April 8th, 2008
08:21 AM ET
14 years ago

Hearings thrust Iraq back into White House campaigns

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/04/07/iraq.candidates/art.petraeus.ap.jpg caption=" Army Gen. David Petraeus was expected to face several tough questions about Iraq on Tuesday."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The emotional debate over the war will once again dominate presidential politics when all three candidates have opportunities to question the top U.S. general in Iraq during congressional hearings Tuesday.

Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, and Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the two rivals for the Democratic nomination, will share the spotlight when Army Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, the top U.S. diplomat in Iraq, testify.

McCain and Clinton will question Petraeus and Crocker - and possibly advocate their positions on whether U.S. troops should be withdrawn - when they appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday morning. McCain is the committee's top Republican.

Full story

Filed under: Iraq
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. North Carolina

    I can't imagine Gen. Petraeus or Amb. Crocker will bother to listen to Sen. Obama since he couldn't be bothered to show up and chair his own Subcommittee on European Affairs: the position of which is reason he will be meeting with them. Quite a contrast with Sen.'s McCain and Clinton, wouldn't you say, CNN?

    April 8, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. B.M.

    What will be used next to frighten the people so it appears that McCain looks like the right person for the White House? another 4000 lives.

    April 8, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. Bubba

    . . . since they have no bias and will tell us the unvarnished truth. Ah, ha ha ha ha.

    April 8, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. therealist

    Military decisions should be made based on what is happening on the ground in Iraq, not Washington.

    Obviously democrats want another Vietnam..

    April 8, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  5. RealityKing

    General Washington must be spinning in his grave watching today's political showmenship..

    April 8, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  6. Voice of Reason

    Iraq is a debacle of astronomic proportions... Like a child playing with matches, the 'burn' rate has spun out of control with no end in sight. As much as Saddam was dispicable, Iraq (like Afganistan, today) has NO sustainable public institutions or infrastructure. We are to blame. And at what cost? Human life; an end of any near-term civil society in Iraq; it kept our eyes off of Bin Laden and Al-Queda; it devistated our own economy; it enriched oil allies, corporations and executives, while creating, in effect, a regressive tax on the poorest Americans by increased energy costs. Shame on Bush/Chaney & their Administrations, shame on McCain and his fellow Republicans, and SHAME ON Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who bought into the hype that it would be another Desert Storm, so they voted against moral right and sided with political opportunism and expediency.

    April 8, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  7. Smedley Butler

    "Obviously democrats want another Vietnam."


    April 8, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  8. Talimee

    Why doesnt the mainstream media mention that Mr. Obama never chaired the subcommittee that has oversight on NATO? If Hillary didnt mention it on the debates, it would be as if Obama is doing a great job, when he fails to do part of his job. Of course, now he must be drilling the general about Iraq.

    April 8, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. vh

    I am sure that Sen. clinton is going to try to dominate the meeting and then miss the whole point of why we are still in iraq and the steps necessary to get out before we loose any more soldiers. and by the way north carlina sen. clinton has not been doing her job either. stop finger pointing and pat attention to our future.

    April 8, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. MIke , Tampa

    Yea, lets just keep paying for rebuilding Iraqs infastructure, keep sending our troops to be killed and keep waiting to WIN! Meanwhile our bridges are failing our streets are failing our underground infrastructure is failing..........

    Can someone tell me what exactly win means???

    bring america's version of democracy to Iraq...yea right

    April 8, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Ilona Proud Canadian


    I should have read the full story, you mentioned in the following paragraph that Sen. Obama will have the same opportunity.

    April 8, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. Mike in Houston

    The greatest enemy to America in Iraq are the democrats. They cannot afford to have any success in Iraq.

    How sad that American soldiers are political cannon-fodder.

    April 8, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. arun chawla

    "Obviously democrats want another Vietnam.."

    I think the Republicans pretty much took care of that. Nice job.

    April 8, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. B.M.

    It appears that McCain wants revenge and still reliving his days as a POW. The War NEEDS to END! He was fortunate enough to continue living. What about those men who gave their lives? I'm sure they would have chosen to have been taken as POW's.

    April 8, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. Joe Chagnon

    I would like to know why we can train our soldiers in four months and then send them off to war and after five long years the Iraqi soldiers are still not combat ready. I knew George Bush was planning on going to war from the very minute he sent the weapons inspectors into iraq. I also knew the plan was to set up camp for many years to come. This is about one thing and one thing only!! oil. This is what John McCain means when he states that we need to protect our interests in Iraq. It has nothing to do with our desire to free the Iraqi people or we would be fighting in other countries in the name of justice and freedom. I've got an idea. Lets attack China and free Tibet as long as we are so concerned about freeing oppressed people.

    April 8, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. DM Arlington, TX

    Bring our troops home.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Send the Coward Bush.

    This is a sad story

    April 8, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. Realistic

    I'm sure that General Westmoreland will tell us that all is going swimmingly.

    April 8, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  18. Richard

    This General Petraeus disgusts me. He does not tell his real opinion, only what Bush wants to hear. If he says anything against Bush he will end up like Geneal Shinseki....

    Forced into retirement!

    April 8, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. JJ

    RealityKing–I completely agree, along with Mr. Hancock, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Adams, and so many more...

    btw...who enjoyed Obama's comments re knowing more than McCain re world affairs if for no other reason than because he lived in Indonesia for 4 years? Well, McCain lived abroad for 5 years, too–in Viet Nam in the "Hanoi Hilton." Obama can give a stirring speech, but when he blows it, he blows it big! His exposure to world affairs is not fit to sit in the same room with McCain's. He better stick to more plausible and realistic arguments.

    April 8, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. Craig in Texas Democrat and supporter for Obama

    I dont care about IRAQ im an AMERICAN and our needs come first. if they cant defend and govern themselves FRACK EM.....Bring our sons,daughters,husbands,wives home this ia a pointless war. not our war.

    April 8, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. B.M.

    This war was not necessary. Why can't people see that fighting this war will not accomplish anything. It hasn't thus far. This is a Bush, Cheney war and now McCain. McCain doesn't have anything to lose. It appears that he wants to take us all down with him.After all, longevity is something that he no longer cares about.

    April 8, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. maya

    Note- MCCAIN AND CLINTON will question. Not BO. OBAMA IS A JUNIIOR SENATOR. That's right people- A JUNIOR SENATOR running for president....ah dear....

    April 8, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  23. Alex H

    North Carolina – What? Why would his European Affairs subcommittee matter when talking about Iraq? I guess it doesn't matter to you since you'll just chip away at any thing you can even with a nonsensical argument. I guess it doesn't matter to you that Hillary Clinton failed to attend the only 2 Afghanistan meetings held by the Senate Armed Services Committee. Nah, doesn't matter when it doesn't serve your purpose. The fact is most of the time the only person attending these meetings is the chair himself while all other senators are absent and especially during a presidential campaign. So congratulations, you got your snippet out, but it holds NO weight at all.

    April 8, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. mary

    Obama must have been up all night before today's hearings. I hope he read the notes correctly from his advisors so he can ask the right questions.

    April 8, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  25. lyle

    Gen. Petraeus – " yes mr Bush. Whatever you say Mr Bush"

    April 8, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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