April 25th, 2008
09:15 AM ET
14 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. Dan , TX

    Pull the trigger? Of course, she wants to prove she's tough. She's much more likely to pull the trigger in a borderline case than Obama is.

    Obama would probably bring the entire world together in a consensus and act together with both toughness and moral authority. Do we really want someone to carefully think about things and make a case before taking action or do we want someone who just pulls the trigger on a gut feeling like Clinton or McCain.

    April 25, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. LH, TX

    Indiana and North Caroline don't believe the hype! Hillary wants Obama to debate so she and the media can try and destroy him. Obama is a good and fair man who has the best interest of the people. Obama 08

    April 25, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Mike, Toronto

    She has relevant experience with voting vor an unnecessary war and dodging sniper fire with elegance. Why shouldn't she be trusted with making important war decisions and with providing accurate reports?

    April 25, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. KJ, CA

    Come on now – What commander-in-chief credentials? Last time I looked HRC has never been the President of the United States and those are the only folks that I know to be able to claim they hold commander-in-chief credentials.

    Wake up people. HRC and her campaign are bordering on dilusional.

    April 25, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. jfs Memhis, Tn

    I look at her current credentials.

    She cannot close the deal against an individual whom no one had ever heard of before
    She cannot run a campaign
    She is broke and asking for contributions from the poor that represent most of her voters.
    She has a FORMER PRESIDENT campaigning full time for her and stil can not close the deal !!
    Her negativity has almost ruined the Democratic Party !!

    April 25, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Jenna, NY

    Hillary we are not going to fall for your cheap gimmicks.

    You may have the experience but accomplished NOTHING in your 35 years.

    April 25, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. marylee wagerman atlanta,ga


    April 25, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. Kevin

    Few can claim a better record? This woman sent thousands of men and women NEEDLESSLY to their deaths, because she couldn't read the Intelligence Report.

    And they think this woman has the sense to lead? She must have offered them a position in the cabinet.

    Great, just what we need, a trigger-happy President.

    April 25, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. I.

    This is one scary thought: "If she has to pull the trigger... she'll pull it,"
    Someone needs to tell these Generals that problem with Clinton is that she is liable to pull the trigger too soon like she did in Iraq.
    And now all this talk about obliterating Iran with nukes...
    Something is not right there...

    April 25, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Jack Smith

    Her experiences lead her to act like Bush – Spend money she doesn't have on a war she cannot win. The thought of getting out and admitting defeat is not an option.

    April 25, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Marshall in Nebraska

    What credentials? Having a sham of a marrige to the President is not the credentials of a Commander-in-Chief. If it was there should have been about 40 previous First-Ladies who should have been president already.

    Nice try.

    I have had friend in the military (I am a military retiree) who worked in the Whitehouse during the Clinton Administration and said they were treated like dirt by Hillary, when she actually paid attention to them. Most of the time she ignored them. I also know about 50 current military member will will get out or retire before they serve under another Clinton Whitehouse.

    Now that is called motivating the troops.

    April 25, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. Shirley, Silicon Valley, CA

    Sure, Hillary has a lot of EXPERIENCE just like her BOSNIA SNIPER FIRE experience!

    In addition to Hillary's PATHOLOGICAL LIAR crediential, Hillary also has EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY TO COUT POPULAR VOTES! Why not also include those smiling ear-to-ear Republicans who also SUPPORTS

    April 25, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. deep_eye

    Can we please stop with these blatant lies and "misspeaks?" Her "commander -in-chief" credentials are zero, zilch, nada, nyet – get it? Like the tooth fairy, Santa and the Easter bunny, they do not exist and claiming they do, does not make them so.

    By the way, that was a great comment the other day, Hill – nuke Iran. Great, positively brilliant and what a special way to defuse that situation. After 8 years of Bush and the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, I know I join all other Americans in saying, let's start a new war up with Iran.

    Yeah, you're ready from day one – keep that lie going, will you?

    April 25, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. US Sailor

    ....."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."........

    If you consider the fact that she is going to hack the military to pieces in order for her to raise money, like her husband did, then you will end up with the problems of a thinned military like we have now. Thats right, the military is stretched thin now because of her husbands destruction of our forces in his term.

    "I'll debate anytime anywhere. Look, I'm so sleep-deprived it doesn't matter, anytime, anywhere I'll show up"

    I cant believe she said this in front of military members. You don't know sleep deprivation like the military knows it.

    She cannot even mobilize the NY Gaurd, how can she tout C-in-C credentials, she doesnt have any?

    April 25, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. love2008

    Carefull Hillary! This is how you started and ended up with Bosnia. Keep it real.

    April 25, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. EDW

    I don't want a president that is already saying that she will obliterate Iran, with no concern for the innocent people there. I don't want McSame in office singing BOMB BOMB BOMB IRAN. I want a president that will not have us fight in the wrong country, that is not trigger happy and that does not want to kill thousands of people as in Hiroshima. The answer is clear:

    Obama '08

    April 25, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. KEN

    Yep, just like she CLAIMED to be under sniper fire !

    April 25, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. E. R. Jordan

    Being born at McDonald's doesn't make one a hamburger.

    April 25, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Tony, Miami

    Chelsea having the same experience with Yo-mama you should consider to run for commander in chief. You have been in the White House for 8 years, you travel with Yo-mama to Bosnia, you follow the circus of yo-papa with Monika, Paula ..... you are vetted ready on day one.

    April 25, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Scot

    Sure.... let's have another debate.

    On FOX news this time with the two Bills, Clinton and O'Reilly, moderating.

    Couldn't be much worse than the ABC fiasco.

    April 25, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. maria dockery (Obama 08)

    Frank & Tubby from texas I can not agree with you more! Indiana, please for the sake of America see this thing as it really is. Do not for the sake of the people vote HRC into office because she's white. Of course as Frank says, she will have all of Bill's puppets on her strings to say whatever he wants them to say. I guarantee you he's promised them something in return. Bill will do a nother 4 to 8 years again in the white house if we do not stop them! Listen Barack is trully the only nominee who has not thrown the race card on the table. America Obama does not care what color you are. He recognizes that ALL Americans are suffering. Indiana for the sake of America END this primary. God bless each and every one of you.


    April 25, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. Harvey, Tampa, FL

    Interesting how Hillary is everything to everybody at the right times...

    April 25, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. Dan

    Wow, the Rev Wright hate message does not seem to have any effect on the Obama supporters with such nasty comments.

    Nice to know Hope and Change are mere slogans.

    Hillary '08

    April 25, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. LESLIE

    Right On Frank....My Sentiments Exactly.People Are Out Right Clueless When It Come To Hilary.She Doesn't Have A Leg To Stand On.

    April 25, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Carol Mc Cutcheon

    I do not think the coverage is fair, in Pen state Clinton was way ahead in the polls, Obama cut her lead to in half, he did a good job, as for experience, being First Lady does not give you experience, or did she make the decisions for her husband, headline when she wins, is she beat him bad, when he wins it is like he was suppose to, the polls said he would,

    April 25, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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