May 17th, 2008
11:25 AM ET
7 years ago

Clinton: McCain's '2013' speech like 'Mission Accomplished'

Sen. Hillary Clinton speaks at a town hall meeting in Portland, Oregon, Friday
Sen. Hillary Clinton speaks at a town hall meeting in Portland, Oregon, Friday

PORTLAND, Oregon (CNN) – At a Friday night town hall in Oregon, Senator Hillary Clinton criticized Senator John McCain for his speech predicting victory in Iraq by the end of his first term.

"It sounded a lot like 'Mission Accomplished,' only postponed into 2013," said Clinton, referring to President George Bush's declaration less than two months after the Iraq invasion that major combat was over. "From my perspective, it's just more of the same. It's a continuation of the Bush policies that have been failures."

Both Clinton and Barack Obama have been attempting to paint a McCain administration as a third term for President Bush. Clinton also attacked the president on Friday for meetings with Saudi officials in which he asked them to increase oil production in order to bring down prices.

"It was embarrassing today," Clinton told the town hall organized by an Oregon TV station. "President Bush is over there begging the Saudis to increase production because he has no energy policy."

She also went after Bush for comments he made in Jerusalem on Thursday when he took a shot at Democrats - and many argue Obama - saying, "some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals," drawing parallels with appeasing the Nazis in 1939.

"I am very offended by President Bush's remarks which seem to suggest that Democrats are the equivalent of Nazi appeasers," said Clinton. "That was way out of line and really outrageous and should be rejected out of hand."

Clinton has been relatively passive in recent days, staying away from overt attacks on her Democratic opponent. On Friday night she again raised the argument that she is more electable than Obama and claimed to be ahead in the popular vote while he leads in the delegate count.

"Those are two very good indicators of how close this race is and how intense it is and why everybody should vote and why I was so determined that we weren't going to quit before we got to Oregon," Clinton argued.

"I've won the big states and I've won the swing states," she added. "The states I've won total 300 electoral votes. The states Barack has won total 217 electoral votes. The real issue here is the [electoral] map. Who is more likely to win the electoral votes we need to actually capture the White House?"

A CNN tally shows that in primaries so far (excluding Florida and Michigan), Senator Barack Obama leads Senator Clinton by just over 400,000 votes.

Clinton won't spend any more time campaigning in Obama-friendly Oregon before the primary on Tuesday. Instead, she will stay in Kentucky - another May 20 state - where she has a significant lead.

soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. E. POWELL I MD, E POWELL MD II & ER. POWELL MD

    SAME OLD SAME OLD. WE AS A PARTY GOT TO GET TO THE BUSINESS OF DEALING WITH MCBUSH ON A LEVEL THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL RESPOND. HRC HAS THE REP. OF BEING A TRUE LIAR. SHE IS THE BEST SPOKEPERSON FOR GETTING ACROSS TO ANOTHER LIAR (MCBUSH). BUT, HRC IS NOT WHAT THE PEOPLE OR THE WORLD WANT TO REPRESENT OUR COUNTRY. SHE IS STILL TRYING TO USE THE SAME OLD ARGUEMENT FOR A MUTE QUESTION. EVERYBOBY CAN FEEL THE
    "CHANGE" IN THE AIR EXCEPT HER. THOSE THAT DON'T MUST ASKED THEMSELVES ABOUT THEIR BASIC MORAL VALUES. WE HAVE AN OLD SAYING HERE IN THE SOUTH-- "IF YOU AGREE WITH A LIAR THEN YOU ARE BASICALLY A LIAR YOURSELF, AND, IF YOU TRY TO GET AROUND THAT FACT THEM YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF". "CASE CLOSED'.

    May 17, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. dwho

    Hillary is right. Another 5 years in Iraq is a waste of time, waste of lives and drowning the country into lots and lots of debts.

    May 17, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. gerald strother

    CNN YOU NEEDS TO TAKE MATH 101 IT IS NOT 400,000 BUT OVER 500,000 CHECK AOUT ABC POLITICS

    May 17, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. Bridgette - PA

    It's good to see Hillary focusing her attacks on McCain and not OBAMA! I hope this is a sign that she's starting to see that she must help unite the party. I hope her supporters will follow.

