May 1st, 2008
11:50 AM ET
6 years ago

Dems seize on 5 year anniversary of 'Mission Accomplished' speech

,
CNN

Watch Barack Obama's comments Thursday.

(CNN)— The Iraq war – which has taken a back seat to economic concerns on the campaign trail recently – returned to the forefront Thursday as Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama used the fifth anniversary of President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech to blast the administration’s war policy.

At a campaign event in Indiana, Obama drew a parallel between President Bush’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech and Clinton and John McCain’s gas tax holiday proposals, telling the crowd that ultimately, the “the long term problems... keep going and going and going.”

“You remember when George Bush five years ago put up a big sign in front of an aircraft carrier saying: ‘Mission accomplished in Iraq.’ I’m sure they thought that was good politics. Except five years later we're still in this war in Iraq,” said the Illinois senator, who has made his early opposition to the war a major theme of his campaign.

His Democratic rival stressed administration missteps in the early days of the conflict. “The fifth anniversary of President Bush's ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech comes the same week as a chief architect of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq conceded ‘We were clueless on counterinsurgency,’” Clinton said in a statement. “The path forward is to use American diplomacy and our allies to allow U.S. forces to come home, and turn responsibility back to Iraq and its people.”

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner had been referring to the sailors on the ship where the speech was delivered, not the war itself. “President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said `mission accomplished' for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission," said Perino. "And we have certainly paid a price for not being more specific on that banner. And I recognize that the media is going to play this up again tomorrow, as they do every single year."

soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Shioh Wa

    Pay attention folks. Clinton says "OBLITERATE IRAN" McCain sings "BOMB BOMB BOMB IRAN" They both voted for the Iraq war on false intelligence reports. Clinton didn't even read the reports and voted for it! Gun toat'n girl is a warmonger, too. "OBITERATE" that means children, women, grandparents!!!!!!!!!! Wake up America.

    May 1, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  2. Quinn

    Here again is Hillary giving a plan and Obama giving rhetoric. God bless us all if this Mini Me Bush gets into office.

    May 1, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. tensia

    Obama woul have us believe that, in his 20- years relationship with Wright, it never was made known to Obama the racist sentiments harbore by Wright.
    Believe this, along with the rest of Obama's rhetoric, if you want , but I choose not to, as Obama talks a good game and only offers something that he cannot fulfill.
    If Obama was aware of Wright's sentiments, which I think tha he was, this makes him not only a racis, but also a hypocrite who professes a desire to brig this country together.

    May 1, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Time to move on

    OBAMA the true leader the world has been waiting for.New sence of direction,excellent leadership qualities,a uniter and forward looking person.
    GO OBAMA '08

    May 1, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. Sen. Clinton is a FAKE !

    She voted to authorize the war in Iraq and has yet to apologize for this huge blunder, unlike John Kerry and John Edwards has aready done so. Now, she wants the American people to believe she will expediently bring the troops home.

    May 1, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    Praetorian, Fort Myers

    I guess Ghandi was a bad guy.

    What the heck is wrong with you people on the right, did you all grow up near powerplants and have brain damage?

    May 1, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. Jeanne

    If the mission was to get rid of Saddam Hussein, then the mission was accomplished. If the mission was to get rid of WMDs, none were found, then the mission was accomplished. The only reason for being their now, is because the accomplished mission created such chaos that it's impossible to leave. Anyone with any sense could have forseen this outcome. The Bush presidency is the worst ever and I'm not sure that anyone is going to fix this mess any time soon.

    May 1, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Robert from Chicago

    Five years ago, after swaggering across the carrier deck under the 'Mission Accomplished" banner, Bush, exhibiting his typical disconnect from reality and lack of mental capacity, smirkingly declared that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended." Before being impeached, removed from office and put on trial in the Hague for crimes against humanity, he should be forced to repeat that statement in person to each set of parents of the thousands of American men and women who have sacrificed their lives in vain since then because of his reckless stupidity. Shame on the American people who elected him–not once, but twice.

    May 1, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. Edwards will Never endorse Hillary

    Jack......get your fact right....The preaching he was talking about on 293 was on memorial....day get your fact right.....neocons at their best.

    May 1, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. STILL GO, HILLARY!

    We need to elect a Democrat to change the way America is going....please give us a candidate we can vote for......One side is always slinging mud and calling the other side names (and it is not Clinton's) ...I have never seen so much putting-down! All you out there for Obama, why don't you try to be polite? Or do you think you have to be dirty and ugly for him so his actions can all seem above aboard? I am really tired of reading your trash and your put-downs.

    Go, Hillary!

    May 1, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Sue

    Dear Paris,
    Did you use "Meddle east studies" purposefully, or was it a Freudian slip?

