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)
  1. Brandy (Dallas)

    "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.

    This says it all. Funny thing is, she will opt to pull it even if she has a better alternative. But I am glad to know, this person knows who he is dealing with and he called himself complementing her.

    Go figure.

    April 25, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. Tubby The Tuba from Texas

    Hillary's experience is being with the President of the U.S. for 8 years. Laura Bush has the same qualifications, as does Nancy Regan. She has only the experience in New York, which she acheived by being the wife of Bill Clinton.

    April 25, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  3. Frank

    Hillary Clinton has very strong experience on her resume, she got 8 years of first lady, 8 years of senator, Wow,16-year ! It is a lots, during this 16 years what she has achieved in Medicare ? Zero !

    The poor people were kicked out from the hospital before her husband took the office, she has 16-year timeframe and chance to make it right, well, 16-year later, we still have poor people got kicked out from the hospital. She took the money from lobbyist, put the Medicare reform in the trash can.

    She got lots of supporters from her husband administration, they got the common goals-they 'all' want to return to white house. Other supporters are just her puppets, how many people were standing beside her during her scandals, and what she had done to those people – put them under the bus ! That is her !

    April 25, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. A CANUCK

    Remember when Bill had a problem understading what "is..is" Well now it seems that Hillary has the same problem understanding what "a win is " These two narcissists deserve each other......just keep them out of the White House.....please.

    April 25, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. An Agnostic Democrat

    No matter how you dress her up or surround her with all the props, banners and decor, she "ain't" commander in chief material in style, substance or temperament. Her plan for Iran is less dipolmatic and more imperialistic and right-wing than George Bush and John McCain combined!!!

    April 25, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. Mark

    As an independent...what makes her think that she has any Commander in Chief credentials...she never served in the military. Maybe she was working behind the scenes in closing down bases during the 90s in which case maybe that's what she considers experience.

    As a side note, for all the HRC people who complain about Obama not having any experience...please remember that there once was a Gov from Arkansas that didn't have experience but he managed to get elected twice...hmmmm.

    April 25, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. David

    one more thing tell Bill I said shame on him, he should know better even if he owes her must it be Americans and the rest of the world that must pay?

    April 25, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. bob

    On Hillary's ads plastered on Cnn and on her website, was this photo taken with her saying the pledge with her left hand over her heart?

    April 25, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. maca

    Go Hillary !!!

    WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 25, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. Jeff - Schaumburg, IL

    "If she has to pull the trigger, General Shelton and I know she'll pull it,"

    But will she pull a "real" trigger, or will she hand flowers to someone and call it "pulling a trigger"?

    Hillary Clinton's judgement is obviously horribly flawed, and from Day One, we all know she can't be trusted.

    April 25, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. J. Mann

    The one character trait Sen. Clinton does not currently nor will ever have that is necessary to be the Commander-in-Chief is integrity. Additionally, what past experience qualifies her for this position? Can she claim being married to an ex-president and barely being a two-term (barely) senator? I for one will sleep no more soundly if she were to become president. If we think her husband tarnished the Oval Office, it will only be worse with her. Sen. McCain from an experience standpoint would be more qualified, but ......we will really be in trouble with his gunslinging mentality. Although Sen. Obama doesn't have a lot of Washington experience (this works out to his advantage, as he has the judgement and temperance to seek out and heed sage advice), I feel we would be in good hands. Last but not least, Obama appears to be an honorable and decent person. Can we say the same about Sen. Clinton?

    April 25, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. gerry

    Of course she'll pull the trigger, she already said she'd nuke Iran.

    So which Hillary will have her finger on the trigger:

    The angry Hillary
    The remorsefull Hillary
    The crying Hillary
    The Hillary who ducks sniper fire
    The misspoken Hillary
    The deceptive Hillary

    Quite frankly, Hillary has too many strange mood swings to trust being commander-in-chief.

    This lady out and out scares me.

    April 25, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. merle 7

    "I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," she said. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them." – Hillary on ABC on Tuesday. I don't know about you but I don't want a commannder in chief that would go to war at a drop of a hat. I thought McCain was the warmonger sounds like Hillary is campaigning for the republicans here. Now I know what Obama was talking about when he stressed using GOOD JUDGEMENT! HILLARY SOUNDS DANGEROUS AS COMMANDER-IN- CHIEF

    OBAMA08!

