September 20th, 2007
03:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Senate votes to condemn MoveOn, Clinton votes no

Clinton voted against a Senate measure Thursday that condemns

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate overwhelmingly voted to formally condemn the liberal organization Thursday for its recent publication of an ad questioning the credibility of the top commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus.

Twenty Democrats joined the Republicans in the 72-25 vote that officially repudiates the group's ad. Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut, also voted for the measure, sponsored by Texas Republican John Cornyn. (Related: Bush: ad on Petraeus 'disgusting')

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, who has been criticized by several Republican presidential rivals for not formally distancing herself from the organization, voted against the measure.

As for the other 2008 Senate Democratic hopefuls, Chris Dodd of Connecticut voted against the measure while Barack Obama ofIllinois and Joe Biden of Delaware did not vote.

Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan issued a statement highly critical of both Clinton and Obama shortly after the votes were cast.

“Senators Clinton and Obama need to decide whether they’re running for America, or running for," he said. "If Clinton and Obama cannot bring themselves to take a stand against a vicious attack on the man leading our forces in Iraq, why should American voters believe they are capable of demonstrating the leadership we need in a Commander in Chief?”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was also highly critical of Clinton, saying in a statement her vote raises questions over whether she would be a "credible commander-in-chief."

"Hillary Clinton had a choice," he said. "She could stand with our troop commander in Iraq, or she could stand with the libelous left wing of her party. She chose the latter.

"The idea that she would be a credible commander-in-chief of our armed forces requires the willing suspension of disbelief," he added, a reference to Clinton's comments to Petraeus at a recent Senate Armed Service Committee hearing in which she said his upbeat assessment of conditions in Iraq required "the willing suspension of disbelief."

Meanwhile, Executive Director Eli Pariser said of the vote in a statement, "No wonder public approval of Congress is tanking. They’re so out of touch with reality that they can find time to condemn an ad but they can't do what most Americans want – vote to end this war."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: • Presidential Candidates
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Debi, Philadelphia

    We don't have to agree with what they have to say, but they have the right to say it. I would prefer someone who votes for their rights even if they disagree with the statements then someone who just doesn't show up to vote.

    September 20, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  2. Robert Burns, San Diego, CA

    This unwise Senate vote boosts credibility with the 75% of the population that disapproves of the Senate's performance. It certainly earns a donation from me.

    September 20, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. Robert Burns, San Diego, CA

    Henry Tucker, I'm glad to see that there's some literacy in GA. For whom is the Republican Party a front group? Some of those caught bribing Duke Cunningham & Co.?

    September 20, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. J Houston, TX

    Why is being religious "right wing?" Why do we no longer trust our military commanders? Why do we even have a military if all war is "bad." What are these hippies honestly thinking. Seriously, give me back my country.

    Where are our moral values? Where is controlled spending and the lowest taxes on the globe? Where is the economic giant that destroyed Germany during WWII only 60 years ago? What happened to hard work? What happened to being proud to be an AMERICAN?

    The far left and the far right need to go away. I'm sick of special interest groups polarizing arguments.

    September 20, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  5. SB, Maryland

    Congress is wasting our tax dollars debating and voting on a newspaper ad while there is a war going on which is costing a trillion dollars and killing thousands of our nations finest?

    Thank you for refusing to participate in this ridiculous waste of time Barack Obama.

    September 20, 2007 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. Greg , Meadville, PA

    We're supposed to condemn Move On for THEIR smear tactics? Yet W and his SWIFT BOAT chronies are somehow allowed to use even worse slop- slinging against anyone who dares to even question them. When is someone (attention: NEWS MEDIA) going to finally stand up to THEIR tactics?

    September 20, 2007 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Thanks to the bush administration there is no far left!Centrists now are the left.I don't hear anything about wanting communism.I see a lot about wanting theocracy like Iran.We democrats are now fighting to preserve democracy itself while the religious right conservatives launch attack after attack on our nation.When Alan Greenspan is a lefty,there's something askew.As a centrist myself,I should have no reason to get involved,yet I'm here and elsewhere defending our country's constitution against mentally retarded theocrats.Our founding fathers are turning in their graves.

