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. Jamaal Kansas

    Barack is going to get the Nomination and to see to that i will donate 25 dollars to the Barack Obama Campaign.

    April 25, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Allan

    I don't trust that lying woman to have her finger on the trigger. World leaders are panicking at the outrageous and reckless warmongering comments she is making.

    Speaking of itchy trigger fingers: She refused to answer the question, when was the last time you fired a gun? Was it pointed at Vince Foster's head?

    April 25, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. mdg

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

    Of course she will – she already publicly stated her intent to "obliterate: Iran!

    I can picture her in another one of her "sleep-deprived" conditions, belting back a whiskey shot and brewsky and her chubby little finger reaching for the nuke button. Why? Because she's tough, she's a fighter, no guy is gonna make a fool of her again!

    She may be perpetually sleep deprived but we aren't.! Wake up America – we can't afford to give the country and the rest of the world a 3rd season of The Clintons, An American Soap Opera.

    April 25, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. Denis

    Well Hillary Clinton would be better at it than Obama. With all that is being said again about the Rev Wright, it brings up important questions about Obama ability to make sound JUDGEMENTS.

    After all why would an intelligent educated professional like Obama allow himself be influenced (mentored) by a man like that for over 20 years. He at first denied any knowledge of Wright's opinions then he acknowledged that he knew about them and heard them.

    In full knowledge of Wright's opinions he places him into his campaign. If he is a true leader who is intellectually honest he would not have acted as a Politian that he is as INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST. He would have taken the lead within his church and put a major effort into changing these attitudes that are racist to the majority of Americans and negative to the US.

    Well Obama did not do anything to try to change the preaching of his Pastor and Mentor and therefore we have to conclude that he either believes as Wright does or he feels that these important issues are not important or that he is unintelligent, which he is not.

    These issues are important to Americans and it demonstrates that OBAMA has poor JUDGEMENT and lacks CREDIBILITY.

    If young voters, Blacks and educated (white and black folks) and rich Americans cannot appreciate the importance of this critical personality attribute which is necessary to be a President, then maybe they are not very intelligent or totally subjective in blindly following him.

    April 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Julie

    I dont want Obama as commander in chief! He seems to have his priorities confused. He speaks more highly of the criminals and terrorists and hate-mongers then he does America or the American people! Does he have any friends that . actually like America?

    April 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. Key West Sun

    Hillary can never win in NC. If she can hold the Obama victory under 20% it will be a win for her. NC democratic voter registration is 40% black and that is without the newer registrations counted in. So Obama has a lest 32% of the vote already locked up if he pulls the normal 90 to 94 % of black voters. NC also is a major collage state and with Obama people signing up and pushing collage kids to the polls it could be a long night for Hillary. I have no problem with collage kids voting, as long as they are voting by issues and not for free tickets to some event.

    April 25, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. White folks please coming from a white man

    Here we go again with all those commander-in-chief credentials until May 6th.

    April 25, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. honkey white guy from cali

    She is absolutely qualified she can lie and bend the truth just as well as are current president.

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can

    April 25, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. Philip

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

    THAT"S THE PROBLEM. That is why we are now in the mess we started, SHE STARTED by her ridiculous vote, in IRAQ. She shoots from the hip, she gives no thought to what she does, she is reckless, and she has a pack mentality.

    We need someone who will think before they act. We need someone with the BEST judgment. AMERICA NEEDS BARAK OBAMA.

    No more debates, no more negative ads, STOP THE MADNESS NOW before it is to late.

    April 25, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. Chriss

    HRC just might imagine being under fire and pulling the trigger.

    She's too dangerous!

    Indiana and North Carolina have an opportunity to give Hillary the break she so desparately needs, TIME OFF!

    Let her take a lengthy vacation so she can rest and avoid lying and imaginary sniper fire due to fatigue.

    Obama '08

    April 25, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. USA Presidency_is_not_a Dynasty

    sniper fire! sniper fire! shame on you! Read my lips-You will never be president of USA. Over the dead bodies of well deserving Americans. You know you do not have any mathematical chance to win the nomination (you can never get over 70% in the remaining primaries...you couldnt do that in pen state) and your pseudo sense of entiltelment to the throne has made you want to spoil it for President Obama. Shame on you!

    April 25, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. Kris from AZ

    credential smentials Hillary thinks she has the credentials to look pretty if that means getting in the white house. She aint that pretty. Nothing can help her lol...Obama has as much credentials at running the show...dont let Hillary fool you NC. Obama is the better man in this thing.

    April 25, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Former Clinton Supporter

    Everywhere Hillary goes it's like a three ring circus! Trust me, those people are only jumping through hoops for her because The Clintons are owed so many favors.

    It's like every state she goes to she plays a different character and brings a cast along with her. Which one is the reall Hillary?