    April 25, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. Zoe

    Clinton's ambition is unhealthy and dangerous for a President and commander- in-chief! Her real "abiding concern" is ego and
    we wish it were more about the "content of her character".
    Being a "workaholic is not a virtue, tired people make mistakes,
    like approving the Iraq invasion.

    The only reason Clinton and her staff are begging for another debate is that no one is really interested in her as a candidate any longer and no one turns out for her the way people do for Obama. She needs the visibility. It also doesn't cost her campaign any dollars.

    The reason Obama is saying"no" is that he realizes the public has tired of debates....its time better spent in other forums where presidential policy can be talked of.

    Please a Paxil for Hillary and 2 for Bill.

    April 25, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. Ray in Jax

    If Hillary would have paid more attention to Billy's silly willy instead of letting the devil with the blue dress on play with b s w, We would never had to deal with GW for the last 8 years. No white trailer trash needed in the White House....

    Obama 08

    April 25, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Anna, SW Missouri

    After the story came out a few days ago about how many generals were usung talking points that the current administration fed them, instead of telling the public what they actually were seeing on the ground in Iraq, I am a little concerned with Hillary thinking that we all should believe everything that these generals say. The question might arise as to what she is doing to fill their pockets, if not now, then if she were to become the president. Do we need to find out what line of business these former millitary officers are in today?

    April 25, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. Susan

    One look at the way she has run her campaign should tell us all to run as far away from her as we can!! How in the world can we trust her with running the country? Where are these 200,000 jobs she has promised the people of New York when she was running for Senator??? ANOTHER LIE just to get elected!! She would be the one to start an all-out nuclear World War III and end all our lives. The only experience she has is serving tea as first lady (oh, wait, she had servants doing that for her too). SHE IS NOT TRUSTWORTHY AT ALL!!!

    April 25, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. ds

    These are flag officers who owe their stars to Bill Clinton–of course they're going to back HRC.

    If she's really been leading the country, she'll take responsibility for the economy.

    April 25, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. Sharon Minnesota

    North Carolina and Indiana should be thanking Hillary for being able to exercise their right to vote. If the Obama supporters had their way, they would have been cheated out of the chance to have their say in this primary election.

    I for one am happy to see all the support for her in these respective states and am enjoying having a chance to see them in the national spotlight as they are right now.

    So, North Carolina and Indiana residence please show your appreciation by voting for Hillary in your primary's. She's on your side now and will be when she is our president next year.

    April 25, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. Manuel TX

    Frank,

    Hillary was not working to change Medicare.

    She was working on universal healthcare. These are separate issues.

    Do your homework before blasting Hillary.

    ||||||||||||||||||||||

    April 25, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. Lisa

    Hillary haters, she's not JUST a former first lady ... she an active member of the senate armed services committee, and has sponsored all sores of pro-veteran and pro-service member legislation.

    She actually IS qualified to do this ...

    April 25, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    If I need someone to plan a fancy luncheon for foreign dignitaries, I'd call on Hillary's 'experience' as Presidential Concubine. But I have zero faith in her political 'experience' as it's all fabricated, inflated or an outright lie.

    April 25, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. douadavid

    Obama play race card and won all the black vote in my State of PA. His dirty politic will bring him down to his knee and won't be able to win other races anymore. His future will follow his black separatist preacher. Obama, please get out of the race now for the sake of our democrat party. You can not win in the general election by folllowing
    your preacher's ideology. You can change a landscape but not your
    preacher 's heart and yours. American knew your dark side and will never vote for you again. Hillary is the best choice now. Vote Hillary is a vote for the best future for all people around the world.

    April 25, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Jamie

    Can someone please point out what her credentials are for being Commander In Chief?
    I didn't see them anywhere in this article.
    I haven't heard anything about them in this campaign... only the phony stuff about Bosnia and supposedly helping to broker peace in Ireland.

    What a HUGE joke.

    April 25, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. Sarah in TX

    "If she has to pull the trigger, General Shelton and I know she'll pull it," – where's the quote of her saying a few years ago that she shoots and asks questions later? This is not the type of President I want!

    "Hillary's experience is being with the President of the U.S. for 8 years. Laura Bush has the same qualifications, as does Nancy Regan. She has only the experience in New York, which she acheived by being the wife of Bill Clinton."

    100% true. I spent 18 yrs w/ my parents b4 going to college... does that mean I can manage a business or do anything like them? Proximity is not experience!

    April 25, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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