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. JDM

    Last year she wanted the American vote!
    White, Black, Old, Young and everything in between!
    Today, she wants the Blue Collar vote(Code word)!
    Older person 60's-undereducated-white female- Deeply Religious who grew up in the 50. I find it totally disrepectful to call an American any of the titles the News and The Clintons call people from PA or any other small town in the USA.
    Now she going after Former military Men that are 50-6 to tell the story again.

    April 25, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. ObamaMama

    What credentials? She has none Oh yes...maybe the ones she lies about.

    April 25, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. Len in Washington

    No, Hillary, you don't get it.

    Len in Washington

    April 25, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. Mark, MI

    Why doesn't Hillary Clinton drop out and run as an independent already? It's bound to happen, might as well start it now....

    April 25, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. HC

    Think Jonh mc. Cain has more credentials

    April 25, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. sally

    Exactly what is Hillarys accomplishments? I hear from her supporters about all she's done in 35 years. Some one please list them.

    April 25, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Jan Elpel

    The comment by Sen. Clinton that she would "obliterate Iran" if it attacked Israel is dangerous and immature, even more arrogant than remarks by George Bush.

    It has never been the intention of the US to obliterate another country.
    If this childish reaction reflects the insecurity of Sen. Clinton or her need to prove herself, she should not answer the White House phones at any hour.

    April 25, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. katharine ryan New York New York

    It is time for BArack Obama to WITHDRAW. The contest is so close, with Democrats virtually divided down the middle. It would be good for the party if Obama, who is very young and has years to learn (which he needs to do) to withdraw and let Hilary, who is far more capable at this point in life than he is, to run and win. It is irrational for him to hurt the party this way by staying in.

    April 25, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. Hillary - LIAR

    Hillary has NO LEADERSHIP SKILLS. She's an ego in an empty pant-suit.

    April 25, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. Barb

    What presidential credentials. Hillary has proven herself to be untrustworthy, divisive, and selfish. She has no more credentials than anyone else running. People voting for her are either voting for Bill or against Obama. Voting for Bill is a joke-he is not the same person they remember-he appears to be unstable. So those of you voting hoping to get the same economy we had when he was in office had better think again-He's showing signs that his mind has decayed which means the real Bill is emerging-you can't trust him or his judgement. He being the invisible president will not work-he's not sound enough to pull it off anymore and Hillary is too emotional to have good judgement. All someone has to do is say something bad about her and we will find ourselves in another War. This time losing lives because another country doesn't like her pink dress.
    If Hillary is the nominee-McCain will get my vote. I'd rather put up with his decaying mind that Hillary and Bill.

    April 25, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. NewLife

    Not in this life time! Senator Clinton has made white women look so evil and coniving and untrustworthy. When she doesn't get the nomination she is going to make a "hostile work environment" for the Senators and others in the Democratic Party, she and Bill have already made American look truly untrustworthy and our great status in the world has just about vanished. She and Bill are so Republican it is a shame. They have made the Democratic Party look so disgusting it is a shame. She cannot be trusted. She is not worthy of Americas trust ever again and I believe that she will become a Republican again when she loses the nomination.

    Obama is the Best President in this world and will get the country back in the the good graces of the World at large and in American

    New Life
    Redan, GA

    April 25, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. Lynn

    If she has all this "experience", why hasn't she "closed the deal"? She is running 9.6% behind in the Democratic national polls along with her 60% unfavorable rating. All she is doing by prolonging this race is making a Democratic victory more uncertain.

    April 25, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Des,Toronto

    Then campaign to reach as many voters, no more onesided ABC-like debates, enough already!!

    Obama 08

    April 25, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. Amy OFlaherty Reno, NV

    She is NOT commander in chief material.

    April 25, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. The Best!!

    I believe that Hillary is the stongest candidate. She would be better than Obama. This country is going thru some difficulties at this point. We need someone who will win in November and get us out of this crippling mess that the Republicians have put us in. This is scary. I am continuing my support for Hillary. Obama is all talk and is not ready to walk the walk. The Republicans who are supporting him now only want it this way until they can vote McCain in come November. McCain comes with too much baggage. So he's a war hero, so what...what about all of our other heros. Let's not forget them.

    April 25, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. Lisa GA

    Sooooooooooooooo.. it is not going to work... Hillary you knew that Penn was yours to win.... I knew that when the polls showed that alot of white folks said they would never vote foe a black man for president... now its your turn to feel the heat... the same goes for Barack in NC.... what makes you think.. the blacks are gonna vote for you there....

    Hillary you should have blown Barack away in PA... but you didnt.... you should have at least had 20 pts... i hope Brack beats you by 15 to 20 points in NC.... this will certainly put you out of a hard fought but already lost contest.......

    See ya...bye.. Billary

    April 25, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. Betsy

    Yes she will work for us, day-in day-out!

    Go Hillary, Go!! Madam President!!!!


    April 25, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. Give it a rest.

    Oh yeah, here we go again. I will sleep better at night knowing we have a President who will pull the trigger....just because she can. This lady is scary! We haven't ended the current war and she is proud that she can get us into another! She is another Bush...if she handles our conflicts with other countries like she has handled her marriage, her campaign and her personality (split) we are in trouble. Bush has messed up our reputation with other countries so much we don't need another "My way or no way" president. This lady is evil!

    April 25, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. Hillary McCain

    Looks like all of these retired generals are either returning the favor to the Clintons or are looking for to unretire to a bigger role.

    Yeah, Hillary ain't afraid to pull the trigger. Her experience in Bosnia proves that!

    She'll be as good as George W. Bush! She'll complete the George W. Bush job in the Middle East by destroying Iran with nuclear bombs.

    Hillary Clinton is another 3rd term for George W. Bush's foreign policies.

    April 25, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. Hattie / Chicago

    There's nothing new about this "old school" girl... Promise everything deliver nothing... If the majority of republicans "hate her" how wlll she ever be able to reach across party lines to get anything accomplished. WE NEED A CHANGE !!!

    April 25, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. James Nelson

    Well, she certainly had NO hesitation about thoughtlessly voting to send our sons and daughters into harm's way in Iraq. It was only after the debacle began to unwind that she commenced to waffle on her reasoning for the vote.

    So in that sense, yeah, she'll clearly be happy to "pull the trigger." She's got a lot in common with the present Commander in Chief that way...

    April 25, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. John - Maryland

    Her commander-in-chief credentials are impecable. Yes The commander-in-chief of liers / feer mongeres / selfishness / divisiveness / panderers /egomaniacs and the list goes on..Yes she is ready on day one to be the commander-in-chief.


    April 25, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. Linda from Prescott

    I'm wondering how Hillary can look herself in the mirror everyday -knowing that she is quite plainly a liar. She will say and do anything to get elected. Its all about her.

    I hope Obama can hang in there and in the end be nominated and elected. He is the best choice.

    April 25, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  24. Brandon

    Because the First Lady has obviously been president before.

    April 25, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. Chris from San Antonio

    As a democrat, I'm more concerned with her integrity and honesty credentials than any war experience she may offer.

    April 25, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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