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. matt in austin

    yawn, more beating the war drum. Is this what America really wants? More war? It's time for America to stop flexing our muscles. If we don't pull out soon we will be bankrupt and go the way of the USSR. The terrorists have us draining our funds to fight a war w/ no borders that we can't win.

    April 25, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Befuddled

    Wasn't one trigger happy cowboy enough for this country ... egad.

    April 25, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. Venus

    Here we go! Hillary – pack it up! Your commander in chief is great considering how brave you were with the sniper fire!

    If you were so great – you would be ahead of Obama!

    Now I see why some of the democrate were asking for you to drop out – you are destorying our party!

    We know Lanny Davis is trying to sue Howard Dean because the debate in North Carolina – is not going to work!

    You had 21 debates and you are still far behind.

    April 25, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  4. prosperity

    Senator Clinton cannot and I repeat cannot be trusted. She is a lier and she is corrupt. Her husband is a lier, cheat and he is corrupt. They both along with their campaign staff are corrupt and liers and they all are trying to destroy the Democratic Party. They have disgraced America when they were in the Oval Office before for 8 years and they are not talking about all of the corrupt people that they've taken money from like for their Library and Her campaign. They don't want to talk about Watergate, Travelgate, Bosnia and Monica L.
    There are a host of other things that they've lied about and corrupt people that they've taken money from but the media along with the Clintons won't talk about that!

    Stone Mountain, GA

    April 25, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Ratgurl

    Aha! Shelton's been offered the coveted political position of secretary of defense! What a poseur!

    April 25, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    How about commander-in-spin.....oops! sorry! I am sleep deprived and tired!

    April 25, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. RB

    The only problem is WE CAN'T TRUST HER!

    April 25, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. Jeanine G

    great...a General has confidence she can pull a trigger....just what we need after 8 yrs.

    I'm looking for more talk, and less trigger pulling on the world stage...THAT...not more muscle flexing...is what we need.

    Obama '08

    April 25, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  9. Tim, Colorado Springs

    What credentials? Hillary has zero executive leadership experience. She has never been a governor, cabinet minister, or mayor; never been CEO of any company or non profit organization; never run so much as a dog catchers office. Since when does watching your husband perform a job count as personal experience?

    April 25, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. joseph

    I agree that senator Hillrod will be the best commander in chief just as she did with Bill in Somalia and Rwanda.

    April 25, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  11. Herman LA, CA

    Hillary can tout all she wants we don't want her or Bill back in the white house. Hillary is a divider and will not bring this country together just look at how she is running her campaign it is very dysfunctional and more that 10 million dollars in debt.

    April 25, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  12. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    It is impressive that she has the endorsement of a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs–and a bevy of Generals testifying as to her judgement, decision making, and capabilities as Commander-In-Chief.

    If Obama...can't swing some armed services support–he could be sunk. So far–Obama only has a few malcontent veterans –who happen to have a web site–and none of them were in highly responsible/accountable commander billets.

    April 25, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. Uncle Sam

    Why does the Democratic party continue to nominate liberal candidates when the majority of Americans are centrists?

    April 25, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  14. Thomas Uhrick - Indiana

    Go Hillary Go!!! I'm behind you 100%

    April 25, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  15. Hillary, Liar from Day 1

    This is great news for Hillary. Now she can brag about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia and how she saved Private Ryan all by herself, and that one time when she saved President John Adams from the dangeous waters in the Boston Tea Party, and that one extreme time when she ran bare foot to Iraq and secured all the WMDs then took them to a secured location before tossing herself over those WMDs and took the brunt of the force.

    Go Hillary Go!!!!

    April 25, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |

    That is the point! She has the Experience. Who will Obama bring along, Rev. Wright and Michelle Obama?

    We need experience and strength. With experience comes wisdom. With wisdom comes good solid decision making. Not speeches.

    Clinton 08!

    April 25, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  17. HillarywillGoHell

    I can not stand this old woman how desperate can one be the American people don't seem to want her to be their commander-in-chief go back to your old job.

    April 25, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  18. Sharon

    I don't think we need a Commander in Chief that is as unstable as Hillary. Her mood swings, her bouts of anger make me very nervous if she were the one to answer the phone a 3AM. She does not have the credentials, or the resume to take on this job. She lied about the Bosnia sniper fire, she has run a very negative campaign, she has financial problems in the campaign, she lies about having the popular vote, what else will she lie about in the White House. We have had 8 years of lying with this admin and Bill lied while president, why would we want to do it again. Bill keeps saying he balanced the buget while in the white house, but neglects to say how much we were in debt when his term was up. What has she done while in the Senate, voted for the war and still is committed to win that war.

    April 25, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  19. Ron, TX

    "If she has to pull the trigger, General Shelton and I know she'll pull it," Brigadier General John Watkins told a boisterous crowd

    Isn't that the truth! She sure pulled the trigger on Iraq! She's just itching to pull the trigger on Iran, too, apparently.

    April 25, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  20. Chuck

    Let me address it this way. What is America's number 1 issue with Bush? Is it not that he consistantly lied about Iraq, which put us into a war, that ended up being a major cause of our economic woes? The initial problem was his lies correct? She has made so may fopa's and misstatements that you can no longer count them? Sniper fire for me was the worst. As a retired military man this is a cardinal sin for us military guys, something that takes her out of the pool of potentiality. She has run a campaign that if full of lies, misleading statements, incomplete statements and spin, thus she is worse than Bush. Why? Because she is not even in office yet and she has made the decision to lie already. Sorry, you have failed the Commander in Chief test Sen Clinton.

    April 25, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. Terri Patanus


    IS not ready to take on this nations issues.

    The Super Delegates are IDIOTS who stand with a PAGE over EXPERIENCE.

    SO I will help you with your problem. If Jr is on the ticket I will vote for McCAIN so Jr Page BOY will not win my vote REGARDLESS!



    April 25, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. yem

    Obama should never debate hillary again. She is insane. Is she going to ask him if he needs a pillow? Out of desparation she will say and do anything.It scares me to death to think of her as commander in chief .God save America. America will go to war in all fronts to show that she is tough.She is another mcCain. What is the difference. I will take and trust obama as commander in chief.

    April 25, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  23. Kandice

    Is it another sniper fire?

    April 25, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  24. Alyn

    Commander in Chief credentials???? Ummm......what???

    ANOTHER debate??? Ummmmm....PLEASE no!!!!

    Hillary likes debates.....because that all she REALLY knows how to do!

    April 25, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  25. 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 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
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