    OBAMA-08!

    May 17, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. NickNas

    WOW she is REALLY tryng for that VP spot hard isn't she.

    May 17, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. NO-BAMA

    Ok already Hillary – we know you're trying to be cordial, BUT STOP giving Obama more points than he already has....Stick to the message -YOU will be the one who can beat McCain.

    Forget party united already...please...the DNC threw you under the bus; they swift-boated you, which is why I quit the party–so stay on message Hill, thank you!

    May 17, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. E. POWELL I MD, E POWELL MD II & ER. POWELL MD

    AS FAR AS MCBUSH. HE MUST REALLY THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE REALLY DUMB. THESE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN FIGHTING THEMSELVES SINCE BEFORE CHRIST. TO WIN A WAR AGAINST THEM IS LIKE WAITING FOR ET AND UFOS. NOW WE SEE WHY SADDAN AND ALL THE REST BEFORE HIM WERE LIKE THEY WERE. IT TAKE KILLERS TO CONTROL KILLERS. WE ARE A PEOPLE THAT ONLY GET INVOLVED WITH THAT MINDSET WHEN FORCED TO. THE SCRIPTURE SPEAKS TO THAT. THAT IS OUR CORE VALUES. TO GO AGAINST IS WHAT WE HAVE NOW - "MCBUSH".

    May 17, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. WeBoDave

    Thank you Senator Clinton for taking on the Republicans and for telling your supporters what a mistake it would be not to vote for the democratic nominee in November, please keep it up.

    Please stop talking about being ahead in the popular vote as it is patently false and divisive. The only way you are ahead is if you completely ignore caucus voters. This is a delegate battle anyway and you can not win enough delegates without a huge Obama revelation of gaffe.

    In the name of party unity please suspend your campaign Tuesday night, May 20th.

    May 17, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. paul

    O my God!!!! McCain is now a fortune teller. I wander were he got his crystal ball from. America wake up!!!! Get these crazy bald heads out of the way. Enough damage has been done already to almost everything america stands for.

    May 17, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Max

    First of all, I am deeply saddened that the President of the United States has to go beg Saudi Royals to increase their oil production, because that's the point we're at. If we don't find alternative solutions, we're going to be dependent on OPEC. What about all the oil we have, in Alaska (ANWR) and in that region?

    Then, I have to say that McCain's plan is totally ridiculous. Yeah, what about that "Mission Accomplished" speech in 2003? We all know what happened next. If we wait until 2013, we're going to get out of Iraq with an overstreched military and more trillions of dollars worth of debt, once again, borrowed from Communist China. It looks like we're becoming dependant on a lot of people, why isn't anyone doing anything?

    May 17, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. Ka Kui Cheng

    4 more years? Ok. And if we fail again, do we re-elect you, Senator McCain, to complete the task in another 4 years. And if you fail, as you will, will we re-elect yet another Bush seeking to stay in Iraq. The fact is there is no end in-sight. Did we not learn from Vietnam? Did we not learn that these wars waged for absolutely no reason are just another example of the influence of the military industrial complex affecting our politicians- just as Ike warned us? People, head to the polls on November and show them how much we really care about our soldiers and vote Democrat!

    May 17, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Brandon, Redmond, WA

    I don't think, for once, she could've been any more right. I've been noticing, though, that Hillary is sort of disappearing from the news because she's old news sort of like McCain and Bush. More of the old expecting a new result.

    May 17, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. Chris, Little Rock AR

    It seems to me the Democrats are embracing defeat even while things are turning around in Iraq. Things weren't looking to good back in 2005 or even into 2006, but wide-sweeping policy changes instituted from the DoD and DoS on down to the military unit level has made the situation there improve dramatically.

    I think McCain isn't too far off from the mark about 2013...from my perspective, around that time frame (given the situation continues to improve) we should see the majority of the major combat forces leave Iraq, and the only US military presence will likely be a quick reaction force and military advisors.