    (from dictionary.com – meddle: to involve oneself in a matter without right or invitation; interfere officiously and unwantedly)

    May 1, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Jane, NC

    For Sen. Obama to compare Pres. Bush's "mission accomplished" speech to Sen. Clinton's proposed temporary relief from high gas prices is idiocy. That's a desperate stretch if I ever heard one. The fact is that in Sen. Clinton, we have a rare window of opportunity to elect a woman who would probably be the most capable president ever. And if we are now to survive the serious problems left by the Bush administration, we surely need someone of her caliber. Please. Sen. Obama is by no means ready for this job. He should have waited, but he didn't.

    May 1, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Tom

    As Mr. Obama is prone to doing in his "non-divisive and unifying" campaign, he is telling why everyone else's plan is bad without providing a plan of his own. This man is hyprocrisy in action and is taking the democratic party down the slow road to political suicide in the fall.

    The plan is a short term "break" to let people catch their breath a bit and Hillary's has a way of paying for it. She combines this with longer term solutions. Obama's doing everything he says he stands against (negativity, nitpicking a part of an overall solution) to try to make the other candidates look worse. Just another cheap politician doing business as usual. Get out of the pool before you hurt yourself (again).

    May 1, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. barackobama44thpresidentofusa.blogspot.com

    Sen. Obama was the only one of the candidates who used good judgment to vote against this dumb war in Iraq; and he is the only one qualified to withdraw the US troops out of Iraq. The two so-called "experienced" candidates voted for the war. America can NOT afford to make the error of voting for Sen. Clinton and McCain.

    If the american people use good judgment and vote for Sen. Obama, he will defeat Clinton and McCain and bring this war to an end !

    Bring our troops home NOW !!!!

    It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time for Barack Obama for president !

    May 1, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    I believe McCain's son's are serving in the armed services–and have served in Iraq.

    Nads–is the personal convition, as President, that staying on course is the best thing for all Americans–not necessarily your own children–but the majority of Americans-and the legacy of America that the President inherents from all future generations.

    May 1, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. SDunn

    It boggles my mind how you people keep saying that Obama is all talk and he has no solutions. You want to believe the lies that HIllary tells you then fine, but if you would actually do some research you would find that he actually has a lot of excellent solutions and most of his solutions were created way before Hillary stole his ideas. Most of her so-called solutions scare me because she has no clue and no vision on how to lead this country. She's just going with the flow and pandering to get back into the white house. Please tell me why didn't she read the NIE report before she voted for the war???? Why???? She didn't start protesting the war until she started running for President. Why didn't she have an exit strategy until the debate in January after she heard Obama's? When asked the question initially before the January debate she couldn't answer the question! Then all of a sudden in the Jan debate she started talking about her 60 day withdrawal? She doesn't have a clue!

    May 1, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. pam Eugene OR

    McClinton & McCain are one in the same. We need long term fixes not short term pandering. They are both out of touch with reality.
    Please let this be done.
    Obama 08

    May 1, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. L Jeanne

    So Clinton says that the way forward is to use diplomacy?... is that why she promised to obliterate Iran? This woman is beyond scary...
    Be afraid...be very afraid...

    Yes we can! Obama '08...

    May 1, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. Sen. Clinton is a FAKE !

    Clinton voted for the war in Iraq and has yet to apologize for her poor judgment, as have John Kerry and John Edwards have already apologized. Now she tries to convince the American people that she will expediently bring our troops home.

    She will be defeat by Sen. Obama and so will McCain.

    May 1, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    The problem is–most Americans are out of touch with the history and promise of America and it's mandate in modern times to be the standard bearer in the world for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Because we take those personal freedoms for granted–it's sometimes diffiucult to have empathy for others who live in cutlures where freedom of speech is non-existent.

    May 1, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. JFK

    Thats a desperate stretch Mr Obama!

    May 1, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. Nigel

    With all respect to Obama's supporters, I am somewhat taken back by the comments both Obama and Hillary supporters make, against each other. I truly believe the media has overplayed the effects of the Rev. Wright, they should just put it to rest. Both candidates has their faults, BUT the main concern is for the Democrats to win in November, and alot of people don't think he can deliver. I am sure alot of people are torn between these two wonderful candidates, as I am. Voting Obama, is voting another 4 four years of BUSH. If Obama gets the nomination, I hope we can agree a mistake was made and move forward and all unite to get back the Whitehouse in 2012 from the Republicans.

    May 1, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. barackobama44thpresidentofusa.blogspot.com

    Sen. Obama was the only one of the candidates who used good judgment to vote against this dumb war in Iraq; and he is the only one qualified to withdraw the US troops out of Iraq. The two so-called "experienced" candidates voted for the war. America can NOT afford to make the error of voting for Sen. Clinton and McCain.

    If the american people use good judgment and vote for Sen. Obama, he will defeat Clinton and McCain and bring this war to an end !
    Bring our troops home NOW !!!!

    It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time for Barack Obama for president !

    May 1, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. Ohio Voter For Hillary!

    Obama is nothing but a Joke!

    May 1, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Uncle Sam

    Did you hear that Sen. McCain wants to keep our troops defending us indefinitely? Who would vote for such a man for president?

    Americans for McCain '08

    May 1, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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