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. Anon

    To Ron,
    Obama is the only one who can say anything about black or white b/c he is both...100% allowed to do so, do you have a problem with it...I think he is very experienced in that area!!! We need somebody who is like a coin that has two sides.

    May 1, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. HSNP

    The sign didn't say "Mission Accomplished in Iraq", Barack. Please, just shut up unless you can get it "Wright", get it??

    May 1, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. Mike

    You Knuckleheads don't have a clue about what is happening?

    May 1, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. Brenda R. Harris

    Well, if anyone watched Foxnews last night everything remains the same. But guess what ,Foxnews did not tell you that now the Rev. Wright has gone over to Mrs. Clintons side ,Will wonders every cease. There is a saying that goes like this "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country". They do not want this to be out but if it is not true then for God sake tell me now. OBAMA here I come.!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 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 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. 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 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. NC voter

    Obama says he always opposed the war, but is on record saying he'd have voted to authorize the troops and has voted in favor of every spending bill while in office. Nice job of playing both sides of the fence!

    May 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Can anybody envision this wimp Obama as Commander-In-Chief?

    Sir, we dont embark in the act of war on consensus–we rely on a sound government to answer those questions for us. Though you were still sucking up on the political scene in Chicago at the time–our congress, senate, and President determined the course the nation was to take and the nation went on that course.

    Commitment, dedication to the nations principles–and willingness to "swim upstream" if it's best for the nation-–that's what we expect from a President. You are better suited to a school board–where the loudest get hear–or the highest donors.

    May 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Doug R.

    Now our Supreme Court appointed President is telling us that the Mission Accomplished banner pertained only to the sailors on the USS Abraham Lincoln. This Mr. Bush has done nothing but lie to and mislead the American people since he took office. He is the very worst president the United States has ever had. He is despicable. Anyone who voted for Bush should be ashamed of themselves. Losers.
    The best President was Abraham Lincoln, followed by FDR.

    May 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Carlos

    In reading the responses I see there are actually still people that support George Bush and his handling of the war. That is beyond crazy.

    May 1, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. Chicago for None of the Above

    It's been five years and.....

    Hillary is still ducking sniper fire so the war couldn't be over

    It has only been 5 years so Barack still has 15 years before he proclaims that the war today is not the same war I voted against 20 years ago

    John McCain still has 95 years on his 100 war calendar

    WHAT A PATHETIC BUNCH. IF THIS IS THE BEST THAT AMERICA HAS TO OFEER FOR LEADERSHIP WE ARE IN DEEP DO DO

    May 1, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. Garlin Vidal of Memphis, TN

    People, stop leaving personal messages and statements showing your ignorance!

    Push for a resolution on the issues... not your personal feelings towards a particular candidate because of anything that is not important to the PEOPLE of AMERICA.

    OBAMA/EDWARDS '08

    May 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. The big O

    Wow. Love the idiot commenter who advises Obama to brush up on his, "Meddle East" studies.

    May 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. NotThisTimeinNY

    Straight Talk Express coming through (Sorry McSame) !!!!!

    May 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. mhg

    the world needs obama? are you crazy??? What the heck is he going to do (if he gets elected) except probably be worse than Dubya. Wake up people! the only thing he does is speak well and there is no way possible he is going to do what he says.....he cracks me up. All he does is make pretty speeches but has not solutions.
    GO HILLARY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. vici joy

    If you listen closely about Obama’s ideas regarding foreign policy, most of them involve “we will not allow them to ……..;”, “we will change their……..,”; “we will talk to them about………”etc. I remember Obama mentioned the power of now; from what I understand it points out “Our pain mostly coming from trying to control or change someone or something besides ourselves”. I travel oversea quite often and realize there is a general misconception of how Americans think people from other country think about U.S. A lot of American thinks people in other country hates U.S., after talking to varieties of people from different countries, most of them like United States they just don’t understand why American like to tell them how to run their country or what they should or should not do. According to them, they wish they can be like United States in many ways; however, they have their own sets of social, economical, religious, infrastructural and political problems to work out before they can reach to that stage.