    The Iraqis are taking a genuine and vested interest in the future of their country, and even though they don't want us there any longer than needed, they don't want us to leave now. If Clinton or Obama gets to the White House next fall, they would be foolish to abandon all the hard work so far put into this effort. Myself and many others who have worked as advisors for the Iraqis will see that they abandoned an effort that was improving simply to make political headway at home. How can you say you're for helping people when you walk away from a country that was crushed by us, and then say "well, it wasn't MY idea"?

    May 17, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. timmy

    it looks like dems are scared to run against mccain so they are trying to make it seem like they're running aginst bush. cowards

    May 17, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. Sharon Minnesota

    It appears that Clinton is succumbing to the democratic party's pressure on protecting the democrats and Obama's reputation. Too bad, as we know the truth on how she really feels about policies of national security and talking to terrorists leaders without pre-conditions.

    May 17, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Sharon Minnesota

    There are many prominent Americans that would like to soft pedal terrorism and give them credibility by negotiating with them. Barack Obama must have a huge paranoia problem to think the president was singling him out or it was his way of saying "look at me, I'm the dems nominee, she's not". If the shoe fits, wear it. Denial by a host of democratic leadership will not change what has already been said in the primary race about how Sen. Obama is deficient in affairs of national security.

    May 17, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. Sharon Minnesota

    John McCain has a reasonable plan to bring our troops home from the mideast by 2013. Clinton, Obama and other democrats who have misunderstood Sen. McCain's plans should re-read his speech and put their brains in gear before opening their mouths to criticize. To completely get our troops home will take efforts by any politician at least as long as Sen. McCain's plan will. Think with your head, not with your fickle emotions.

    May 17, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. From Madrid

    Wait a minute! First she complains when he says we will have a Korea-like or WWII-like presence for 100 years, then she complains when he says he sets the goal to have the majority home by 2013. Can these candidates do anything but gripe about each other? How about: I would love to have Senator McCain working with me as President to achieve that same goal. Why can't the goal be OK just not the representative. She is also going to fail to equate McCain to Bush. They are complete opposites in many ways. She voted for as many issues the opposite of Bush as he did.

    May 17, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Kevin

    She's pissed me off, but really think they'd make a decent team. I'm rooting for them both.

    McCain is disappointing. Thought he was more independent. Why is he moving closer to this admin. I am baffeled. Is he selling his soul to the devil. Maybe I don't know him as well as I thought I did.

    May 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. Murus

    United States need leaders. Americans know that John McCain does not know anything about economic issues. Also, Americans know that John McCain has been confusing names about major players in the contemporary world problems.

    Yes, he served in the military. Also, he was a prisoner of war. He deserves some respect for that. However, the question here is whether serving in the military and being a prisoner of war are necessary and sufficient to make him a commander in chief.

    Brothers and sisters, serving in the military and being a prisoner of war do not mean you know everything to about foreign policy. It’s a wrong time to be deceived.

    May 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. lizzie

    neither one has won any electoral votes. It's the primary and it won't be until our nominee goes head to head with McCain that we'll really know who won the electoral votes. Just because she won them in the primary doesn't mean she'll win them in Novemeber or that Obama won't.

    And she's being disingenuous about the popular vote. I hope her supporters aren't still falling for this.

    May 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. ellianna

    THINK REALITY, HILLARY!! THINK REALITY!! This campaign is winding down and you WILL NOT BE the nominee!! ACCEPT IT GRACIOUSLY, take Bill with you, get on a jet plane and go back to New York!! You will be very lucky if you are able to keep your seat in the senate next time it comes up for re-election!! Perhaps it would be a good idea for you and Bill to enroll in an HONESTY AND ETHICS #101 course at the nearest community college. Once completed, just get back to your "life", and resolve to let BARACK OBAMA BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!

    May 17, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. lizzie

    and the democrats don't elect their nominee that way. The rulesl are clear: whoever wins the most delegates wins the primary.

    May 17, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. Diing in Washington

    GOP has thrown Jesus Christ under the bus. They indulge themselves in smear and fear-mongering. Whatever happen to "Love Your Enemies? as Jesus would say.

    May 17, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. John B.

    commenting on the Karl Rove attacks on Obama's "Bitter" comment. I have one thing to say:
    Karl himself will be really bitter once his own indictment is handed down this week!!

    Dems '08!!

    May 17, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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