September 23rd, 2007
11:05 AM ET
15 years ago

Clinton: Senate short on votes to stop veto on Iraq

Clinton said it is clear the President 'has no intention of changing his policy in Iraq.'.

(CNN)–Senator Hillary Clinton says the Democratic majority in the Senate is trying to change the policy in Iraq, but still finds itself short of the votes necessary to do so.

"Unfortunately we have most of the Republicans in the Senate continuing to side with the President and that meant that we have not been able to what we need to with sixty votes necessary to send something to the President," the Democratic presidential candidate told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on 'Late Edition,' "He has said that he would veto it. I think what has become clear though, Wolf, is that the President has no intention of changing his policy in Iraq."

"I have reached the conclusion that the best way to support our troops is to begin bringing them home," Clinton said. "I don't believe we should continue to vote for funding that has an open-ended commitment, that has no pressure on the Iraqi government to make the tough political decisions they have to make or which really gives any urgency to the Bush administration’s diplomatic efforts."

Clinton said the conditions for political reform in Iraq cannot be created by the U.S. military presence there. "There is no doubt that everyone agrees except perhaps the President there is no military solution in Iraq," she said. "That has been the constant refrain from the military and others experts that in the absence of political decisions being made, you might have tactical gains on the ground but you are not going to create a stable, secure Iraq."

Clinton also responded to the fallout from an ad by the liberal group that attacked General David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq. "I don't condone attacks by anyone on the patriotism and service of our military," she said. "I am an admirer of General Petraeus, as I've said on numerous occasions. I don't condone it, and I joined in voting for a resolution that condemned such attacks. But let's be clear here. This debate should not be about an ad. This debate should be about the president's failed policies."

Clinton was a guest on all five network Sunday political talk shows.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iraq • President Bush • Race to '08 • Senate
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. pl. at the UN for a while.

    Always puts the emphasis where it belongs.
    "People will say want they want to says", takes on flesh here.

    Go woman, go!

    September 23, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  2. Coach Haughton

    Well good spin hillary I would expect no less from you.

    You know, it would be a lot easier to bring the troops home if you hadn't voted to send them there in the first place.

    At least have the descency to apologize to the families of the troops who are dead and wounded as a result of your political maneuvering.

    September 23, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. J. McKinney SW MO

    I saw all 5 Sun. morning shows with Hillary. She was calm, cool, and brilliant. No one stands even close to her ability to speak the truth without getting twisted around by the news interviewers.
    She has a perfect handle on what is going on, and needs to be changed in our government. I just hope she can get the votes she needs to become president. She has my vote! And we need her!! Go, Hillary!

    September 23, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Deborah H. Arrington, Kingsport, Tennessee

    I was reading a piece online about how Congress forced the end of the Vietnam war using its Consitutional powers of the purse. It seemed to me that their strategy only worked because LBJ as well as Congress believed in keeping our deficit as well as inflation under control. That's all changed now. Our Republican President and all those Republicans remaining in Congress don't seem to care at all about the value of keeping deficits in line. And they have bought into the neocon views of how we should use our military around the world. This is the scariest bunch of politicians I've ever seen.

    The only...only positive thing about the current situation is possibly, let's just say, for the sake of argument, that the Dems in Congress were able to force through a timeline in Iraq as part of a spending bill. When (not if) things went to hell in Iraq, the Republicans would put the blame on the Dems saying that was why the forces of anarchy in Iraq were able to prevail. At least the way it now stands, the Republicans are carrying the blame for this war...which is where the blame belongs in my book.

    September 23, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Mike, NY

    Oh please. You don't need to "send something to the President." Don't send anything to him. Do not vote for a single funding bill that does not include whatever it is you guys are trying to do.

    Sure, the Republicans are to blame for a lot of it, but they don't hold the majority. They can't pass any military funding on their own. If the Democrats really want us out of Iraq, it doesn't take a 2/3 majority.

    September 23, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Bi

    As I recall, in 1945 people just like senator Clinton were running their mouth about we couldn't ever make a democratic government work in Japan. We did, it took 7 years, they were wrong then and they are wrong now.

    September 23, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. Lyn, MD

    The winds changed....within 48 hours she changed her position on the Move On ad. She voted AGAINST condeming the ad and all she did all day was condem it.

    I guess she forgot to take a poll before she voted.

    Obama was right it was a stunt not worth a vote. Bet she wishes now she had followed his lead so she doesn't have to do back flips now...Hey Move On she threw you under the bus at the first chance...hiding behind the boxer vote

    September 23, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. Deborah Arrington, Kingsport, Tennessee

    You need 60 votes to override a presidential veto. That's the key here. The Dems don't have that yet. Furthermore, despite assertions to the contrary, Dems care about the welfare of our military deployed in Iraq just as much as the Republicans...or more. Bush thinks he has it made....he's just "running out the clock" on Iraq. His dad could have given some good advice if Junior had possessed the sense to listen. No wonder Chuck Hagel and John Warner are headed out of dodge.....They apparently can't stomach the mess their party has brought us into any longer.

