April 25th, 2008
09:15 AM ET
13 years ago

Clinton touts commander-in-chief credentials

ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) – Hillary Clinton touted her commander-in-chief credentials across North Carolina Thursday, again bringing along a delegation of retired military officers to testify on her behalf.

"If she has to pull the trigger, General Shelton and I know she'll pull it," Brigadier General John Watkins told a boisterous crowd in Asheville, a liberal enclave in more conservative western North Carolina.

Native Tar Heel and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Hugh Shelton made his debut campaign appearance on behalf of Clinton saying he had a "deep and abiding concern" for members of the military.

"Few members of Congress can claim a better record on behalf of those who serve our country," Shelton said, as he stood in front of a 'Solutions for a Strong Military' banner. "Senator Clinton is the only candidate in the running for president of the United States that has the wherewithal and the leadership ability to carry America back to its rightful place."

Clinton started her day in Fayetteville, right in the shadow of Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base. A caravan of veterans will spend the days leading up to the May 6 primary traveling the state talking in VFW halls about Clinton's plans to increase benefits and access to health care for veterans and easing hardship on military families, issues that dominated the senator's question and answer session in Fayetteville.

While the focus of the day was on all issues military, politics was just under the surface. Clinton called herself the "underdog" in the North Carolina contest and said her "opponent" should agree to a debate here.

"I'll debate anytime anywhere. Look, I'm so sleep-deprived it doesn't matter, anytime, anywhere I'll show up," she said. "This is going to be a hard fought election here in North Carolina. I know that I'm starting off behind. I get it. But I'm still going to work as hard as I can to reach as many voters as I can."

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soundoff (305 Responses)

    She already pulled the trigger! she has told the country she sould pull the troops out of Iraq even if the military generals told her not to! She wouldn't listen to anyone except her self absorbing greed! she is dangerous to this country!

    She has less experience than Obama in state and federal government. A vote for this killer is a vote for death!.

    April 25, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  2. Brattleboro, VT

    Commander in chief of Bosnian SNIPERS? Ha ha ha ha! LIAR!!

    April 25, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  3. Jim

    Let's just look at her track record:

    She's pulled the trigger on voting for Iraq already. That's terrific CIC material. NOT.

    She already says she'll "obliterate Iran" if it attacks Israel. Just so happens she was talking to some Jewish federation, I am sure. Great policy there. Let's just start the countdown to WW3 why don't we.

    What is she going to do at 3AM: call Mark Penn her pollster to figure out what to say to Abudinajad?

    April 25, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. Max

    Senator Obama has the backing of SEVERAL high ranking military
    officials including Colin Powell. They obviously think that he is capable
    of "pulling the trigger". Aren't ALL presidents capable of pulling it?
    Senator Obama has better judgment on when and where to pull it.
    Hillary voted to pull it in the wrong place.

    Obama 08.

    April 25, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. Angus McDugan

    How does being Bill's wife, serving tea and cookies, and lying qualify her to be president?

    April 25, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  6. Candi

    Hillary a debate would be fine, but if we are going to hear issues on Rev Wright and all other issues that don't relate to this campaign then NO. We are tired of hearing you squeak and sqeel. Hillary just do you camapign work and leave the debate alone. What and who would be the persons asking the question? Your clan as like the other debate?

    April 25, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. Tim

    She doesn't have any commander in chief credentials. She can't even run a business. Just look at her campaign. She had no plans to go beyond super Tuesday. She has left a trail of unpaid bills and is still in debt. If she were a company, the shareholders would have asked for her resignation. Also, the frontrunner does not need to debate. Ask Senator Clinton why she made she refused to debate when she was the fruntrunner for NY?

    April 25, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  8. Bukky


    April 25, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  9. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    A delegation of retired generals... who have never seen her in a military position (barring corkscrew landings in Bosnia)... attesting to her "credentials" as a Commander-in-Chief?

    ... sure, makes as much sense as just about anything else she says. I don't buy it for a second, she has a penchant for exaggeration that extends to pure falsehood when necessary... but at this point, I'm so shellshocked from repeated lies that another feather in the cap of deceit doesn't phase me in the slightest.

    Enjoy your potential political career, retired generals, but remember: Patronage jobs only come if your candidate wins.

    April 25, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  10. Keith

    This is a clear difference between Clinton and Obama! She will fight for America while Obama will be trying to set up talks. He was against a war that was united in a time where America was attacked on it's own soil!

    April 25, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  11. Dan in CO

    That trigger finger must be pretty itchy, considering her Iran comments.

    April 25, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  12. Andy

    She wants yet another debate where she can lie, fabricate and pretend the facts aren't the facts, and then Obama has to spend most of his time correcting her "misspoken" words. I've seen enough. We need change, not the see-saw Bush/Clinton mess we are in now. Obama campaigns on what is important....she does a Vegas stand up show.

    Go Obama!

    April 25, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  13. Greg

    Hillary the Movie.com will show that she is not capable of running this country. She is not capable of running her own campaign. Bill Clinton and Hillary are out for more financial gain.

    April 25, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  14. PA

    How can the military have respect for her when she has lied about running from sniper fire and they have lost their friends to sniper fire?

    Trust in leaders is core to the military. Do they want a Commander and Cheif who lies for votes?

    April 25, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  15. LifeLongDemocrat

    Let's end this and go for a Clinton/Obama ticket. This will be the only winning ticket.

    April 25, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  16. Jim-Minnesota

    Go Hillary, our next Commander and Chief.

    April 25, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. Charles

    I find it hard to believe this for the simple fact that when told to read the reports as to the Iraq war she didnt and then gave the current President the authorization to go to war. We need a President not only with experience but with the judgement to lead on "Day One".

    April 25, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. Donald from SC

    And that is the porblem. She would pull the trigger before knowing what she was shooting at. Commander-in-thief!

    April 25, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  19. Jim-Minnesota

    Go Hillary, Our best prepared to be Commander and Chief

    April 25, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  20. Joyce in Florida

    Yes, you do that Senator Clinton. You are the only candidate who can bring our country around. There should be a debate in North Carolina. As always, you will win that one too. Senator Obama is just running away from tough decisions. And, people expect him to run our country? I THINK NOT. I sincerely hope the voters of North Carolina wake up and choose the best candidate. AND THAT IS HILLARY CLINTON!!!! Please keep up your tenacity and hard work and in the end we will look foward to seeing you in the White House as our President. GO HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 25, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  21. Billarys it is me MOnica

    ohh Billary" as usual running on someone else experience..........
    first bill
    then the generals (although she dismissed them last time when she was asked about pulling out of Irak)

    Billary: blah blah blah,

    what a joke, does she think people are 'dumb."?
    has she paid the vendors yet?
    has she paid her staff?
    how is that debt going?
    liar liar liar

    April 25, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  22. Sue

    Ed Rendell stated on Larry King that there will be "Christmas goodies" for him if HRC wins. I wonder how much she has bribed these guys with too. Sleeping with a president does not qualify you to be commander in chief. That would make me a chef, and I am certainly not.

    April 25, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  23. Barack Obama Supporter from Lawrence Kansas


    SHAME ON YOU CNN!!!!!!!!!!


    April 25, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  24. Smiley from Conyers, GA

    Enough with the debates already. Let's just get this thing over with so we can make sure we get back in the White House!

    Obama '08

    April 25, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  25. J. McKinney

    We DO need Clinton, to get us out of this mess and get the country whole again. I hope NC can come to it's senses enough to vote her in in this state. Being black is not credential enough to lead the US. We also need experience, not just fancy talk.

    April 25, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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