August 9th, 2007
07:22 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton contradiction on nukes?

Has Clinton changed her stance on using nuclear weapons?

(CNN) – A comment from Sen. Hillary Clinton in 2006 saying she would “take nuclear weapons off the table” in the current situation with Iran is attracting new attention in the wake of her criticism of Sen. Barack Obama last week.

In the April 2006 interview with Bloomberg Television, amid reports the administration may have been weighing a nuclear option in Iran, Clinton said “I have said publicly no option should be off the table, but I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table. This administration has been very willing to talk about using nuclear weapons in a way we haven't seen since the dawn of a nuclear age. I think that's a terrible mistake."

But was Clinton caught in a contraction after attacking Obama for ruling out the nuclear option in Pakistan and Afghanistan?

Last week, Obama said, “There's been no discussion of nuclear weapons. That's not on the table” in terms of going after terror suspects in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Clinton campaign calls the two comments a case of of “apples and oranges”. Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said in response, “Senator Clinton was asked to respond to specific reports that the Bush-Cheney administration was actively considering nuclear strikes on Iran even as it refused to engage diplomatically. She wasn't talking about a broad hypothetical nor was she speaking as a presidential candidate. Given the saber-rattling that was coming from the Bush White House at the time, it was totally appropriate and necessary to respond to that report and call it the wrong policy.”

A Clinton aide tells CNN that "saying she lives in a glass house doesn’t pass the smell test" because the comments of a senator reacting to a specific story are different than those of a presidential candidate responding to a broader question. The aide added the words of a presidential candidate “carries much greater impact.”

The Obama campaign has said, simply, no comment.

- CNN Political Desk Manager Steve Brusk

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Len, Sparks, NV

    This is ridiculous. You can talk about it when you are a senator, but not in a presidential campaign. That is when the voters need you to talk about it, Clinton, because that is how we make up our minds, but knowing what you will do. If you can talk about it one time and not another, well, then it is apparent it just was a political calculation on your part that you could smear Obama by making an irrelevant criticism. What game are you playing, Clintion? Not my game.

    August 10, 2007 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  2. Donna Joe Tanner, San Francisco, CA

    Truly, Obama just says things to get people's attention. I understand from what I saw that, not only Sen. Clinton, but the other candidates were not surprised with Obama's answer, but also were unconfortable to find themselves with a contender with so little common sense. If one is to be married, and will cheat... should they tell their fianceé that they are going to? Does that answer the question?

    August 10, 2007 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  3. LO, Houston

    What an unabashed hypocrite!

    This woman will say anything to get elected. Why are Democrats still being fooled by her?

    August 10, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  4. digge

    why the question mark? it is a clear contradiction in her effort to appear as a moderate. she is a flip flopper.

    August 10, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. JRL, Montreal (Canada)

    Wait, where IS the contradiction? I've read this article three times over to make sure. Clinton and Obama both say nukes are not an option.

    Where's the contradiction?

    August 10, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Haddonfield, NJ

    "Obama just says things to get people’s attention"

    Or he could just be an out of the box Democrat!

    I always said Obama should have been an independent.

    As for Hilary, her campaign is the same as the Dem campaigns before her with the exception that she gets to piggy back of her former pres hubby. Typical Dem campaign rhetoric, Bash your opponent, make a fuss, have no ideas of your own, and present details only when you have to counter.

    Yes, let's put another slacker in the white house.

    Jamilah Brown

    August 10, 2007 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Wynn, OK City, OK

    She's a walking contradiction.

    August 10, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Anonymous

    She is a liar. I hope people are taking note. But probably not.

    August 10, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. CorruptUser

    Only a bias media pushing a candidate would put a question mark after this intro. Can you guess who CNN wants to be President?

    August 10, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Alex Badme, Albuquerque, NM

    She is so scared of Barak. She calls him naive for stating his poisition and that you should hold back. What a hypocrite. Now she is not holding back and saying no nukes. What gies Hillary.

    SUGGEST WE LOOK AT OTHER DEMOCRATS RUNNING NOW. The groupthink and Bills influence has put you in a trance. Edwards, Rommney anyone. HILLARY NO.

    August 10, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Ernie, North Truro, MA

    How come no comments were printed here? It is easy to guess why.

    August 10, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Karen, Boston, MA

    We all should be very scared that this women has a chance to become our next president. I'm not against a women being president, just this women. She has no integrity what so ever. We need to elect a person with integrity and someone who is not afraid to stand up for what he or she believes in, not someone who tries to make everyone happy. You can't make everyone happy. My choice for our next president is Mitt Romney because I beleive he is a man of integrity and he is an honest person. He is a sucessful businessman and isn't running government like running a business? Go MITT! Hopefully we will be calling you Mr. President.

    August 10, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. TC, New York, New York

    Senator Clinton is not a consistent person - end of the story. She is a shrewd politician but not a consistent person. She goes wherever the political winds blow her.

    I second the sentiments of so many Americans - we don't need dynasties in our country. NO MORE BUSHES. NO MORE CLINTONS. The way it looks like things are going, we'll have 12 years of George Bush Sr. - 8 as VP, 4 as pres - (an excellent foreign policy president by the way), 8 years of Bill Clinton, 8 years of Bush Jr., 8 years of Hillary Clinton... and then, oh yes, we will clamor for Jeb Bush.... Then what? George Bush III (Jeb's son) and Chelsea Clinton will be old enough to take up the next generation of the Bush-Clinton tag team. Maybe they can have offspring, eradicate the constitution and formalize a new monarchy? Or they can just keep rigging the system for 52 years of uninterrupted Bush-Clinton rule. I wish I was joking but I find the closeness of former presidents Bush and Clinton to be troubling. I find our willingness to have elected Bush Jr. troubling. I find the front-runner status of Hillary Clinton scary. I find the favorable status of Jeb Bush, as president in waiting, troubling.

    August 10, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. SpinStopper

    This is why Hillary can not be trusted with the security of American families.

    August 10, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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