    September 23, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. Christian, Tampa FL

    While I agree with the sentiment of using the power of the purse as leverage, I greatly fear that the President will find some way to continue military operations in Iraq even if funding is cut off. Perhaps he would use more contractors (mercenaries). At any rate, I'm not convinced that cutting off funds is the safest way to bring the troops home.

    BUT, if nothing else works...

    September 23, 2007 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. Ret. MSG, PA

    History, and what needs to be done, no one is willing to stand up to the plate. Right or Wrong we have removed the Gov't of Iraq, we are now responsible for the people there.
    No lets listen to what I've been hearing lets LEAVE, let them fight it out, get a new dictator that will say we won't really help anybody. This problem needs a concerted effort by everyone and their brother to straighten it out. Lets do whats right, where is Teddy Roosevelt of the 21 Century.
    What can we do for our Country and the World.

    September 23, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  11. Ahamdinejad, M.E.

    I agree with the Democratic voice in America and its peoples demand for a change from their imperialistic Republican leaders. Hillary clinton would be a breath of fresh air for not only your nation but mine.

    September 23, 2007 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  12. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    Lyn in MD.:

    Sen. Clinton did not change her position. She voted against a resolution singling out the MoveOn ad, but did vote yes on Sen. Boxer's resolution condemning anyone who impugned the honor, integrity, or patriotism of anyone in the armed forces. That resolution did not mention MoveOn, so I don't know how she threw them under the bus. Therefore, her vote and her statements today were entirely consistent. And despite the fact that Republicans will UNDOUBTEDLY make her stand on the two resolutions an issue in the election, she stayed and voted: she didn't run away.
    Sen. Obama, on the other hand, showed what he was made of in skipping his opportunity to support MoveOn by voting against the Cornyn Bill specifically condemning them, calling it a silly waste of time. However, he DID make time to vote yes on Sen. Boxer's resolution. (Did you know that he voted for the Boxer resolution too?)
    If anyone threw MoveOn under the bus, it was Sen. Obama. MoveOn, by the way, has done way more to advance Sen. Obama's candidacy than Sen. Clinton's.
    So explain why the MoveOn resolution was a silly time-waster but a resolution condemning attacks on the honor, integrity, or patriotism of our troops (who attacks those?) was not.
    Here's what really happened: Obama skipped out on supporting his friends, MoveOn, because that might open him up to Republican criticism but made sure to show up for a milquetoast resolution supporting the troops that no one could oppose. What a profile in courage.

    September 24, 2007 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  13. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    I won't hold my breath wanting for the Republicans to finally admit that President Bush is the one responsilbe for the mess our country find itself in, in Iraq, due to Bush's incompentency as Commander-in-Chief.
    Because if they did, then they would have to answer for their unwavering support of Bush's management of the war in Iraq. Even now when no one disagrees that there is no military solution to the Iraq War, those Republicans who talk about getting out, when push comes to shove they side with Republican President Bush.
    In the meantime each month 60 plus American soldiers will die, for what?
    To save face for an incompetent leader.

    September 24, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  14. Ron Nebraska

    Once Bush lied this country into Iraq it was a done deal. We cannot leave until we can be sure the 'good guys' control the oil. What really gets me angry is that this Iraq invasion wasn't done for WMDS or oil or terrorism or Al Qaeda or imminent threats or any of the reasons du jour of the white house. The invasion was done to test an intellectual theory of American military power in the middle east. Read Cheneys' and Wolfowitzs' paper written when they headed the PNAC and then tell me if you believe in coincidence. My country's brave men and women dieing so some ' intellectual elites' could test their theory really should worry and disgust every single American.

    September 24, 2007 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  15. BCNU purple state, usa

    Yes for Boxer, no to MoveOn, are we splitting hairs here or what?

    This is the problem with politics today. All these clowns want to look correct/accountable on the 'letter' of the law, but not the spirit.

    Voting to condemn ANYONE, that runs such and ad in resolution A is somehow different than voting to condemn an element of ANYONE in resolution B?

    Not sure I get it. Let me leave some wiggle room here so I can technically say one thing while not being held accountable for saying it. Sound like a John Kerry moment, I voted for the war before voting against it. Sure there were technicalities involved and I don't need explanations because I've heard his story.

    The LBJ reference earlier was in err. Vietnam didn't end until 1975, over 6 years after LBJs term.

    September 24, 2007 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  16. TransparentTrollop

    Yes Hillary, and we've known that for a long time ago. But that didn't stop you and the other dems from making all those grandios promises during the last election did it.

    Just more broken dem promises. What's new...

    September 24, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. hanna,worcester, ma

    who cares about clintons!

    September 24, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. demwit

    Clinton said it is clear the President 'has no intention of changing his policy in Iraq.'

    Listening to the Generals on the ground in Iraq??

    Geeeee, was that a clairvoyant moment Hillary? Or just more smoke to keep those rose colored glasses on your mindless followers fogged..

    September 24, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |