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. Johnny Boy

    I am i the Navy and let me tell you that it would be a severe mistake to have her as commander in chief! Trust me on this one. She has no clue how to be a leader, look at her campaign, it is falling apart! She would do the same to the military. She already has actually. When she was the first lady, she treated the military members stationed at the white house like servants. They are there to preform military duties, not be the wait staff for the queen. I know 2 member that were there with her as first lady, and the stories were really bad, she cussed at several of them. CAN YOU BELEIVE THAT. And HRC is also a theif! When she left the white house, they was missing many american heirlooms that were not hers to take. The secert service had to go and retrive the items she took. I wonder why no major news company has never talked about this on the air. If I worked at CNN, that would be my first story. But in the end, the HILLBOTS are blind, and will not face the facts about HRC, she is a liar, plain and simple. She treats people badly, as stated above, and yet, people still vote for her. It is beyond me as to why you guys support her. Every argument you bring up, I am able to shoot several holes in it with facts, and yet you blindly support this woman. I WAS of the thinking that I should vote for whoever the DEM's nom, but not now, not this time. I will not let her in to the white house again. Even if it means shooting myself or cutting my foot off. You wacko HILLBOTS want to play the threaten game, well, we can too, and we out number you 2 to 1 so who will loose at the end of the day, you, the american people, and HRC will also loose, which would be a victory to me. Sorry, I just can't stand by and watch her destroy this great nation.

    April 25, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Warmonger.

    I wish the people of this country could be appealed to by some means other than fear, insecurity, and "my country can beat up your country."

    April 25, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Kathie, Houston, TX

    "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."

    Okay – this is a joke right? she voted for this idiotic "War", has consistently voted to fund it and refuses to admit she was wrong. She continually lies and will do whatever it takes to win, no matter what. Yep, she'll take America back to its rightful place alright. But frankly, that's not a place I want to be in. She hasn't the foggiest clue on how to deal with the issues facing the average American. Not one of these candidates do. Where is a true Statesmen, a true Leader when you need one? Certainly not in this race.

    April 25, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Waiting for Hilarys Pres End

    Clinton throw in the towel enough is enough the divisiveness needs to end

    Obama 08 enough said

    April 25, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Sean

    It's not about being able to pull the trigger. It's about being able to differentiate between a situation that requires pulling the trigger, and one that requires dilpomacy.

    April 25, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. Divanto

    What trigger are you talking about, General? She has already pulled enough triggers...Bosnia, NAFTA/MARK PENN, Kitchen Sink, Crocodile tears etc. The only trigger she could have pulled for the American people was to vote against the war. Did she?

    April 25, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. CLaing

    I think Pelosi is sneaking around the back door to becoming the first woman VP. I think it has been planned from the beginning. That is why our most powerful unbiased Democrats have been undermining Clinton's presidential bid from behind closed doors.

    April 25, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. stone cynic

    In 1968 Hill and Bill were busy honing their skills fighting political frat wars on campus...........while soldiers bled in a war based on lies. In 2008 they're still fighting frat wars..............while soldiers bleed in a war based on lies. A war Hill voted authorization for. Rev Wright has done more for the military than these two put together. So what qualifies her?

    April 25, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. Sue F

    Oh brother, was she packin and carrying her canteen and flak jacket?

    April 25, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  10. Seth

    Yeah, she wants to nuke Iran, ASAP.

    April 25, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. Gary in Toronto

    The real story here is that she has now managed to outstrip John McCain in foreign policy gaffes on the campaign trail.

    i) Insulting the people of Bosnia;
    ii) Annoying the leaders in Ireland who actually negotiated the peace accords;
    iii) Recklessly stating that the U.S. should extend its military commitments to cover any country in the middle east that Iran might attack;
    iv) This is a good one. She told an insulting joke about the "former" Prime Minister of New Zealand in an interview. Turns out that this person is actually still the PM of New Zealand and the people there aren't amused.

    Some commander in chief huh?

    April 25, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. rj

    lets hope she's not exhausted when she has to pull the trigger. she might might miss and hit instead one of those small states in the US that mean nothing to her. i think she's only interested in big states.

