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. Michigan voter

    I'm sure she will pull the trigger, I just afraid at what she will be pointing at when she does it!

    God help us all!!!

    April 25, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. Ron L

    It would be stupid for Barack to debate her again....


    Because most of the MODERATORS are borderline IDIOTS and really don't now how to conduct a Debate....

    Instead of acting like they work for a serious news organization they act like they are working for the National Enquire...

    This includes ALL of them..CNN, NBC, CBS, and ESPECIALLY ABC.

    Hell, I could come up with better questions and responses to some of the outragous statements the candidates say at the debates...

    They (the moderators) are the weak leaks...and I NO LONGER TRUST THEM TO BE FAIR...

    April 25, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. minh

    wow... please read the article and let me know what you think!


    April 25, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Dennis

    It is refreshing to see that so many military men are willing to take orders from a woman. That is good to know.

    However, I learned nothing from this article on exactly what makes Senator Clinton so qualified to be the Commander in Chief. As best I can tell, it is just an opinion.

    Furthermore, I don't see the need for another debate. Is there any issue out there that hasn't been covered in the previous debates? I learned absolutely nothing new in the Pennsylvania debate. For the most part, during those debates, all we learned is that Senator Obama's and Senator's Clintons plans and views are very similar.

    April 25, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. 27? big number

    McCain has over 100 generals and admirals endorsing him. The only General in her camp that am most upset about is Shelton, he is legit.

    April 25, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  6. Ron L

    I meant weak links..sorry for the typo.

    April 25, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. @americans

    Here is Hillary's twisted campaign slogan –

    yeah, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran!

    vote for Billlary – the new McBush!

    April 25, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. Louis

    Senator Clinton didn't read the reports before she voted for war. Senator Clinton voted to expand Presidential powers to the point where the Bill of Rights and Habeus Corpus are next to meaningless.
    Senator Clinton has made it clear that she will not pull out of Iraq, will not support the front in Afghanistan, will put American troops in harms way in any other Middle-east conflict and particularly is looking forward to attacking Iran.
    Senator Clinton has the support of Karl Rove.
    Senator Clinton is a Republican in Democrat clothing.

    April 25, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Stupid Americans

    What's in the W.H that these clintons can't get enough of???

    Obama 2008

    April 25, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. diplomacy first

    Clinton's foreign policy views are as bad as Bush's. Why all the warmongering, the threats to obliterate Iran, the readiness to pull the trigger? Enough already.

    Let's elect someone who would rather use diplomacy to solve disputes rather than send someone ELSE'S children to war. Perhaps if Chelsea Clinton were to be sent in the first wave, Hillary would show a little more restraint and cool the rhetoric.

    April 25, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Sam

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

    She also pulls the triger when she DOES NOT HAVE TO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Such as voting for the current war.

    April 25, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. Victor

    Good for you senator Clinton, Now everyone should all of a sudden feel safe and secure. I sure the white house switch board is relieved. Now we know you really will be answering the phone at 3am.

    April 25, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Belle

    Clinton....one has to ask oneself WHY 35 Retired Generals and 2 former Chiefs of Staff would endorse her campaign if she WAS NOT trusted....

    She is the EXPERIENCED candidate with a plan for troop withdrawal. As ex-military, I ALSO support Clinton.

    April 25, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. LIz in ATL

    Interesting... commander in chief: BUSH – lied to get us in unncessary war (CLINTON – lied about personal Bosnian war experience); B -proficient in exporting American jobs (C -supported NAFTA and Columbian trade); B -disregard of American citizens economic woes (C – voted for stricter personal bankruptcy laws); B – spent the country into bankruptcy (C – spent campaign into bankruptcy)

    Yes, Clinton does have commander in chief credentials...we're firing him (B) and not hiring her (C)...

    April 25, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. Joshua College Station Texas

    Warmonger Hillary, trigger happy! Woo hoo! Let's blow stuff up and kill people!

    "I'm so sleep-deprived it doesn't matter, anytime, anywhere I'll [blow stuff] up!"

    (I learned the above technique of misquoting and removing quotes from context from the media!)

    April 25, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. yoshi927

    In other words, Hillary will go to war and Obama is spineless enough to resort to (gasp) mutual discourse. Is that about the size of it?

    April 25, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Kathy

    A status conference hearing is scheduled for April 25, 2008 in Los Angeles to set a trial date in Paul vs. Clinton. The court delayed setting a trial date back in February, but a new trial date is expected to be announced three days after the all important Pennsylvania primary.