    September 20, 2007 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  8. Antonio, Atlanta, Ga

    To vote either for or against such a ridiculous, ceremonial amendment is what is wrong with our political system. There are too many real problems to vote on, i.e. health care, budgets, taxes. This condemnation does not for the American people. I applaud Obama and Biden and any other senator who refused to vote for such a waste of our tax dollars.

    Clinton would have been smart to stay above the fray, but she did not. For those who said she exercised courage in voting no, please give me a break. This means nothing and does not impress me. Had she shown courage and voted no for the 2002 war resolution, then I would have been impressed.

    September 20, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  9. Uma, mpls, MN

    Common Sense,
    Obama going for general is like a dream come true and for Hillary it is real. Hillary has gut to do and say things. Obama is hype..likes to please republican. If he had got he had to show what he believe. has freedom of speech and Hillary express it well.
    Well done Hill, you are the mature and experience person ready to be the president of the USA!

    September 20, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. companyone


    Thanks for "reposting' They also deleated my post and it was very respectful.

    CNN must be bought/controlled by Moveon.Org – – – as they deleted this earlier post:

    All you simpletons THINK this is the Senate versus Moveon.Org. What you fail to acknowledge or do not understand is that Moveon.Org is the front group for 5 liberals: George Soros, Herbert & Marion Sandler, Peter Lewis, and Stephen Bing.

    These 5 wealthy liberals gave over $78 million towards the 2004 Campaign – MORE than the US Federal Government!

    These 5 wealthly liberals have BOUGHT and PAID FOR the democratic party. NONE (aside from Bill Richardson) dare to defy Moveon.Org.

    The Senate was right to condemn this group and their antics. If you believe special interests has too much power in Washington – then you would be APPLAUDING these Senators.

    Instead – most of you continue moo-ing the democrat/Moo-veon.Org party line. You'll use your partisan narrow-view to suggest my statements are untrue or right-wing rhetoric… as opposed to seeking and learning the truth.

    General David Betray Us

    September 20, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  11. FT Doylestown, Pa.

    Hillary, Obama can't stand up for the TROOPS....can't be a President without TROOPS!!!!
    Who will Serve under these FOOLS!
    If you can't stand up and tell Move On... HEY this is out of line and not what the Dem's are for. You can't stand up to the Terrorists!
    You are NOT Qualified to LEAD.
    What a JOKE you both are!

    September 20, 2007 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. Ellen, Florida

    The whole thing is absolutely disgusting. Congress couldn't pass down time for our troops this week but they passed this. Open your eyes folks this is just how the last election was run by the GOP, all spin. Thanks to Hillary and the others for hanging tough.

    September 20, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  13. Rose Hann New London, CT

    Bush says's ad was disgusting. Well well, Bush had no problem with the disgusting Swift Boat ads for lies when the denagrated John Kerrys servive to his country, or Max Cleland who left limbs in Viet Nam. Who is really disgusting here?
    Why should Democrats denounce a movement independent of them. It's not as though they bought and paid for the ad. Bush has selective memory, oh, thats right he's a C student. He just doesn't get it. Maybe Darth Vader can explain better then me.

    September 20, 2007 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  14. firestone colorado

    but don't you just loooove her jacket!?

    September 20, 2007 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  15. Rick Pickett, Oakland, CA.

    Who were the 20 Democrats that voted with the Republicans. They should be ashamed of themselves. Spineless cowards. We should vote all 20 of them out of office along with the Republicans in 2008.

    September 20, 2007 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  16. edgar, duluth,georgia

    hey i believe we need to be working on real issues insted of wasting time in voting on other's opinions.

