September 18th, 2007
10:50 AM ET
13 years ago

Clinton says she is 'strong admirer' of Petraeus

Gen. David Petraeus.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, praised Gen. David Petraeus Tuesday, as she continues to face heat from several of her Republican White House rivals for not directly repudiating a ad that questioned the top U.S. commander in Iraq’s honesty.

"I have said publicly on numerous occasions, including at the last hearing, how much I respect Gen. Petraeus and his service to our country," Clinton told CNN's John Roberts on “American Morning.”

"I speak for myself,” said the New York Democrat when asked if she thought the ad, which ran in The New York Times last week, was out of line. “I am a very strong admirer of Gen. Petraeus and his record of service for our country and the dedication that he has brought to a very difficult job that many of us think does not have a military solution,"

Last week, GOP White House hopefuls: former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Arizona Sen. John McCain all condemned Clinton for not directly distancing herself from the ad.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. James, Phoenix AZ

    I would like to hear Hillary really explain her comment "Willing Suspension of Disbelief".

    She didn't create the Moveon.Org ad. But she did call the General a liar.

    I won't hold my breath, but I rather pressure be put on her to explain what exactly she meant and what evidence she has to suggest the good General is a liar.

    September 18, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. Ron, TX

    Reporter: Do you support the ad Hillary?

    Hillary: Patraeus has lots of dedication...

    Side-step! Dismiss! Typical Clinton politics.

    September 18, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Timothy, New York, NY

    So you think he is a liar but you respect him? I guess for someone like her that would make a lot of sense since she is still married to Bill. Respecting people you consider liars will not get you elected President of this country.

    September 18, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. DT, Madison, WI

    Clinton, Inc. has gotten a pass from the media on their rope-a-dope skills for the last 15 years...I don't expect it to change now. As a result, they don't even feel the need to even TRY to appear genuine anymore.

    How long will it take her to "clarify" her remarks to the far left? Blatant, blatant phonies.

    September 18, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    You smart ones KNOW that she will not directly repudiate what Moveon said, because with all of their vast money resources, they would not only turn on her, they would BRING HER DOWN.

    Whether we like it or not, this group has a lot of power and sway and is enabled by most of the MSM.

    September 18, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. Keebs, Atlanta, GA

    I guess in Hillary's world, to call someone a "liar" isn't a bad thing...after all she's married to Bill, the biggest liar of them all. As to her connection to, they will certainly continue their extreme far left attacks and turn off a lot of moderate voters. Hillary is really walking a tight rope dealing with them. She is actually trying to be seen as a "moderate," and that is how Bill got elected.

    September 18, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Chip Celina OH

    She had three choices for answers to that question and offered what basically amounts to a non-sequitir.

    They asked if she thought the ad was out of line. To me you either reply Yes, it was out of line, No, it wasn't out of line, or simply say I reserve not to comment on that. She reoundabout answered with the third choice, but tried to remain ambiguous.

    That's almost like asking, "Which automobile do you prefer, the Toyota Prius or that big SUV you ride in?" and answering cousin rides a bike!

    It was a heck of a sidestep and she IS walking a tightrope with those guys. I don't envy her position because they have a long reach that could put a hurtin' on her. But, again if she fails to 'clarify' she risks alienating a segment of the population. Dicey times I'm afraid that will only get worse as the elections approach.

    Have a good day,

    September 18, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Claude, Mesa AZ

    This woman is mentally ill.

    September 18, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    My message was removed, but I don't think that she disrespected the general. The quote was taken out of context. Here's the link if you wish to read her complete statement.

    September 18, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. LoserLarry

    Hillary is indeed Bush lite!

    Where is Nadar? We demand a real candidate from the left..

    September 18, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. ReadBtwthlins

    Once again Hillary talks out of both sides of her face without media scrutiny. The culture of corruption working hard to give its candidate the edge.

    CNN continually exposes its political bias for all to see. We will not forget who helped put the next Republican in the White House..

    September 18, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Ah, didn't she just accuse him of lying last week?


    September 18, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Well, I suppose that all depends what you definition of "is" is...

    September 18, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Barabas, Hot City, TX

    She wants to have her cake and eat it too. Here's hoping that she eats so much cake that she sinks to the bottom and drowns.

    Intelligent people can see through her "act" like a freshly Windexed window.

    September 18, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Well I think those who are condemning Hillary Clinton must be Republicans. As let's face it – they are not used to hearing the Hillary's forthrighteous must be very shocking for them and it will take them time to get use to such admirable qualities.
    Be patient and give them time..

    She calls it as she sees it...Which is a Unique Trait following Bush's Eight Year Reign. And I'll take truth anyday regardless of how bad it is over a water colored picture of distorted reality.

    September 18, 2007 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  16. Chip Celina OH

    In addition to watching her make the statement in question live on C-SPAN for all to see, I took the liberty of lifting the text from the link you provided:

    "Despite what I view as your rather extraordinary efforts in your testimony both yesterday and today, I think that the reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief."

    In the simplified version: "Though you did a great job sticking to your story so far, the reports you delivered are bogus."

    If she were 'presidential' she would have stayed above the fray and asked her questions. But, why miss an opportunity to grandstand? I must say it has gotten her some attention in the media, but was it the right kind of attention. HillRaiser will stand on the sidelines and chant "You GO girl" but I would think most people would see that bustin' the guys chops required a willing suspension of tact and civility.

