March 7th, 2008
10:15 AM ET
15 years ago

A fact check on Clinton's foreign policy claims

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Sen. Hillary Clinton delivered a foreign policy speech at George Washington University in February."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton, fresh off crucial wins in Tuesday's primaries, has been playing the experience card heavily, particularly in regard to her role in foreign policy.

Clinton said it's her 35 years of experience that make her the best candidate to take on presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain in November.

After losing primaries in Ohio and Texas, Sen. Barack Obama argued the media has not held Clinton's feet to the fire on foreign policy.

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. B 'n T

    And is CNN going to now write a comparative story about Obama's credentials and experience (like his inabilaity to convene a committee which he chairs).
    I am amazed at how slanted the media coverage has been in favor of first McCain (now presumed nominated) and now Obama. When are the American people going to quit letting the media lead them around by a nose ring? People, read & research multiple sources and make up your minds based on facts and not slanted covereage by select news organizations. Fox is a joke ("fair & balanced" my foot!) and CNN (who I USED to consider the best option of all the networks) is rapidly becoming just another tabloid. It really bothers me to see a couple of media giants become the deciding factor in our national political scene. Actually, it kind of scares me. Have people become too lazy or inept to do the reading & research to make informed decisions?

    March 7, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. The Truth

    Thank you CNN!! and all other news outlets!!!!!

    Finally you are reporting on HRC's lies and exaggerations. She has been trying to skate by on name recognition alone. Well I'm sorry ,real experience and intelligence is more important. The American people do not want this deceitful woman in office.

    Hillary's supporters are jumping ship the more they get to understand what type of person she is. For the good of the party bow out gracefully before you damage your already tarnished image any further.

    Obama Is the clear choice for America!

    March 7, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. larry

    I don't get it. Cnn says some of it checks out but the only people that said she had a hand in some of the policies are the ones that are supporting her...let's get some inpartial verification like records of meetings she was in and what she really did not verification from her supporters...Cnn do a better job.

    March 7, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Independent-Latina-voter, Salt Lake City, UT

    Having been First Lady is NOT experience! I don't understand how the media and people, in general, allow her to get away with such blatant lies. Traveling to 80 plus countries, being next to Bill when he answered the phone, etc., is not experience!

    The Clinton machine have shown how ugly politics can get, and have all but endorsed McCain! What egos!

    God willing the American people will see through her attacks and misinformation and vote for Obama!


    March 7, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Jim, Youngwood, Pennsylvania

    Now you're fact checking Hillary? Too bad you don't do this with Obama? Your bias is so blatant it makes me ill!

    March 7, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Rebecca

    Senator Obama doesn't want to go negative like the Clinton campaign is more than will to. But that does not mean the media should not report on happenings like Rezko, "I haven't been really proud", and the Canadian NAFTA ordeal that turned out to be falsely focused on Obama rather than Clinton costing Obama votes in Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and Rhode Island. So where is the coverage of the Peter Paul election fraud case being successfully delayed until November after the elections will be over? This is a media responsibility to put it out there.
    Look it up, PETERPAUL.COM. If the media won't report on it do your own research. This is just one of many cases the media should be reporting but chooses not to for whatever reasons. Clinton more than willing to throw the kitchen sink with the garbage disposal fully functioning. Obama does not want to bring up negative issues like this against Senator Clinton. Therefore, she has taken full advantage of it claiming to be the victim while attacking at the same time.

    March 7, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Amitz

    Thanks to CNN to put factual presentation on Clinton's record. I don't think- this justifies to any big claim she makes about 35 years experience. With the kind of influence and power she enjoyed since years, this clearly shows that she did next to nothing.

    She is not even close to celebrities, who worked in Asia & Africe as UN representative..Big claims on the blank resume..atleast on foreign policy.

    I too want to see a woman president..but not hillary!

    March 7, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. mjc

    okay, this holds up enough , she was involved, we all inflate our resumes when going for a job.

    so what about obama's foriegn policy experience? oh, thats right.. he has absolutley ZERO.

    and how about his domestic experience, what is this 'community organizer' position, and what is this talk of 'helping out of work steel workers'? what has he really done since he left college?

    March 7, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. Jim, Youngwood, Pennsylvania

    CNN, if Obama tells you to bark and roll over would you do that too?

    Oh that's right, you already have barked and rolled over for the Obama campaign.

    March 7, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. celine (Austria)

    its one thing to be first lady, claim that for experience. And another to be Commander in Chief. Sound like old politics to use monster attacks on compaigns and take the same style to the Whitehouse and the world. We need a peace maker, uniter not a fighter. Sad as it is.. monster word sounds perfect discription but one may not just say it.

    March 7, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. Mike J

    She needs to put out her White House records so people can see what she did or didn't do, and what about her years as First Lady gives her all this experience.

    I think when the media really looks into this they'll find that it's all smoke and mirrors.

    March 7, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. Patinaa1

    What HC does best is back door intrigue and arm twisting.That ridiculous photo op with all those unfortunate re-tired generals sporting their scrambled eggs and uniforms against a backgound
    of flags!Hillary consults with her (over the hill and past it) joint chiefs .The "lady "really doth protest too much! She' s on the Senate Armed Services committee, so they'd better play ball,even if she loses the Presidency. Gotta keep money flowing into those military coffers. for their active duty friends.Oh, by the way,Billary lovers.On the question of back door diplomacy:Seems there's a big scandal brewing(what's new where those two are concerned)
    HiLL's campaign has (also?)been playing the "wink and nod" game over Nafta.David Brody,a chief aid to the Canadian PM ,leaked to reportersthat the Clinton campaign told Canadian officials not to take her rhetoric too over Nafta too seriously. She's full of it. It's big news in Canada. And if the American Press does its job properly(instead of crowning her the new front runner in order to heighten the drama and suspense) there will be problems, Houston. Stay tuned.

