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. OlvrWhit

    I am so tired of the Obama blogger's and a few who claim to support Clinton also, but not the way I am of Obama supporters.

    First, you post the most hateful things, then turn around and accuse the Clinton supporters of being negative. Then, when the media finally pays some attention to Obama, you scream that its unfair, but you rolled in the floor and celebrated for 15 months as the media ripped Hillary apart on every issue. Every time Obama picks up a super, you claim its the start of something...yeah another round of hateful blogging. By the way, Clinton has picked up 5 more supers in the last few hours but we don't get a blog about that.

    I am tired of Obama supporters calling older voters names. I am tired of them calling people who do not worship Obama racist. You are not the chosen people. I would suggest you grow up and stop the name calling, the false rumors, and realize that youth or level of education does not make you superior.

    I would also like to ask CNN to post this. I read millions of post where the post are a majority of negative Clinton rants. They never deal with issues. Then the Obama supporters cry if someone disagree's. We need balance here. I dare any Obama supporter who claims Clinton supporters are hateful to go back and actually read the Obama supporter blogs and tell me who is more hateful.

    Hillary supporters want to talk issues, but we never can because we have to muddle through 100's of hateful comments and then we are not even posted.

    Obama supporters. Show you have hope and change your tone.

    May 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. Alonzo Demetrius

    IF Obama is elected, he will have his hands full of a war within our country so he won't have to bother with Iraq.

    May 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. foreigner in US

    Nigel, Clinton won't win either and that means no real change for the country even with either her or Mccain. At least Obama has new ideas and is serious about actually achieving something and not pandering. Americans really! you need to be sharper about these things. We do agree though on the media's hyper interest on the Wright issue. Bur od course it is an easy story for your media- it doesn't require any deep, critical and actual brain work!!!!

    May 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Susan / PA

    To Ron and Mike:

    Shame on you!!! for displaying your racism. How disappointing and sad it is to see such a disqusting display of racism. I am a white older female and I believe in equality for all. Doesnt matter what color

    This war is wrong..period. FYI..Sen. Obama Does have the fortitude and strength to not only get us out of this war, but to begin again the necessary international dialog we need.

    Sen. Clinton just wants to "obliterate Iran"
    Sen. McCain cant wait to Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran

    Outragious statements from inconsistant people.

    May 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Aces full of Kings

    Hillary Clinton is UNELECTABLE. She steals money from hard working Americans. She leaves the door wide open while illegal immigrants come pouring across the border. She wants to obliterate other countries. Hillary is so unelectable, she does not even qualify to be councilman.

    May 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. vici joy

    Hillary said we are capable which is different then we definitely will. She’s simply stating U.S. position on certain issue and leave Iran to decide their own destiny.

    May 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Peter

    Barack Obama's lack of solutions to any of our real problems will be a long term problem if he ever makes it to the White House.

    May 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. O Man

    Speaking of the military...did you know that during the Bill Clinton adminstation, the military was reduce with base closings and troop reductions. Favoring a smaller and more technical military. I think those moves only weaken our armies to fight more effectively. Is this the expierence Hilary is talking about? Also China figures very prominently in the Clinton's Aministration. If Hilary is elected president, we might be called the United States of West China. We better brush up on speaking and reading Chinese.

    May 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Francesca

    Hillary Clinton: Liar, Liar, pant-suit on fire.

    Integrity is more important than experience.

    We have had one President who has launched the country into a war based on a lie. Now we have a candidate who has admitted to saying something different than what "she knew to be the truth." Sleep deprivation??? Maybe, but then I don't want her answering the phone at 3 am!

    I have been a huge Hillary supporter. I am no longer. We can't afford another liar in the White House. The one we have has already cost over 4,000 lives.

    Why isn't Barak addressing this very aggressively?

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. North Carolinian for Obama

    George Bush deserves to be the most unpopular president in modern history.....and history will not be any kinder to him. It is gratifying to see that the electorate has come out of their deep sleep....and see this man for what he really is. The decision to invade Iraq was a political stunt tinged with revenge which Bush in his infinite wisdom chose to do in spite of advice from his military leaders and others. The aircraft carrier photo op complete with Mission Accomplished banner was all part of the PR campaign orchestrated by Mr. Rove. The Leader of the world's only superpower chose to play GI Joe with human lives and real bombs. What a fool he looks like now.....

    Dying to have more of the for his BFF John McCain. Obama may not have a lot of experience but unlike Mr. Bush he has an IQ over 75! Mr. Obama really has earned his leadership a bi-racial child with no trust fund and raised by a single mother rather than someone who felt he was entitled since his last name is Bush.

    We need to be inspired by a leader that can help us regain our stature as a force for good in the world. Obama can help us do that!

