August 20th, 2007
03:05 PM ET
16 years ago

Clinton, McCain offer different views on Iraq

Watch Clinton address the VFW convention Monday.

(CNN) - On the first day of the national Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City, Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain offered widely differing views on the Iraq War.

The two presidential candidates addressed the same audience of veterans - and both received applause.

“I think that it’s unacceptable for our troops to be caught in the crossfire of a sectarian civil war while the Iraqi government is on vacation,” said Clinton, a New York Democrat. She said that the best way to honor the service of U.S. troops would be to bring them home.

McCain, whom Clinton honored for his service in Vietnam and noted their travels in Iraq and Afghanistan, cautioned against such a withdrawal. (Watch McCain address the VFW forum)

“To concede defeat now would strengthen al Qaeda, empower Iran and other hostile powers in the Middle East, and unleash a full-scaled civil war in Iraq,” said McCain, an Arizona Republican. “Our defeat in Iraq would be catastrophic, not for Iraq, but for us. And I can not be complicit in it…We need to show greater patience.”

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- CNN Political Desk Editor Mark Norman

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John McCain
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. David, Salinas, CA

    Mark from San Diego, CA writes:

    “You libs DO realize the majority of Americans think we should finish the job, right?
    Wow! It's almost like YOU have lost touch with reality.”

    Mark –

    I know of no published polling which supports your view of reality. The last CNN poll I saw on August 9th said 60% of Americans OPPOSE the war in Iraq.

    These are difficult times. Lives and the future of our country are at stake. Deliberate prevarication and name-calling (from either side) is not helpful to the national dialogue.

    You do realize it’s impolite to make up statistics to further your cause, right?

    August 21, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  2. Kristy Sanborn Dixon, Mo.

    Joe from Florida, Mr. John McCain should be proud, but he is also a very modest man, and he doesn't let these 'political' games get to him. I admire Mr. McCain, for that one reason also, because he is modest, you don't see him acting anything other than very professonal.
    Did anyone read the 'ticker', August 21, 2007?
    Clinton now supports the war, from this article, on the 20th of August when she said the best way to honor the U.S. troops would be to bring them home.
    And then a day later, Clinton is on the 'ticker' saying she now supports the 'surge' of our troops.
    Which is, the U.S. sending all the additional troops over there that we just did.
    I can't wait until tomorrow to see if she supports the war or not.
    This is a record for sure!

    August 22, 2007 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  3. John, CA

    Whats it gonna be the Gambinos (democans) or the Genovese's (republicrats) what a choice

    August 22, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. MS, NY

    The truth is only one candidate has the guts to get out there and tell the truth to the Americans Today. That person is Sen. John McCain. He is NOT pandering to what the people want to hear from a Presidential candidate, rather he is continuing to stand by his belief that the Iraq mess will not cleam up itself. The wounds will not heal by itself. It is true that the life of every single American Soldier is Priceless and has to be used with utmost care and judgement. But it is the harsh reality of war that the GIs have taken an oath to die for. Firstly the Iraq war should not have happened. But now that it has, it is also the responsibility of US Govt. to bring it to a peaceful end.

    August 23, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. pl, at the UN, for a while.

    I am not American. I cannot vote.

    Avoid civil war, they say. Stabilize the area, they say. Patience, Mr McCain says.

    Avoiding civil war is something that only the factions affected can do. Stabilizing a zone of conflict in 2007 can only be the result of political negotiations and willing compromises. Patience should and can be exercised only while the warring interests are actively seeking reconciliation.

    Since none of those conditions are or are about to be present, the American voters should contemplate how best spend the next 1,000,000,000,000 dollars and sacrifice the next 5,000 lives.

    August 29, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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