    September 20, 2007 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  17. Chris Bingham

    Petraeus just out and out lied about the war, as he was no doubt instructed to do by his Commander in Chief. People see through it, and MoveOn was right to advertise his betrayl. Petraus DID betray us, and every American soldier that will die because of his dishonesty. The right wing owned media just repeats the Rebuplican talking points. Most Americans AGREE with MoveOn. It's only the right wing culture of midelss authority that doesn't see through the lies. American politicians have become sheep.

    September 21, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  18. Larry Davis, Longview, Washingotn

    Shame on the Democratic senators who voted to condemn free speech. may or may not be correct in their ad, but it's just an ad and shouldn't be the business of the U.S. Senate.

    September 21, 2007 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  19. Winston Hsia, San Antonio Texas

    Wakeup, Bush and GOP if you do not want to a repeat of 2006 in 2008.

    September 21, 2007 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  20. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    LOL! Republicans are really desperate nowadays it seems...

    September 21, 2007 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  21. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I agree – there was no reason to have such a vote – and theres no reason why we can't change MoveOn.ORG's name to "George Soros liberal left wing conspiracy to attempt to sway the election" I realize thats a mouthful – but I believe we should be honest with the intent of the made up messages his group is sending (keep in mind...they have no insider information that the General lied....none....yet....the moron patrol eats it up....)

    September 21, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. A real Vet in Kansas

    Hypocrites-and you wonder why political campaigns are like they are. There is no difference between Moveon and swiftboat. The only difference is one is left and the other is right wing. Neither care about the truth as long as you go their way.

    I am a veteran, I am from Kansas the home of swiftboat vets, and I am as discusted with the attack ads that they did against John Kerry as I am with the attack the move on committed against General Petraeus.

    I must address Swift boat vets. They attack a Vietnam War Veteran. Someone that volunteered for service in Vietnam rather than the Texas Air National Guard. When his service in the Tx Guard was questioned, the Presidents DD Form 214 was provided saying honorable discharge, therefore he completed his service how dare you imply otherwise. John Kerry received 3 purple hearts, a bronze star and a silver star for service in Vietnam, his Commanding Officer put him in, DoD awarded the medals, its on his DD Form 214, therefore they must have been falsified. John Kerry had his boat crew with him, but for one that went over to Swiftboat, the rest of swiftboat vets servived with him in Vietnam the same way I served with General Powell at Fort Campbell, in theater. The veterans were really climbing out of the woodwork to say we serve with George who of the Tx Air Guard.

    Please, if you intend on attacking someone or claiming this group tells the truth and this group lies, get your stuff together. Neither movon's attacks on Petraeus or swiftboats attacks on Kerry were worthy. And by the way who has a better right to question the validity of a war than someone who has served in it.

    September 21, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. Brendan, San Antonio, TX

    People are disgusted with the attacks on Petraeus and Kerry.


    The attacks on Kerry were pure fiction, financed by the Texas "Friends Of The Program," while in Petraeus' case, he lobbied for the job that Bush couldn't find a general to go along with his fantasy and delivered when called upon – literally called upon; remember Bush "popped" into Iraq just before Petraeus testified.

    Or was that a coincidence, too?!

    September 21, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Leon R. Maxwell Charleston, SC

    Am I the only person that remember what the "Swift-boat Ads" did to John Kerry during his bid for the presidency in 04. The republicans did not try to have those ads canceled or repudiated.
    It appears that everyone forgets that "what goes around; comes around!"

    September 21, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. Darko, New Orleans LA

    If you think represents the majority of america you need to pull your head out of your rear.

    I laugh at those who complain about the GOP wasting time and money.

    Name one thing (other than a pay raise for a minscule fraction of the populous) that the Dems have accomplished since they've been in office? That's right. NOTHING. They've spent all their time investigating the non-stories of Gonzalazes and Plame. They've passed symbolic vote after symbolic vote that does NOTHING. Harry Reid and Pelosi are dead in the water. They couldn't lead a monkey to a banna raffle

    Hillary will never be president. She'll lose because she won't garner even 10% of the military or anyone that has friends/ family in it.

    Fred 08. Believe it.

    September 21, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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