April 17th, 2008
03:18 PM ET
7 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. Ellie in Aurora, CO

    A little plagiarism? "The president tells the military commanders what the mission is" is almost exactly what Obama said during the debate...

    April 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Emit

    Another Bush – "I don't care what people tell me, I'm going to do what I want."

    Actually, It's hard anymore to believe anything Hillary says. She has started making too many campaign promises that she has no intention of keeping. She simply says what she thinks the Super Delegates want to hear and presses on.

    April 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. the best plan

    Hillary Clinton

    I did not realize how clear and detailed your plans were until last night.

    The other debates focused on personality issues.

    ABC RULES.... really gave the candidates a forum to show themselves and their plans.

    Obama dropped out of the game.
    You were there all the way.

    April 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. Mr. C.

    The Clintons do not know what "Being Careful" means.

    April 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. johnny boy

    how many times has she changed her position on this?

    April 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. DS in SD

    And in this picture... Hillary demonstrates how many supporters she will have left at this rate by this time next month...

    April 17, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Sue

    Jeez, where did I hear that one? hmmmm oh yes Obama already said that Hillary.

    April 17, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. honkey white guy from cali

    What is she still pledging to do? you have to be commander and chief before you can do that and I hate to be the one to tell you you done! even if Obama dropped out now with the fraud case against her starting April 25th no way she can win in November. Half of America thinks she is untrustworthy. Oh well let her rant and speak I don't think anyone except the uneducated feminist are still supporting her! the ones who can not type except in all caps.

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Larry in Michigan

    After Hillary finishes dividing the democratic party, does she plan on running for president as in Independent?

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. gerard morei

    Hillary you are a Brilliant woman and people will be crazy if they don't vote for you.
    Hillary for President 2009!!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. No Hillary

    "Withdwawl in her first 60 days" .... In her first 60 days as what... as junior advisor to President Barak Obama?

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Yulia

    "the president tells the military commanders what the mission is."

    Isn't that what Barack Obama said yesterday night?

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Hillary - Liar

    She voted for the war, she is an idiot.

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. ECHEWEOZO

    stupid lier

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. good luck

    Hillary Clinton the most hated for no reason...
    The one the media loves to trash...

    The beautiful and poised candidate that has been swiftboated by her own party...

    Good luck and God bless. America needs you. I will write you in in Nov if Obama with the help of the DNC steals this rigged nomination.

    Many like me will choke on a candidate that has literally been forced down our throats by Oprah, the Kennedys, the media and the DNC.... by everyone but the ones that count: THE AMERICAN VOTERS

    April 17, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. dlr

    Give me a Break!!!!!! It takes a whole host of people to make a sound judgement and that is something you can not do Sen. Clinton!!!!

    Your Rank in File are leaving you. Getting a hint yet?

    April 17, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. pleez

    Hill i am not for the war but you are acting like an unguided missile you are a loose cannon.

    obama 08

    April 17, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. ABC

    It is essential that we rebuild America's strength. Among the three remaining candidates, only Hillary has consistently emphasized this point. However, she may not have a chance, because the derailed Democrat primaries seem to be irreversable. What a pity!

    April 17, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Jack in ND

    The recklessness and arrogance in that first paragraph is truly terrifying.

    April 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. R

    I agree with her. All the respect to the general, but if the President says find a plan to get out, then find a plan.

    How many more soldiers need to die?

    April 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. therealist

    But when will the last troops be out Hillary, Obama? Promise??

    April 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. enomisa

    CNN where are all my pro-Hillary posts going?

    You are only Hiding the truth, blocking us does not mean we don't exist and will not vote for her.

    IF it is too late to stem the poisonous Obama-tide created by Oprah, the Kennedys, the media and the DNC....

    Then we will jump in anyway with our votes in Nov.

    April 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. honkey white guy from cali

    Shows now she is trying a one last ditched effort to curry support with anti war voters more pandering! Note her husband also promised the GLBT that he would end the separation in the military. He won with much support from the community and then put a policy in that to this day has made this country less safe and given worthless scum an excuse to quit the military by simply walking in to the legal office and saying "I am gay"!
    birds of a feather no one can trust the Clinton name it stand for everything but truth or honesty

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can.

    April 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  24. jyh1920

    She really meant to say she will withdrawal from this race in the next 60 days. She mispoke...again.

    April 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Cornel

    So she would ignore expert advice and do it any way? Sounds familar. Sounds like W....

    April 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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