that direspectful. they need to be takenoff the Air

    April 17, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. Dannyboy

    Ever see Angela Lansbury in "The Manchurian Candidate?" The parallels are eerie.

    April 17, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  7. Patrick

    For those of you who say Obama is another bush, remember that bush had no knowledge of the issues during his first debate with Al Gore.

    While Bush showed little or no expertise on any policy during his first run for office, Obama has shown his in almost all areas, and actually shows more than Bush has right now.

    April 17, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. ceder8@juno.com

    Hillary can't even run a successful political campaign, how is she supposed to run a country AND a war?

    April 17, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. THE REAL CHERYL FOR HILLARY!

    YOU TELL THEM HILLARY! YOU ARE THE LEADER!!!!!!

    FL AND MI SUPPORT YOU!!!!!!!!

    YOU WILL WIN PENN!!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. Cynthia

    If she will lie about small things who knows what else she will lie about.

    April 17, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. lin

    She's right! If you don't agree with that, you must be an Obama nut and a Hillary hater. Lets see what she said, the pesident decides not the generals, wow if your against that you are a sick little puppy who's ready to hate anybody because your nutty candidate Obama didn't say it. yes we can't

    April 17, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. henriettap

    How can anyone actully say they know nothing about Obama when there is always Hillary and the media pulling what ever they can up on him she even went as far back as his kindergarten inspirations.now if that is not getting to the core of who a person is I don't know what is.To have to go back and bring his childhood seems like they were grasping for whatever they could get that might seem negative.Their campaign is really hurting the democrats by being so negative,she knows that she is actually working for McCain to win.

    April 17, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. hibbiejibbie

    "The president tells the military commanders what the mission is." Isn't that what Barak Obama said in the debate yesterday? wow, for someone who she "claims" is unelectable, she sure has no problem copying what he said.

    OBAMA 08!!!

    April 17, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. seyi

    Obama said that yesterday.... She is just following suit. Go home girl, you got some 109 mill to spend. We dont...

    April 17, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. Mk

    Move over Mini Me and Number Two, Hillary has now earned rank as Dr. Evil's top protege.

    April 17, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. An American in Canada

    Hillary R. Clinton the next president of American because she has solutions, she is strong, determined and know her subject matter whether it is the Irag war, economy, health care education, etc.

    Obama on the other hand has not solutions, speaks well only from speeches, he is not knowledgeable about any subject, responds hesitatingly on each topic...

    Some of the adjectives I would use to describe Obama

    Weak,
    lacking knowledge on topics relevant to Americans,
    little experience on the public platform,
    weak oh I already mentioned that, weak oh I mentioned that again.

    He claims it took 45 minutes to get to topics that the American people were interested in and all he did was gave his usualy boring unsubstantiated stump answers to how he will change Washington.

    He is worse than George W. Bush, he would bring this country down even further with his lack of experience, his lack of strenght and his lack of solutions.

    Hillary R. Clinton, President of American 2009-2012

    Because Hillary is not arrogant and she will ask the citizens of America in 2012 for another four years to serve them and not asumes it is our to proclaim!!

    April 17, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. RKE, Suisun City, CA

    I can imagine the response from people if Obama had said what Hillary said. They would call him naive and unprepared to be Commander-in-Chief. I want the troops out as much as anyone, but she made a very bull-headed statement. I want a president who takes into account everything the military says. Look what happened when Bush, Jr. didn't heed his generals' advice. This country went into Iraq unprepared for the aftermath. Contrast that to Bush, Sr. - we went into Kuwait and Iraq, took care of business, and left. She may think that sounds macho, but it just sounds stupid, naive, and ignorant. Looks like she isn't ready on day one, day two, day sixty, or day sixty-one.

    April 17, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  18. Real people for real man.

    Yes, Yes, and yes. Supperdelegates have themselve to blame after Hillary has destroyed the party.

    It is very clear hillary is campaigning Mccain style or Republican style of campaign and democrats don't want a big destraction.
    Again Hillary focus on attacks not attacking on issues or ideas ,but on misspoke, little misstakes something she also catch on in a negative tone.
    Hillary herself made more misstakes than Obama, but she won't let Obama's misstake to be a mare misstakes. She has used Obama misstakes as her line on campaign and she has more lies or fablication during this campaign than Obama.

    It is sad if the supperdelegates failed to stop this kind of bitterness among these 2 candidates NOW. ITCLEAR HILLARY WILL NOT RECOVER TO BEAT OBAMA WHO IS AHEAD IN POPULIRITY COUNT, MORE VOTES AND MORE WINS.

    April 17, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  19. Chris in Va.

    Hillary can't even run a successful campaign, Commander-in-chief, surely you jest.

    April 17, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. D. Thorne, Newport Beach

    . . . Hillary is beginning to look like mommy dearest. Oops, Sorry
    Joan Crawford.

    April 17, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  21. Jesse

    Atleast you have a plan unlike Obama.

    Go Hillary!

    April 17, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  22. mike

    If she gets to the general, I will not vote for her.

    April 17, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  23. Jill

    During a teleconference with reporters on January 15, 2004, Dean claimed "no doctor is going to do an abortion on a live fetus. That doesn't happen. Doctors don't do that. If they do, they'll get their license pulled, as well they should.".

    . If Howard Dean is this "DUMB" how in this world can he run this election. He needs to just shut the f— up, and let the people "VOTE.

    CNN, i know won't post this,because they are obama's mouth piece

    April 17, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  24. Huntingdon PA

    This is not a popularity contest.

    We are choosing the next President of the USA, not student body president.

    Hillary is ready, Obama is not.

    Vote for Hillary to stop McCain.

    April 17, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. BOOHOO

    Sounds like all the Obama supporters don't want to admit that their canidate was clearly unprepared, did not know how to take a tough question and fidgetted all night. CHECK THIS OUT!!
    OBAMA IS NOT ABOVE THE REST. HE WILL, REPEAT, WILL BE QUESTIONED ON HIS CHARACTER. HE DOES NOT GET A LOLIPOP AND A PILLOW EVERYTIME THE CAMERA COMES ON. OBAMA IS JUST A CRY BABY SALLY. WEAK AND WET BEHIND THE EARS. CONTRADICTED HIMSELF ON THE TAX CUTS, ADMITTED HE WAS NOT FAMILIAR WITH A HUGE GUN BILL SITTING AT THE SUPREME COURTS FEET. ARE YOU SERIOUS! HE HAS THE CAJUNAS TO CRY TODAY IN N C TO AND YELP LIKE A WOUNDED DOG.
    I WAS WAITING FOR GEORGE TO ASK OBAMA IF HE WANTED CHEESE WITH HIS WHINE.

    April 17, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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