    April 25, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. roger

    I agree she has lot of expertise. let us not forget the 'bosnia' experience. how she managed to stay firm in the middle of the 'sniper' attack.

    April 25, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. Elaine, HK

    For the past few days, I have come across people asking "Why can't he (Obama) close the race?" Sound pretty funny. And there are plenty of sound reasons: He has actually closed the race since Feb. and it is just the Clinton dynasty refused to admit to their own failure. Despite claiming to have the most "experience" and past experience as first lady of US, she has demonstrated the most unpresidential and unreliable candiate of all time. Why didn't we ask the Clinton, "Why can't she close the race? since she is the Mrs Clinton, (ex-First Lady), NY Senator and with Bill Clinton and her strong backers behind her, WHY CAN'T SHE BE THE NOMINE? If she is so for the people of US, can't she see in her right sound of mind, that she is hurting their party chances in the Fall.

    I personally feel that the Clinton campaign have got too far, too negative in this race. As for the Pennsylvania win, she should have won with a much bigger margin than the so-called 10 digits points by her side. Why? It is her family roots there and with the powerful machine behind her. With more than 20 digits ahead to the s0-called 10 digits, only the Clintons will say it is a clear answer from the voters that she is more electable.

    I sincerely hope that the DNC will knock some senses into this deluded senator, that she will never be able to win this nomination.

    As for Obama, he should continue to reach out to different groups of voters, get to know them and give them a chance to hear and see you. Continue with your hopes and solutions to them and bring them to understand you. Focus on your campaign and I believe that You and your whole team will be reward with the results you guys have wanted since Feb. Be positive towards your campaign.

    And lastly, I am very sick of any more debates. Let get down to the real issues and problems.

    April 25, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Sue, Corning, Oh

    Are these the same retired Generals that sold us the Iraq war? Remember all the lies. Dick Cheney, Donald Runsfield and all of those cronies have a lot of experience too, and look at the mess we are in. We don't need any more of this kind of "experience" as commander-in-chief. We need some good common sense!

    April 25, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. N Carolina for Obama

    Clinton thinks that now she is going to attach Obama on debate issue? Just because he has declined further debates she wants to portray it like he is a coward or something? We are not fools. Clinton, we are not fools and we can see with our own eyes.

    April 25, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. gerald strother

    Clyburn told the newspaper that many African-Americans believed the Clintons were trying to damage Obama to the point where he could not be elected THEY HAVE NO SHAME

    April 25, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. Roy Arellano (San Antonio)

    TRUTH:

    1. 23 debates is more then enough.
    2. HRC is low in cash-on-hand and debates (paid by the media) is a free outlet for her to be seen (and continue her misleading tactics and statements)
    3. HRC has NEVER been the underdog in any contest she's had. Her losses had nothing to do with anything other then her failures in presenting her message.

    April 25, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. Moshe

    Hillary 2008! The only real choice.
    Nobama can be the mayor of Disneyland, he can bring people together there.

    Hillary 2008!

    April 25, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. Tony Z- MD

    Lets see she has never been in the Military. Only held an elected office for how long? She wants to bomb Iran. No wonder America is stuck in this situation.

    I would trust McCain before Hillary. He is a military man. Holding a hearing and pickup the phone are two different things.

    As far as her against Obama- she does not have the judgement. She believed the White House which was part of her reason for voting.

    April 25, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. no2clinton, cambridge, MA

    Yup, Queen Hill will lead us straight to Tehran, just like she led us to Bagdad. Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran...oh, China too.

    April 25, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. Typodi

    I hope she's really careful. You know how our plucky Annie Oakley is when she's sleep deprived – delusional.

    April 25, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. sally

    About the Clintons. Check out LA Superior court Case #bc304174. Peter Paul vs. Clintons. There is no media coverage about this. Why?

    April 25, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. GoranT

    That's what we really need...another trigger happy president...

    April 25, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  25. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Ya good old gun-happy Hillary... no wonder she voted for endless war in Iraq...

    NO MORE CLINTONS IN THE WHITE HOUSE....

    April 25, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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