    California Superior Court Judge Aurelio N. Munoz ruled Paul's legal team can begin seeking depositions from a host of big names – including Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton – that allegedly were witnesses to an effort by the Clintons and top Democratic leaders to extract millions of dollars from Paul in illegal donations and then cover it up.

    Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is on the witness list in Paul v Clinton. He is a key witness and is going to be asked questions about money he failed to report.

    How much longer will the media continue to ignore this case? It looks like the media is still hoping this case will go away, or they have been threatened from exposing this story.

    I'd be acting bizzare too if I had this looming over my head. Maybe Governor Ed Rendell should be nervous too! No wonder he is such an ardent supporter of Hillary's, because his hands are dirty also! It is no surprise that many of the Clinton's former cabinet members who still have their integrity intact have defected!
    BTW – I didn't vote in the Florida primary because I was told it didn't matter because it wouldn't count. I will however be voting in the General election! Obama'08
    White 37 yr old female from Florida – Obama'08!!!!!!!

    April 25, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Charlotte

    . . . Hillary has the most experience at faking it.

    April 25, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. Chuck in Alabama

    Type these two phrases into your search engine:

    Obama visits troops

    Hillary visits troops

    So, who cares more about the miltiary?

    April 25, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. Dan (TX)

    Are you kidding me? As a retired military officer, I recall Hillary Clinton's utter contempt for military members. Her treatment of those serving in and around the White House while she was First Lady was despicable!
    Now, she has the gall to say she's qualified to be Commander in Chief? Her past actions do not bode well for the US Military. There really are not any "qualifications" to being Commander in Chief – it comes with the responsibilities of being President.
    I do not believe her sudden, campaign FLIP/FLOP about caring for the military veterans, etc. This is just another pitch to capture votes for her bumbling campaign.
    If elected, she will finish off what's left of our military!

    April 25, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. observer

    This woman scares the hell out of me. Can you imagine a person with a history of bad judgement and poor decision making being in a position of calling for a nuclear attack ??? Remember, she doesn't even read her briefings before making her hasty decisions. If she were to steal the nomination, we would all have to duck, and the American image in the world would be set back a further 100 years. How could people in PA be so blind as to give her an 8 % lead there. I still believe it was Republicans who voted for her there just to try to screw up the Democrats' chances of winning in November.

    The US needs a very smart person of good judgement as Commander in Chief. That person is Barack Obama who will be a legendary President and Commander in Chief. No one since JFK has energized voters as he has done.

    Yes we can ! Yes we can ! Yes we can !

    Obama '08, '12

    April 25, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  22. Phil From VA

    Next Laura Bush will run for office.

    April 25, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. David

    Who is this silly woman kidding. she cameinto the race as the favourite and due to her lack of judgement she is now an underdog claiming to have the right credentials as the C-I-C, is she joking. I think it is such a shame that Amerians are even listening to this woman, who will tell even her own shadow lies and why is she asking for a debate if I were her opponent she will not get any if she wants to stay in the race she should not think anyone will help her run it the cheap way, the sound of her voice is seriously irritating now, i cant bear to listen to her for more than five minutes anymore, i wonder how those around her can bear the stench. what did she win that she is shouting about, if she had a fraction of the brains we thought she had should she not be in the lead and yet she talks about been electable. i hope you all can see what a no-brainer like hillary is causing not just America but the world as a whole, do you guys ever learn anything I thought you all are suppose to be enlightened, the office of the president should not be taken by bran but by brains and I hope you lot will use yours.

    April 25, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Sharon

    The planet grows smaller every single day. Aren't there enough fools out there all too willing to "pull the trigger" . Do we really need someone at the ready who hears phantom sniper fire. Someone who constantly reminds us that she is sleep deprived. Someone who seems to enjoy knocking back a boilmaker or two. Her hands on the trigger, I don't think so. We've had eight years of this "trigger happy" policy we don't need it again, the US can't take it and the world is getting fed up with it and us.

    April 25, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. NELSON Colorado Springs, Co

    Will someone let me know what commander-in-chief credentials does Sen Clinton has. Clinton called herself the "underdog". I'm so sleep-deprived it doesn't matter, anytime, anywhere I'll show up," she said. " She mite pull wrong trigger or push the wrong buttom. 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.
    This is POLITICS (SMILE)

    April 25, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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