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. ObamaMama

    I am so sick of hearing this same old tired line. What credentials? Bill Clnton's tarnished ones? You let the Bosnia lie go as an example of poor Hillary mispeaking. Then you play Wrights comments over and over and every instance of Obama mispeaking is construed by MSM as a lie. The woman is pendering to a segment of the rabble that needs you at CNN and other media outlets to form their opinions for them.

    April 25, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Simone

    Senator Clinton is not worthy of being Commander and Chief. Senator Clinton and her husband Bill have served in the White House for 8 years and shamed the Country and have made the World look at America as a shameful country. They both are liers, cheats and they both are very dishonest, untrustworthy and will do it again if she if lucky enough to get back into the White House. What about Watergate, What about Monica L. What about the impeachment of Bill, What about Travelgate, What about the corrupt funds that they've gotten from corrupt people for every campaign his and hers and the illegal funds for their Library? What say you on these issues. No one in the media are addressing these issues because they want her to get the nomination so that McCain with his corrupt self can win the General election.

    Redan, GA

    April 25, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. Bobbo

    So she claims she is a real "commander in chief "

    Sounds like she suffers from shell shock judging by the imaginary bullets she heard in Bosnia.

    April 25, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Helene

    Pull the trigger ? Obliterate Iran ? Is this what is in store with Clinton if she becomes President ? Then I will live elsewhere.

    April 25, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. steve

    I don't begrudge the clinton campaign for the fund-raise amount post PA, everybody knows that the Rethugs are contributing to her loss cause because they want to keep the madness going. This is because Rush Limburg and co have giving the marshal order.
    Rethugs want to compete with her in the GE.
    Not this time

    April 25, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  6. Mark from San Diego

    Will the Clinton's please just go away – BOTH of them!

    April 25, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. 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 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  8. Stone

    Sleeping with the president makes her uniquely qualified!!!!!

    April 25, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. Rechi

    Making Obama the nominee will turn out to be distater for the democratic party. Obama is doomed to lose the election having his closet full of items that Republicans will love to explore. He is basically labelled as unpatriotic so is hiw wife. Not only Obama is bad for the party, after losing this election, his career will be over for good.

    Clinton is the only candidate who is tough enough and bold enough to bring the country to where it was before Bush. Obama on the other hand is a meek and timid candidate for presidency. Imagine the American Army under Obama, it sounds ridiculous.

    April 25, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  10. T in Kzoo

    Oops, sorry, I meant "then years later say"

    put "say" instead of "deny" there

    sorry 🙂

    Dems 08

    April 25, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. Jack Walden

    Thanks for todays HRC camps delusion of the day statement that we have grown so accustomed to. She may not have fought in a war but she certainly knows how to duck and what better Commander-in-chief credentials than these.

    April 25, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. Rick from NJ

    Wake up American Democrats and support the Clintons.
    Obama is not electable.
    Too much baggage for him to explain.
    Let's just group together and vote for Hillary.

    I want Universal Health Care.
    I want the Democrats in office.

    President Clinton and Senator Clinton love all Americans.
    The African Americans probably more than any other President of the United States.
    President Clinton is certainly not a racist. It's rediculous to think that.
    His office could have been on 5th Avenue or Central Park, but instead he decided to move his office to Harlem.

    Please stop bashing the Clintons. The media is not covering them properly. It really hasn't been fair for both of these guys.

    April 25, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. Ted

    Shelton said ,"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."


    Obama 08

    April 25, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. robb

    Her (and Obama for that matter) credentials are zero experience in anything that qualifies her to "pull the trigger". Pullig the trigger is the easy part!

    What if she gets confused (Bosnia) again about a threat to US citizens and "pulls the trigger" repeatedly with nukes (the best way to "obliterate" a nation )? Does the term excessive force come to mind? The image scares the heck out of me most likely NATO members as well.

    April 25, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. A.M.

    Keep trying Hillary, but it will not work no matter what. We have three choices this year and this in the order of priority;

    (1) Obama
    (2) John McCain
    (3) Sit Home

    Do you get it?

    Houston, Texas

    April 25, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. democracynow2008

    Hilary Clinton Commander in Lies No Experience
    What a fake .
    Make it look good Hillary.
    You had your debates over 21 thats enough.
    Stop your crying your not only behind but you will be losing North Carolina and Indiana aswell and then I sincerely hope Howard Dean and the DNC force you to step down .
    You have done more to create disharmony in the Democratic Party and you need to leave .
    We don't want you anymore or Bill .
    Just go away.

    April 25, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. mcollins56

    I am so sick of Sen. Clinton. Why does she need another debate after 20-plus debates enough is enough. What else can either of them say that we have not heard. No one wants to her more Rev. Wright or sniper fire stories. The media is the only one who benefits from this and her. She needs to get as much free media exposure as possilbe. As for being sleep deprived I thought she was at her best at 3 a.m. if she does get that call and makes the wrong decision will she blame it on being sleep deprived then? Also how many more days before she comes up with a tie to Indiana and N.C.. she seems to have a relative who was born in every state she goes to.

    April 25, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. Bridget

    Hillary Clinton has as much Commander-in-Chief experience as Laura Bush. North Carolinians know she voted with Republicans to support invading Iraq.

    April 25, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. Kevin

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

    April 25, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |

    What are you crazy Hillary? Bring a few retired military officers a long for a ride and this makes you ready to be commander and chief? She stood behind Bill Clinton when he was cutting the military budget when he was president. Says she will end the war and cut funding to our troops. She speaks out of both sides of her mouth as she always does. About another debate, we are tied of all this bull and wish you would just get out of the race and lets start moving foward. If Obama doesn't sling mud like you can and keeps his head above all this. He will win and the truth is, the American people have had enough of dirty politics. Something you know all to well.

    April 25, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. proud army and navy mom

    old girl is so sleep deprived, she's delusional.

    April 25, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  22. 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.

    April 25, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  23. North Carolina

    She does indeed "get it". She has been a tireless worker on behalf of all Americans for many years. Undecided voters should please check out her website. I had intended to vote for Edwards and was quite undecided for whom to vote after he dropped out of the race. Her credentials are very impressive, but not readily covered in msm format. North Carolina is fairly socially progressive but also financially conservative. We need a candidate who understands the economy and Sen. Clinton is that candidate. And she won't ever quit.

    April 25, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  24. Tammy - KCMO

    These are Republican tactics. Why doesn't she move over to that party. I don't want to know who will push the button. I want someone with a backbone that is willing to learn to get along with these other countries and quit trying to make them over into the image of the US. That is what is harming our goodwill in other countries. They don't want to be like us. When are we going to learn to quit babysitting everyone and let them take care of themselves. We need to start spending time taking care of our own. If there was an actual threat to the US and not a "perceived threat" I think any of the 3 candidates would do what they need to do to protect us. All this statement does is make me dislike Clinton and her fear tactics all the more to the point if she is nominated I won't be voting for a Democrat.

    April 25, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  25. A Proud Typical Ordinary American

    The Black vote is already a given and taken for granted in North Carolina. Need to look beyond that and get a real true picture of how NC and the rest of the "God Bless the USA" is going to vote in November.

    While HRC will probably lose big in NC because of that, her real strength will be demonstrated in the non-black vote. If she can pull of a decent margin there, she'll have a better chance against McCain in November.

    April 25, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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