    April 25, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. Dave

    Clinton's finger on a trigger is a scary image.

    April 25, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. khma, San Jose, CA

    yea why not. She's very experienced with military. At least she was visiting Bosnia under sniper fire, bomb, and walking across demilitarized zone in Korea.

    April 25, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. paul, nyc ny

    I agree. I think we need to look at their records and view them not as the press is ssaying to view them, or even others, but as they have shown themselves truly to be.

    barack Obama has proven time in and time out that he is not a fighter. With Rev Wright, with Ayers, with his wife going after Hillary in the very beginning of the campaign, Barack has shown he does not have the ability to truly fight. Even though he voted for or against many more proposals as an senator in Illinois, the votes that he voted "present" for in sessions show that he can not and will not take a true stand. He can't admonish Rev Wright ... why? because of race. He will alienate the black vote that he consistently gets. He couldn't attack Hillary until another man did it because he didn't want to alienate the female vote.

    With Hillary, she has fought and won battles throughout her life. As a woman, as a politician's wife, as a lawyer and as an advocate. She fought the republican right wing, she has fought against each Democrat who came out swinging, she even beat them in the first debate where they all ganged up on her. She did it with valor and with dignity.

    Plus, my mom is just like her. Tough as nails when she has to be and sweet, fun, and loving when its required. Its time to get a woman in office to show the world that we can be tough yet good.

    April 25, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. Lawrence

    General Shelton? Maybe you should do some more research. Either that or stay out of politics.

    April 25, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. jimmy vekmen

    IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS AND WITH A FIRM CONVICTION OF HER
    DECISIVENESS, SENATOR CLINTON MADE A VERY POWERFUL
    STATEMENT , OR A WARNING IF YOU WILL, AND TO IRAN SPECIFICALLY. tHAT IF iRAN ATTACKS ISRAEL , THE UNITED STATES WILL OBLITERATE IRAN , IF SHE IS COMMANDER IN CHIEF.. SHE MAKES IT CLEAR , THAT AS PRESIDENT, HER OPTIONS AND ALL CARDS ARE ON THE TABLE. THIS STATEMENT
    IS A STIRRING CALL FOR ALL AMERICANS THAT OUR FOREIGN POLICY, OUR ARMED FORCES, AND ALL OUR RESOURCES,
    TECHNOLOGY , SPACE AND NASA TECHNOLOGY WILL ALL BE MODERNIZED AND WILL, FIRST AND FOREMOST, SECURE OUR NATIONAL SECURITY , DEFEND AND PROTECT OUR BATION AGAINST ALL ENEMIES.. SHE IS THE ONLY CANDIDATE WHO
    FROM THE BEGINNING SAW THE FORECLOSURE AND MORTGAGE CRISES AND SOUGHT TO PUSH FOR THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO HELP HOMEOWNERS. FOR EXPERIENCE:
    SHE WAS FIRST LADY OF GOVERNOR bILL CLINTON, EVEN MORE
    IMPORTANT, SHE WAS FIRST LADY TO A TWO TERM PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. AND HAS TRAVELLED AND MET AND TALKED WITH WORLD LEADERS.. OBAMA HAS NO SUCH EXPERIENCE.

    April 25, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. Mike from Westchester

    I'll go for a debate with Roland Martin and Chris Mathews as the moderators to even things out from the ABC hatchet job. Let's see her go one-on-three this time and get pummeled with irrelevant and semi-irrelevant comments for the first 45 minutes to throw her off her game.

    April 25, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. Paulinus, Canada

    It is not about debating Madam Clinton. We all know that you are strong there. It is about good judgement – not leading America into another war with Iran, which you want to wipeout.

    April 25, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  21. Registered Independent

    Clinton: Inevitable, leading, victim, tied, victim, behind, rocky, underdog, needs a miracle .... eliminated

    coming soon to theaters near you!

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

    It depends on how you define "qualified". If by this you mean being inherently dishonest, then yes I suppose she fits right in!

    New=Better=OBAMA 08!

    April 25, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. ml

    I have to post my comment to pastor Wright.
    Yes, we have the freedom of speech.
    We have the right to say what we want, but still it does not make the statement/speech right.
    What is said is said, but the meaning is not always right.

    One can talk hate and want to kill. This is freedom of speech.
    But it is not right to kill.
    People have difficulties to distinguish these two.

    April 25, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. David

    Even if she had to pull the trigger under sniper fire!!!

    Let's hope she does not have to do it after she is tried from a long day. You all remember what Bill said about her and long days.

    She is making my side hurt from laughing so hard.

    April 25, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. L

    I wish she would quick all this drama. Sleep deprived does matter when you trying to debate. There's nothing else to be discussed that haven't been discussed over, and over, and over again.

    April 25, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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