April 17th, 2008
03:18 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton: President, not generals, will be in charge in Iraq

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/17/art.clinton0417.ap.jpg caption="Clinton is pledging to begin withdrawal in the first 60 days of her administration."] HAVERFORD, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Hillary Clinton declared Thursday she will begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within 60 days of becoming president, regardless of what her military advisers say about the situation on the ground at the time.

"You can see which way the questions are going," she firmly told a mostly female audience gathered at Haverford College, a small liberal arts school outside of Philadelphia. "What if the military commanders tell you its dangerous to withdraw? That question is backwards. The president tells the military commanders what the mission is."

Clinton has faced a slew of hypothetical questions from reporters about withdrawing from Iraq after she said last week that her rival Barack Obama cannot be trusted to end the war.

In making that case to voters and the press, the Clinton campaign has cited an interview with a former Obama foreign policy adviser, Samantha Power, who told the BBC in March that the Illinois senator's pledge to withdraw all combat troops in 16 months was "a best case scenario."

At the Democratic debate in Philadelphia last night, Clinton was asked if she would bring the troops home "no matter what," even if that meant destabilizing the country.

Clinton said yes, promising to do so responsibly and with a strong diplomatic effort in the region.

"Our professional military are the best in the world," she said. "They give their best advice. And then they execute the policies of the president."

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Pennsylvania
soundoff (380 Responses)
  1. Gene

    Hillary did great last night because last night she was in her arena of expertise. Obama keeps telling the mediators that he wants to talk about the issues.... the mediators keep throwing mud up at both the candidates.

    Yeah... Obama looked tired and out of his element.. because Obama is not about the mudslinging. He could've easily brought up issues like Bosnia.. Bill in Columbia.. Peter Paul trial... etc.. but he doesn't... and he gets frustrated when sitting in a debate which was more like an ambush to both candidates than a debate.

    Honestly, I wouldn't have been mad at all if Obama graciously excused himself from the "debate" about half an hour into it... flipped off the mediators.. told them that it's people like them who are ruining the country.. and walked away. Honestly, that's what I would've done.

    April 17, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  2. Mark D. Hiple

    I cannot imagine in my wildest imaginings (and they're pretty wild) how anyone can believe a single thing that comes out of Hillary's mouth. How can real Americans be so taken in, so duped by this lying, manuipulating, power hungry woman? She and her husband have both stood in front of the American people and lied, only for the sake of lying! She says that she will bring home the troops within 60 days of her becoming President. Number one, if you beilieve that you are a fool. Number two, seventy days after her becomung President, Iraq will fall into chaos, with its own factions fighting each other, Al-Queda, and Iran for supremacy. The Gov't of Iraq will NOT win that battle. Then we will really see what kind of evil can really be bred by these extremists. THANKS HILLARY, you're the greatest!

    April 17, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  3. Tk

    OH GOD PLEAS FORGIVE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  4. Michael

    I have never voted for a president in my life time,but after watching hillary and her two goons from abc news attack barak obama with stupid qustions,and not important issue this was the worst debate I had ever seen. just for this stupidity I will vote this year, and vote OBAMA!!!!

    April 17, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. Shygyrl

    I love how Hillary uses Obama's response word for word regarding who's in charge. Nice try Hillary, but Obama puts it better!

    April 17, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
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