May 1st, 2008
11:50 AM ET
14 years ago

Dems seize on 5 year anniversary of 'Mission Accomplished' speech


Watch Barack Obama's comments Thursday.

(CNN)— The Iraq war – which has taken a back seat to economic concerns on the campaign trail recently – returned to the forefront Thursday as Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama used the fifth anniversary of President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech to blast the administration’s war policy.

At a campaign event in Indiana, Obama drew a parallel between President Bush’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech and Clinton and John McCain’s gas tax holiday proposals, telling the crowd that ultimately, the “the long term problems... keep going and going and going.”

“You remember when George Bush five years ago put up a big sign in front of an aircraft carrier saying: ‘Mission accomplished in Iraq.’ I’m sure they thought that was good politics. Except five years later we're still in this war in Iraq,” said the Illinois senator, who has made his early opposition to the war a major theme of his campaign.

His Democratic rival stressed administration missteps in the early days of the conflict. “The fifth anniversary of President Bush's ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech comes the same week as a chief architect of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq conceded ‘We were clueless on counterinsurgency,’” Clinton said in a statement. “The path forward is to use American diplomacy and our allies to allow U.S. forces to come home, and turn responsibility back to Iraq and its people.”

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner had been referring to the sailors on the ship where the speech was delivered, not the war itself. “President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said `mission accomplished' for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission," said Perino. "And we have certainly paid a price for not being more specific on that banner. And I recognize that the media is going to play this up again tomorrow, as they do every single year."

soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. jen

    Please come up with something original. The only thing that the Democrats have going for them is the media inspired hatred of President Bush. I am wondering how many of us would have the fortitude to stand up when you are told you are hated every day. I don't think the president of Iran will care when Hillary sheds her fake tears!

    Unfortunately, we are sheep and are soft. I love my country and hate to see how low we have become – NOT because of our president, but because of US. It is far easier to criticize than to come up with solutions.

    May 1, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. Mike

    To Ron (1:52 pm)

    ...Well said...!!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. MBFLA

    Some folks don't get that McCain and Hillary are virtually the same on war issues. You like endless war and a bankrupt country as a result? Vote for McCain or Hillary. If you prefer a President who is willing to negotiate rather than obliterate then you might want to look at Obama.
    We need a President with some sense rather than one with a knee jerk reaction to destroy! We can do MUCH better than what we have had!

    May 1, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Joe, Austin, TX

    A "decent war". Would be funny if not so scary.

    May 1, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. Sonal

    We don't need any more speeches....Obama pls go away, so Dems/Hill can do some real work about issues that matter

    May 1, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Norisha

    All these war loving people are what's wrong with America...I support the troops, however, I did not support this war! You guys that support and defend this war are dillusional!!!!

    OBAMA 2008!!

    May 1, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Kevin in DC

    Hillary, Thanks for the war!! It has been fun!

    May 1, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. Darth Vadik, CA

    I have to add this here since I missed to comment on Bush being the lowest rated president ever.

    There was a comment posted by The Corp saying:

    "At least he has nads you liberal fools"

    Here is my response:


    May 1, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. RJ

    Clinton is trying to scare voters

    May 1, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Carlie

    The world needs Obama. May God bless him.

    May 1, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. Prosperity

    Hillary Clinton voted for the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq.

    She cannot be trusted to lead our nation. She is a proven pathological liar and she'll never win the general election.

    May 1, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Kevin in DC

    Dear "Paris,"

    Maybe YOU should read up on what it takes for an outsider to "build a democracy."

    Here's a hint: it has never happened and never will, because that's not how democracies function. Do you live here in the U.S. with us? Can you imagine England or some other democracy building ours for us?

    Get real. Democracy building has always failed and always will. You idealists need to join the real world.

    May 1, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Jack

    Obama admit you were at the sermon when Wright yelled about Sharpsville and Hirshima! you wrote about it in your book "Dreams of my Father" page 293.

    May 1, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. Milwaukee for Obama

    Moore, you may need to consider relocating or get used to the idea that Obama is going to be the President of the United States of America. Or you should just shut the ............. up since your anger and ignorance is overwhelming.

    May 1, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Yes...the world (even the terrorist factions) needs Obama. To bring peace and coniliiation amonst all the different view points( Ghandi Obama has the answers)no matter how imbedded in their own national history/society. He'll heal the world–and make verything fine.

    But God help America and the American way of life.

    May 1, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. Delaware

    Do we really accomplish anything for that 5 year? Yes we do get more ennemies around the world.

    May 1, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Mack

    Sen. Hillary Clinton is the most electable candidate to beat John McCain in the General Election. Lets vote for somone who is proven. Remember the prosperity of the 90's and the balanced budget.

    May 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Adam

    I am amazed at how easily people are distracted by pandering and window dressing. Look out somone isn't wearing a cheap lapel pin, theymust not love America, I'll give you a "tax holiday," it sounds nice so it must be true! Wake up people don't just listen to polsters, talking heads and headlines. We tried that already and now we are supporting a broken Iraq, are in hock to China and gave up habeus corpus because a brush cutting fool said "trust me"
    Read, listen and learn for yourselves, knowledge is power!

    May 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. Moore

    No One Cares What Obama has to say! Look at the new polls. Wake Up!

    May 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |


    May 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Rick

    Mission Accomplished. Not.
    He still has 8 months to complete his destruction of our country.

    May 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Pamela

    When all is said and done, Hillary supported Bush's war despite the fact that he had no justification in going to war. Then she have the nerve to stand near a gas pump in her tacky attemp to show her opposition to increase fuel costs that she is directly responsible in causing via her endorsment for the war. Hillary is just a walking contridiction.

    May 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Obama Supporter

    I am elated the tide keeps turning from Clinton to Obama for delegates realizing that Obama is the best person for this Country. Thanks Mr. Andrews for you insight.

    May 1, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. Norisha

    OBAMA HATERS cause he will be President of these United States!!! Then what are you gonna do???? uhhhh...Nothing!!! Shut up already!!!!

    OBAMA 2008!!!

    May 1, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. honkey white guy from cali

    Mike I see alot of hate post from you about Sen Obama!

    Perhaps if you would take the time to read and educate yourself you would have the info you claim does not exist!

    You say he has no plans then go to his web site like you did CNN and actually read his proposals they are very in depth and detailed as best they can be considering that no one can predict the future! No not even Hillary!

    Do your homework! read beyond the news headline and educate yourself ! As a proud redneck I am sad as hell that so many of my group in this country have been responsible for not one but two terms of a man that has no brain to speak of and now they seem to be lead by another Sen Clinton they will not read or educate themselves just follow the leader truly sad!

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can

    May 1, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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