    March 7, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Reality check #1

    Hillary has been involved in politics and human rights since her college days. She is the most expierenced candidate of all candidates. Like her or not, she is the one that can turn the economy around and get us out of a recession. I'm not sure Obama can refrain from making "bone-headed" mistakes. Hillary has spent her life working for the working poor, children , and other issues that were too taboo for others to attack. When she says she has 35 years expierence, she has spent those years making changes. If anyone would bother to read some of her speeches to Congress, you would realize her work and fight for human rights. Start with the one she delivered about China and the death of children upon their birth simply because they were born "the wrong sex."

    March 7, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Ron, NJ

    So let's see...Clinton's experience can be summed up in this way?
    She visited a lot of countries for a tour.
    Negotiated on issues already settled.
    Gave a few speeches.


    March 7, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Hillary Fan

    Good work CNN. People often don't realize that as First Lady, Hillary surely would have been included in important decisions by President Clinton – President Clinton himself has said that they often discussed things and I'm sure her input was important even if he, President Clinton, was the ultimate decider.

    March 7, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Denis van Dam

    Hillary says she has 35 years of experience. But which public body or institution of any kind has Hillary Clinton ever run? The simple answer is “none” , and therefore she has exactly the same level of experience as Barack Obama. She has been the wife of a Governor, the wife of a President, but has not run herself any (small or big) administration. Can we all agree on that?

    March 7, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. arkie in Little Rock

    Once again, the Clintons speak in half truths for political advantage. Also, on the national security issues Hillary has, as a Time Magazine commentator wrote recently, handed John McCain a hand grenade to use against the Democrats in the general election.

    I am a former newspaper reporter who covered the Clintons during Bill's career in Arkansas. The Clintons are chameleons. They are sadly dysfunctional people who will sacrifice the truth, their friends, and the Democrat Party in their greed for power.

    Obama has the right stuff to bring the country together. Like a dirty old fighter in the ring, Hillary keeps trying to mess up Obama with low blows, knees to the groin, and rabbit punches. Next, she will bite off Obama's ear and CNN will praise her as a "fighter" and a brilliant strategist. With Obama we can have better leadership than this.


    March 7, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Obama all the way...

    No treaties, no portfolio's...and what's that a SPEECH in China? I though SPEECHES didn't count???? And she had some tea with ladies groups in Ireland? She helped open the borders in Kosovo...when the borders were actually open before she got there???? Is this the 35 years of experience???

    Well, if that is the experience we are talking about why not have this ticket...

    Bono -POTUS
    Madonna- Sec of State
    Brad- Sec of Defense
    Oprah- Sec of Treasury

    They all have more foreign policy experience than you Hillary!!!

    C'mon is this all the foreign policy experience you have been a raving lunatic about????


    March 7, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. Matthew

    OK, I get it, CNN– you continue to scrutinize ONLY ONE candidate's record. WHERE'S THE SCRUTINY FOR MR. OBAMA? What's HIS foreign affairs experience????? This reporter should be FIRED for biased and unequitable reporting when it comes to Hillary Clinton. Clinton supporters are REALLY getting sick and tired of all of this slanted reporting!

    Obama is embroiled in Chicago scandals, lies about his record with the gay community, attends a church that is racist and supports Louis Farakhan..... Come on, CNN! Report the REAL story here!

    March 7, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. Rodriguez

    Hillary evidently does not have the experience and influence that she is claiming. Regardless, how useful is that experience if you have bad judgment and bent your positions to support an unjustified war in Iraq?
    Chenney and Rumsfeld and now George Bush have a lot of exposure on foreign politics and in military operations. Does that qualify them? In a resume it does, but we need to look at the results.
    Wrong decisions can destroy a nation image and economy and result in loss of our heroes life. This already happen and Hillary was part of the decision. Her "limited" experience did not help. The Clintons and McCain already had their chance and fail, .

    March 7, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. Ohio Voter

    CNN is going easy on Clinton here, and this is an important political story. There are quite a number of prominent people–involved in the events Clinton mentions–who have said that Clinton's involvement was very slight. CNN is quoting just the pro-Clinton comments here–and even those are pretty lukewarm. And the much touted speech in China was at a UN Conference on Women. How brave is it to make a comment about women's rights at a women's rights conference? The press and Democrats really have to examine Clinton's claims on foreign policy–McCain and the Republicans can't wait to do so.

    March 7, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. P Carter

    Ask Hillary Clinton about Rwanda and what the Clinton administration did for this country. Hillary Clinton does not mention this in her foreign policy experience. Hillary Clinton was part of the Clinton Administration during Rwanda and the out come impacted human lives forever.

    March 7, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. RD

    She certainly has alot of experience as a first lady. I didn't know that qualified as foreign policy experience. I guess being asleep next to the President when the red phone rang is experience. Neither Clinton or Obama have much experience in this area. The problem is that Clinton is trying to fake it!

    March 7, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Sean McM

    Thanks for printing this story....I heard it reported on CNN last p.m........Obama can only wish she had been the good little wifey and stayed home baking cookies when she was first lady, but no....she involved herself in world affais appropriately. Standing up for womens' rights in China took REAL GUTS....WE KNW SHE HAS GRIT ...AND SMARTS!

    March 7, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. kevin from alaska

    Who in their right mind if they were planning to run for national office would give a speech on the eve of a war with a 70% approval rating and say this:

    "I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars."

    If the war had been a success he would've been laughed out of the Senate race and never even made it to D.C. Forget about a Presidential bid.

    Nobody would give that speech unless they knew exactly what they were talking about and felt so strongly that it was true that they knew they must speak.

    March 7, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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