    Obama’s ideas sound good; however, I have not heard he said what U.S. position is when other countries do not listen to us or do not do what we want them to do. On the other hand, experience comes with wisdom, Hillary states U.S. position before giving options on what U.S. can offer corresponding to each case regarding our foreign policy. It may not sound good to some people; however, it seems to be a more natural way of handling things involve other countries.

    May 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Christiana from NY

    For people who do not know what it means to be a Christian; Christianity is not about perfection. It is about living the life of intergrity and an authentic life. To me Obama has that. That's why his opponents are working so hard to tarnish his image. You can destroy a man's name but not his character. Obama is who he is:a human being with imperfections. And if God is able to look past most of our deficiencies, we should be able to move on. Life is never static or stagnant. It's always on the move. If you don't want to join the change wargon don't stand against it. Otherwise you may get run over. Be a part of the change process or sit it out.

    May 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. John B. From New Hampshire

    Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP
    700 Lawyers in: Chicago · Kansas City · Los Angeles · New York · St. Louis
    San Francisco · Short Hills, N.J. · Washington, D.C. · West Palm Beach

    Joe Andrew, An Obama supporter is a partner in this law firm if that tell you anything

    May 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. Dave

    they did get a mission accomplished. they secured Iraq's oil fields. that was the main objective.

    May 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. Julie

    In regards to Mack's comment.
    Hillary is one (1) point a head of Obama one point, that is hardly anything to come to the conclusion of "let's vote for somene who is proven" Proven what? That she can lie, that she can be deceitful?
    The Clinton's cost the taxpayers millions when Bill was in office....Monica...Whitewater...the list goes on.... Having a Billary combo in the office will bankrup our aleady sink economy!!
    Hillary voted for the war remember? No one forced her to do that.
    Obama said no to the war....Let's vote for someone who does not go with the regular politics and vote for Obama. He is for change and God knows we need to get a honest, trustworthy person in the White House! That would be Obama.

    May 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. proud army and navy mom

    Sen obama is the only candidate i will trust to get our troops home as safely as possible. i have two in the military, 19 and 20. they have more courage and honor than all of the hillary fans tied together. Hillary is a liar and evil. i would never trust her to keep our troops safe. she already wants to obliterate Iran. she's an idiot.

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. Debbie

    Hillary supporters want her or McCain to hurry and get in office to start another war with Iran. Let's see if they'll be screaming Hillary when they or their loved ones get drafted.

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. Dave in Atlanta

    Yeah, that whole "Mission Accomplished" photo op has to be one of the dumbest things Bush ever did.

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Garlin Vidal of Memphis, TN

    And as for President George W. Bush and his administration...

    The MISSION was accomplished:

    Screw over American families... ACCOMPLISHED!
    Kill innocent young men and women in a FAILED war... ACCOMPLISHED!
    Destroy the economy... ACCOMPLISHED!
    Jack up the HEALTHCARE SYSTEM... ACCOMPLISHED!
    Divide people across the NATION... ACCOMPLISHED!
    Show the AMERICAN PEOPLE that their government under his administration is not for the PEOPLE... ACCOMPLISED!
    Cause a multitude of PEOPLE to lose HOPE... ACCOMPLISHED!
    Lie, Lie, Lie and look more and more STUPID... ACCOMPLISHED!

    So, in some sort of reality the mission really was ACCOMPLISHED it was just the MISSION of a few retards!

    May 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. Christiana from NY

    For people who do not know what it means to be a Christian; Christianity is not about perfection. It is about living the life of intergrity. It's about living an authentic life. To me Obama has that. That's why his opponents are working so hard to tarnish his image. You can destroy a man's name but not his character. Obama is who he is:a human being with imperfections. And if God is able to look past most of our deficiencies, we should be able to move on. Life is never static or stagnant. It's always on the move. If you don't want to join the change wargon don't stand against it. Otherwise you may get run over. Be a part of the change process or sit it out.

    May 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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