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. Matt

    "If she has to pull the trigger, she will." Hillary is sounding more and more like a hawk and I'm not liking it one bit.

    April 25, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. Roby

    Sen. Clinton has very few to say the least arguments to make about her 'commander-in-chief credentials. Being married to a President only takes you so far. She also claims that she based Iraq vote on her White House experience. Sen.Clinton says will in the White House she oppose NAFTA, but in her trancripts and book accounts say different. She's also used her link to the WhiteHouse as proof she is better equipped to handle our foreign policy, but she makes up fictious accounts of dashing from a plane ovesees under sniper fire. Last, but not least, she and her husband are undergoing a civil dispute (Clinton vrs. Peter Paul on a number of charges as a result of some collapsed insider donation deal gone bad; they both could be facing jail any day now.

    April 25, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. Spartacus Levi

    Uh-oh! World, be afraid: Hillary's coming!

    April 25, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. ObamaMama

    I am for Obama also. If Hillary is the nominee, I and lots of others will boycott this election. Barack could run as a 3rd party Independent and might be able to really pull it off. He will have been cheated out of the nomination, and he has lots of support, not just amoung blacks. Either way that would be a big chunk of the electorate away from Clinton or McCain. The MSM is now out to crucify him. They always saw him as a black man but pretended to support him but were looking for any reason to dicredit him. Blacks go through this on an almost daily bases. Smiles on the outside but inside racial prejudice. Held to a higher standard than whites, your life under a microscope. Covert racism.

    April 25, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Rick in Florida

    I don't want a President who CRIES when she's tired or under pressure. WHAT A JOKE.

    April 25, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Proud Black Democrat

    SAY IT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!! OBama can you hear us?

    Hillary 08

    April 25, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  7. Ex-Hillary supporter

    Well, we already know how adept she is at dodging sniper fire.....

    April 25, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. please post CNN

    Hillary will pull the trigger to, as she says, "obliterate" another country. Good luck with that idea. She is so desperate for free air time she will show up anywhere. We've heard it all from you before; it's old garbage now, enough! Instead, let's hear about your paying your staff, Hillary. Pay your bills to all the small business owners who have held provided services to your campaign.

    April 25, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. fred

    Obama is a chicken!!! cluck, cluck, cluck!!!

    Obama would pull the trigger on his own people of the US!!!

    April 25, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. Dianna Spencer

    Hillary don't be aafriad of OBAMA in NC. You will do well. You can do it.

    April 25, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Faith

    Okay, MUST we be subjuct to Clinton's LIES AGAIN! Can you all PLEASE STOP IT AND STOP HER W/ALL B/S MADNESS!

    April 25, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Trev

    There was a time in this country when Democrats, like JFK, were able to win based on their strength on national security. Clinton can do that. Obama cannot. Clinton understands that deterrence is worth the trouble.

    April 25, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. skylark

    What qualifications? A nasty disposition and a hair trigger?

    April 25, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. Kevin

    Leadership ability??? This woman helped lead the country to a pointless, bloody, costly war. THAT'S the kind of leadership they're trying to sell?

    This nominating process is insane.

    April 25, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Jamaal Kansas

    There is no way you can have the experiance to be the commander and chieg unless you are or have been the Vice President as I check Al Gore was the Vice President So hillary you just about the amount of experiance as any common politican you know the law that is where the experiance stops wait I forgot she does have experiance Being a Accomplished liar so i guess you can score one for Hillary.

    April 25, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. Jon

    I'd like to know what specific credentials she feels she possesses regarding being the commander-in-chief. Having a good voting record concerning veterans and saying she can "pull the trigger" really aren't leadership credentials for a commander-in-chief.

    April 25, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. Carol in NJ

    Are you sure she would 'pull the trigger'? A lot of women would have 'pulled the trigger' if they found their husbands 'fooling around with another woman'..... Hillary just looked the other way!

    April 25, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. Nicknas

    PULEEZZZZZZZZZZ!!!

    Cite Case, Battle, Strategy or ANYTHING she has done that has to do with Military ANYTHING.

    This guy is a Brig General with ambitions. He wants another Star and a cushy post and she will give it to him for telling this WHOPPER!!

    Just because she seems to be a HOTHEAD and will " Pull the trigger" doesn't make her qualified. I bet you could go deep in the Hills of ANYWHERE USA and find some Hillbilly that will " Pull the trigger"

    I think this General is in need of some review of WHO made him a General and what he is going to get IF she is elected.

    April 25, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. Kevin in DC

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

    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 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  20. gary

    YOU TELL THEM HRC. YOU HAVE THE U.S. MILITARY BEHIND YOU. THAT SHOULD SHOW THIS COUNTRY WHO IS MORE ELECTABLE FOR OUR COMMANDER AND CHIEF. AMERICA DONT CARE IF THE WORLD IS ON YOUR SIDE. N.C. WILL BE A RACIAL VOTE. WITHOUT THE AFRICAN AMERICANS O.B. WOULDN'T HAVE NOTHING. AFTER THE NEW ORLEANS ISSUE ,I CANT SEE WHY THEY STILL BELIEVE IN HIM. HRC WAS THE ONLY ONE TO SHOW FOR THE PEOPLE LIKE SHE ALWAYS HAS. O.B. IS A BIG JOKE AND CON MAN. GO HRC.

    April 25, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. Jbecks

    My fear is that she will pull the trigger even if she doesn't have to. I have no doubt she's capable of it. Is this what military people look for in a commander in chief? Willingness to pull the trigger?

    April 25, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  22. ITS NOT 3AM EVERYONE PLS WAKE UP!!!!

    OOPS YOU MEANT " COMMANDER-IN-LYING-GOP-CREDENTIALS?

    HILARY NOW SOUNDS LIKE A REPUBLICAN, SHE MUST HAVE SOME HIDDEN DEGREE IN GOP 007

    I WILL NEVER FORGET YOUR BOSNIA LIES, THAT WAS BELOW THE BELT...YOU BET YOU DID NOT BELEIVE YOU COULD GET CAUGHT?? MORE TO COME...

    April 25, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. Pull the trigger?

    Let's all hope that trigger needs to be pulled before 11pm or the bullets may be flying in the wrong direction. She has a problem remembering bullet flights, or the lack of, when she's tired. How can the American people trust someone who tells lie after lie. I think I would remember if I took my teenage daughter into a war zone and was barraged by sniper fire. Please Stop! Everyone just acts like her lies are not a big deal and to be expected. I, for one, would like a few years of believing the information coming from the White House. That is not going to happen with Hillary at the helm.

    April 25, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. Matt

    "If she has to pull the trigger, she will." Hillary is sounding more and more like a hawk and I'm not liking it one bit. And exactly who is going to pull the trigger against? Iran? North Korea? Syria? Now I see why she wants to get the troops out of Iraq as fast as possible, so she can start another war with another country.

    April 25, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  25. dp

    Of course her Bosnian Sniper Fire experience alone qualifies her to be the commander-in-chief.

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