    May 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Michael, Ms

    Bush fooled us by going to war, in the long run we would have all the oil we want. He said it when he was running for re-election and by pandering we were taken in and he won. Here comes Hillary with the same gimmick how she will relieve our plight for 3 months, does'nt it seem odd that after McCain came up with that brainstorm she joined the bandwagon. She saw a chance to pick up votes by telling the american public what they wanted to hear. I've watched a lot of news and most of them say this will not work and is just a ploy to get votes and if the american people would understand politics they would see it, but because the american public does'nt follow politics and all they see is someone telling them what they want to hear it will probably work for her.

    May 1, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Griff

    The Man with a MIssion.. Who lost his Moment..

    May 1, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. Ken

    I'm with Darth Vadik. The ignorance and stupidity of the 28% true-believers is appalliing. Many on here are asking, "who are these 28%"? Well, they are all around you; their viewpoints can be found peppered thoughout the comments on all these topics. These comments stick out like the red-hindends of babooons sitting in the trees. There is very little substance to what they have to say; but that's not surprising, since there is no substantive logic-based analysis that could ever explain and justify what has happened over the lasty 7 years. The surprising thing is that they choose to post at all, and publicly display their stupidity - what we read from these dimwits are dogmatic, vacuous, deceitful, and off-topic statements.

    The scary thing is, these right-wingers would buy a seat on the Hindenberg, if it had "Mission Accomplished" and the face of Bush painted on it. I for one would happily sell them their tickets to get onboard.

    With the 28% true-believers in place, America will have to struggle mightily to raise its voting IQ in the next presidential election.

    May 1, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. karen from philly

    Yeah Hillary wants to end the Iraq war so she start another one with IRAN. IRAN is not the same country as Iraq, the people will revolt so let's not be hasty and let's keep our american soldiers safe from unnecessary wars.

    IS Hillary running as a DEM or a REPUB?? I am confused because it looks to me this fight for the white house is between Hillary and Obama not McCain. McCain is out, bye bye Bushie.

    May 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. FEDUP

    Clinton does not want to obliterate Iran, she said we are able to. Some idiots never get it right. I guess if you go to college you forget the little words like may and shall. Hope none of them are going to be making up any contracts.

    May 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. karen from philly

    I don't understand, Hillary's pastor is a child molester and she didn't leave her church. Why is that ok? Barack's FORMER pastor just speaks like an idiot. That is not that bad. Don't catholic ministers denounce gay people? Aren't there ministers who molest children, that seems worse to me. And Barack did denounce his pastor pretty harshly this week. Barack has never gotten angry with Hillary because she is his fellow democrat. Why are people guilty when someone else said something bad? I don't get it.

    May 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. karen from philly

    Bush is the biggest dummy ever!!!!! How does he even have more than 10% of people liking him? It must be one person voting for him over and over again on this internet poll, probably his mom.

    Just go away Elmer Fudd.

    May 1, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Kristy

    Wow. This story was about Bush declaring "Mission Accomplished." Democrats have really lost their perspective.

    May 1, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. Cosmic Comedy Queen Go Hillary!!!

    I don't think Obama could get a dog to roll over. He can't even get his wife to talk right.

    May 1, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. independant

    Bush has provided hundreds of political "commercials" for the Democrats come election time. If they cannot win this one they need to disband and just have one the one party. -- The Corporation Party

    May 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Dori in AZ

    Perhaps some wars are "inevitable," but most are avoidable.

    Many of the world's oldest nations have sent generations into wars that have devoured decades & centuries of their people. Their wars never truly end, except for brief & uneasy periods of "peace." Their losses are great. Their wounds aren't given opportunities to heal. It becomes their way of life.

    God help the United States to avoid becoming one of those.

    There is still hope. Si se puede! Obama 2008!

    May 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. karen from philly

    Jack guy on this blog site, you are dumb, I said the same thing does that mean that I went to Wright's sermons? No, it doesn't. It is a fact that HIroshima bombing happened . Face it.

    ANd to all the Obama haters on this site what the Heck do you mean when you say go back where you came from because that sounds pretty bad. Where do you think he came from? The same place as you. Stop your hate.

    May 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. Candace from Texas

    Obama has a lot of haters!!! I believe Obama is the wisest of them all! He definitely has wisdom and show it every time he speaks. You Obama haters need to face the fact! He is going to be our next President! Get use to it!

    May 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. Tom

    You tell them Obama!!!

    Wake up people we have a chance to make real change...not just flipping parties

    May 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Stephanie, PA

    ...and all the members of congress and senate (including Sen. Clinton) listened to a clueless administration! They say they were essentially duped, but it's funny that most of America was not. Most of us said that the war was not justified from the start! We said that we had no business invading that country and that it would turn into another Vietnam. Hmmm...we were actually right.

    Let's be right again, but this time take action. Vote democrat in November. Vote Obama!

    May 1, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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