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. Divine inspired race

    How can what's her name speak out against a war she VOTED for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Quinn

    Here again is Hillary giving a plan and Obama giving rhetoric. God bless us all if this Mini Me Bush gets into office.

    May 1, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Tea Party

    If these three Senatorial circus clowns are the best this nation has to offer, God help this nation.

    Washington, Adams, Knox... where are you when your nation desperately needs you?

    May 1, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. World Angel

    I don't know why everybody get so upset when voicing your opinion regarding Hillary or Obama. One is no better than the other. It's ONLY your opinion. All of the name calling is not necessary. One of them will be the President and you will have to live with that for at least 4 years. So what we as "intelligent" people should do is think about the fact that we are all Democrats and think about the positives both candidates have and move on. As you can see if it was up to you we would've had a nominee by now. Please let each individual make up their own mind, don't try to persuade anyone by your harsh remarks.

    May 1, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Marine Dad

    Not a single attack on American soil has occurred since September 11, 2001. You can sleep at night because my son and his fellow soldiers are protecting you from the Radical Islamic Leaders that want to enslave the world, unless they convert to Islam and worship their God.
    Hillary and McCain are the only ones that will stand in the gap.

    No Bama in the Whitehouse. We will not surrender.

    What part of this is a Christian Nation don't you idiots understand.

    May 1, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Linda of Atlanta

    This story reveals the superior wisdom Obama has shown: He opposed the War in Iraq; and he is against the Gas Tax Relief proposals from Clinton and McCain.
    In both instances Clinton has chosen to make decisions that are politically expedient. She knows, as Obama knows, that the $25-30 savings to Americans who drive will not help and will put the Country's hiway and bridge safety at risk.
    Bush's "Mission Accomplished" sign is a prime example of how "politics as usual" must change. Bush now claims he didn't mean we had won the War in Iraq. But every thinking America knows that is a lie. Clinton has shown that she will tell a lie in a heart beat if she thinks it will help her. Why can't we just say to our government representatives that we do not want government officials standing up telling lies? Lying is not a virtue. Often times, lying is used to cover up crimes. How is it that we have forgotten that?

    May 1, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. Bayou Joe

    Save our Country. Keep Obama out of the Whitehouse. Don't let the fox into the chicken coop.

    May 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. D.A.D.

    if hillary is nominated

    the dems are handing the white house to mccain

    May 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. mitch from ark.

    our troops should have been pulled out ,right after the now infamous 'mission accomplished',debacle.instead bush/cheney went for rebuilding contracts,oil reserves,and occupation.they should be in jail for 4050 + american deaths,in iraq!

    May 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. Mike

    ...So sick of the NObama followers who have to comment with a Bible verse. SHOUT: "God Bless Obama" or "We Shall Prevail..." This Great Man Will Heal The Nation..."

    The White House will be one great big Chapel if NObama is President.

    Now, my turn; "If NObama is elected, "God Help Us..."

    Go Hillary!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. Lisa

    Paris May 1st, 2008 1:28 pm ET

    I hate to break it to you Mr. Obama but war is a dynamic environment and things changes on the ground.
    Our mission of dismantling Sadam’s regime has been successful and that mission was accomplished.
    But when you are building democracy it takes time.
    I suggest you catch-up on your Meddle east studies.
    One question can you please have your wife explain her thesis

    Please proof read before you submit text. Just as what he is saying. Things take time. Everybody is ready for a hurry up and fix it plan and it doesn't work out well if it is not planned. We did not plan well and we are paying for it STILL.

    May 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Justin

    Bush has lower ratings than Nixon: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

    May 1, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. The Corp

    Hey Milwaukee for Obama, your ignorance is astounding! And for the rest of you liberal morons, if you are educated and gamefully employed outside academia, the economy is in great shape. Work to achieve success, and enjoy your rewards. Stop reading Kerouac and put out the joint.

    May 1, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. j williamson

    After the first Gulf war, a good many neo-cons wondered why Daddy Bush didn't go after Sadam and "finish the job." Now we know why, and too bad Geo. Bush didn't follow his father's lead and show restraint, instead of wild-west shoot 'em-up antics. Baddest move of all time.

    May 1, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Matt

    Same old biased CNN. Obama has a bad couple of weeks, so they try to take the focus off him and put it on Bush with a poll that most likely was biased as well. And people say that Fox News is biased. We see through your games CNN. We know you are the Democrat mouthpiece! I bet you are even being paid to write anti-Bush, anti-republican, articles so that Obama seems to be the "better" choice. IDIOTS!

    May 1, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. Lolu

    First, Bush said "let's go in cos Saddam has WMDs", when none were found, he said, "well, he possessed the intent to make WMDs", when that did not wash, he said, "well, sadamm's regime was tyrannical and the is safer place". While i'm glad to see saddam go, i think Bush insulted everyone by coming up with these ridiculous excuses for going to war, insulted everyone by declaring "mission accomplished" and that is not even the worst part! The worst part is that there are still people out there who feel going to Iraq was the right thing to do! Tell that to the families of thousands of soldiers who were sent to iraq!

    May 1, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. DJ, LA, CA

    Tell em Barack. Never declare victory or act arrogant before the "mission" really IS accomplished.

    Adolf gave an infamous victory speech during WW2....boasting that the Germans had also mission accomplished in defeating the Soviets in Stalingrad. We all know how that turned out.

    May 1, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. Lisa

    Obama is not a strong enough leader. He's scared to Debate Hillary, how is he going to stand up to the leaders of the world?

    May 1, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. SDunn

    Debby it's so sad how you don't know the facts and speak with ignorance. Obama did go over to Iraq with Senator Bond in 2006.

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

    Senator Obama has no right to say a word against G. Bush. Just look at how much he promised to his own Illinois district and just how much he really accomplished. Absolutely nothing. In fact, that district has more proverty, crime, drug use, corrupt politicians and miserable conditions than when he was elected. And Obama says he will fix the problems in all 50 states. What a big lie. What a big horse laugh.
    He has run his whole campaign on bogus promises.
    And yes, he has voted for every war bill/legislation since his election to the senate in Washington. This is just more of his political rhetric.

    May 1, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    Obliberate Iran? Oh my God, Hillary and I thought you had experience.

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

    Darth you are an idiot. You have no clue as to what Obama will bring to our country. Try reading his book and also do your own research.
    You appear to be one of those intellectuals supporting this man, yet you fail to do your research and rely on speeches.

    Hitler did the same thing and by the time the German people knew what was happening it was too late.

    AMERICA , Consider yourselfs warned. Paul Revere... The British are coming. will be now. The Muslims are coming.

    May 1, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Amanda

    To Mack at 2:30 PM

    Hillary didn't come up with the balanced budget. How does the prosperity of the 90's go to showing she's "proven" when her husband was in charge?

    May 1, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Cathy

    obama dont be a hypocrete you were nat able to vote for the war,because you were not in the senate.Yiet you you say you are againt the war.Well I have news for you pal alot people are againt the war.Are you trying to win votes by saing that you had judgement.Where was your judgement on Whrigt?ON VACATION?

    May 1, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. John B. From New Hampshire

    Bloobberg is spending a lot of mony to buy all these so call supers.

    May 1, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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