    Have a good evening,

    September 18, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. Michael, Indianapolis, Indiana

    Pure hypocrisy. Out of one side of her mouth she bashes the General and supports, the same people who have launched a smear campaign against him, and out of the other she "admires" him. Is she and her political advisors so stupid they think people won't pick up on this? Or are they simply too arrogant to care? Either way her actions are disgusting.

    September 18, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. Peter D Walnut Creek, CA

    Hillary, Hillary, Hillary, You are not a liar, you are a politician, surrounded for the last 20+ years by politicians ... me thinks you have been breathing the air! You have caught the disease!

    Normal people with grit know how to say "I think your lying" when it is appropriate. They don't say "the reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief". When they want to set the record straight they say things like "I do not think he is a liar", and "I condemn anyone who accuses this honorable man of betrayal". Normal people do not use misdirected phrases like "respect him and his service to our country" and go on the praise the "dedication" to the job. Normal people take a position; normal people sometimes say "I was wrong". Only politicians try and have their cake and eat it too. Only politicians try to say things in a manor so convoluted that they never appear wrong, and they appeal to both sides of in an argument.

    Normal people don't use phrases as incredible as "A lot of those lobbyists, whether you like it or not, represent real Americans, they actually do” (H. Clinton, 2007 Kos convention).

    Well, good news. Hillary can be counted on to be pointing in the direction the political wind is blowing at any particular moment. At her current pace of flipping her war position, she will have time to return to being a supporter of the war in Iraq by January 2008, in the event she needs to take credit for the work of honest dedicated US service men and woman like General Petraeus.

    September 18, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  19. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Upon reading Hillary's posted transcript at –

    I didn't read anything that would require Senator Clinton to apologize to General Petraeus.

    Furthermore, I'd like to know which Republican Candidate could have even come close to stating the facts in such a strategic manner, in questioning the Generals on all the important issues while maintaining civility and been able to provide legimate reasons for their questions without using divisive rehetoric? The answer is NONE.

    You are entitled to your personal views on any of the Candidates. But although you might not like Hillary for various reasons, there is not one other Candidate that can come close to her level of intellect, political savy, political experience, International diplomacy, leadership capabilities, speaking talents and her ability to reach across party lines and social levels.

    I only wish she might consider a Political Career in Canada.

    September 18, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  20. Tom Dedham, Mass

    So "Trish" from another country, it is just those mean Republicans hammering poor old Hillary again?

    Don't think so, the smart Democrats that like Obama are sick of her BS also.

    Every posting you make is pro-Hillary no matter what, as I have noticed you posting negatively on Edwards and Obama blogs with the same tired BS.

    Rationally, how can say you respect someone in one breath and equate him to being a liar in the next breath?

    Makes a bit of sense I guess, as she is married to Bill.

    Her grandstanding to make her look tough was on TV story one, while this phony as hell, I respect you and your service, is just a footnote here.

    Thanks for your impartial analysis from across the border, just glad I don't have to waste my vote cancelling out yours.

    September 19, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. Vet in Kansas

    To those of you that have never bothred to serve a day of your life in service to your country, David Petraeus is in a very tenative position. You see he has been given the honor of being declared the savior of the Bush Iraq strategy. General Petraeus has a very low margin for error and an even lower percentage of acheiving sucess, why? While he can only effect sucess in the securing of areas of Iraq where there are military forces present, he can not acheive change in the functioning of the Iraqi government, nor can he turn centuries of hate and distrust between, shite, sunni and kurds around over night.

    General Petraeus greatest weakness at this time is not his fault, it is the draw of the cards. His reputation and standing will be forever tied to the Bush adminstration. General Petraeus shall make reports to the adminstration, and offer his opinions, then the President will decide, once the President makes his discision General Petraeus will say no more and carry out his orders as the good soldier he is. He will not disgee with not oppose the President in public nor in statements, he is a soldier.

    It is not at all inconsitant for a general to be praised and questioned at the same time by the same individual, it goes with the turf. What I can assure you however, is that if the current Bush policies do not work in Iraq, it will be General Petraeus who will pay the price, this is a President who believes in blaming the generals for his failures.

    September 19, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    In the simplified version: "Though you did a great job sticking to your story so far, the reports you delivered are bogus."

    If she were 'presidential' she would have stayed above the fray and asked her questions. But, why miss an opportunity to grandstand? I must say it has gotten her some attention in the media, but was it the right kind of attention. HillRaiser will stand on the sidelines and chant "You GO girl" but I would think most people would see that bustin' the guys chops required a willing suspension of tact and civility.

    Have a good evening,

    Posted By Chip Celina OH : September 18, 2007 7:06 pm

    Hi Celina, the bottom line for me is that what Hillary said was pretty mild compared to what some others have said about Petraeus' report in either chamber of Congress. I'm glad that she and others questioned the veracity of the report.

    Considering that the general has been carrying water for the Bush administration for some time now, it stands to reason that members of Congress would be doubtful of his findings. Let's not forget that his own commander, admiral Fallon, criticized Petraeus for his allegiance to the White House and did so in very colorful terms (something to do with being a little chicken).

    September 19, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |