January 12th, 2010
09:52 PM ET
13 years ago

Coakley dodges question about Afghanistan claim

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/03/art.coakley.cnn.jpg caption="Democrat Martha Coakley said she is in the middle of 'a very intense campaign.'"]Washington (CNN) - Democrat Martha Coakley dodged a pointed question Tuesday about her claim during a Massachusetts Senate debate the night before that terrorists are no longer in Afghanistan.

During Monday's debate with Republican Scott Brown, Coakley questioned why the United States still has troops in Afghanistan. She claimed that the al Qaeda terrorists who were originally targeted by American military action have migrated elsewhere, rendering the mission moot. "They're gone," she said. "They're not there anymore. They're in, apparently Yemen, they're in Pakistan."

A reporter asked Coakley about that claim after a Capitol Hill fundraiser on Tuesday. "Do you stand by that remark?" he asked.

Coakely, standing before a small cluster of reporters and cameras, listened to the question, then quickly looked in a different direction.

"I'm sorry," she said. "Did anybody else have a question?"

The Democrat responded to another reporter who asked why she made the last-minute fundraising trip to Washington.

Coakley said she was in the middle of "a very intense campaign."

"We are facing a candidate from Massachusetts who is being supportive by extreme right groups including many Republican groups who are pouring money into Massachusetts attacking my record and distorting my record," Coakley said. "I'm doing everything that I need to be competitive in this race."

- CNN's Mary Grace Lucas contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • Martha Coakley • Massachusetts • Scott Brown
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. nwcanadian

    There's something really clueless about this woman. Just another partisan drone.

    January 12, 2010 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  2. Mike

    So, the left attack Sarah Palin for less silly comments and this candidate for the Senate is telling us that there are not terrorist in Afghanistan!
    Give me a break...LOL

    January 12, 2010 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  3. Obama Voter

    I love Obama but Democrat Martha Coakley, is no kennedy and i voted for him, But she seem like the GOPer and that buggs me. im still on the fence.

    January 12, 2010 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  4. KansasGirl

    I pray this woman fails. What a blow this would be to this administration's agenda.

    January 13, 2010 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  5. Conservative Libertarian

    No comments on this? What? Isn't this News as the Democratic Supermajority is about to Vaporize? (Oh, that's what Harry Reid said he would do to Sue Lowden. She said "Start with my hips!")

    January 13, 2010 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  6. m smith

    thats politics. She could have said she can see russia and youwould have been all over her. When in doubt shut up and she did.

    January 13, 2010 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  7. curious...

    could it be that maybe her issue is not due to a grand right-wing conspiracy, but dumb, uninformed comments to the press...?

    January 13, 2010 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  8. prosecutor

    "Terrorists are no longer in Afghanistan."

    Perfect! The Democrat-dominated village known as the U.S. Senate just gained another idiot.

    January 13, 2010 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  9. vwrtb

    Reading these blogs one would think republicans, for some reason, have plenty of supporters... Then I noticed its just fritz and southerncousin and people from backward states like Texas and Virginia blogging over and over again... Get a job drunk lazy dope smokers!

    January 13, 2010 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  10. J.V.Hodgson

    I do not think this state is going to Vote in a republican Senator to follow Ted Kennedy, irrespective of how much money Brown spends.
    However the population and voters of Massachusetts, will deliver a fatal blow to the democratic party as a whole if it elects a Republican who will vote NO on anything and everything especially Ted's life long hope of health care reform.

    January 13, 2010 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  11. whaley41

    Wow! She will fit right in with the Obama administration. Lie and deny!

    January 13, 2010 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  12. Brian in Boston

    This woman is horrific. Scott Brown is a total Teddy Bear and by no means supported by "extreme" right wing groups. We have so mmany stories where Martha has signed the dotted line on short sentences and releases that have led to second and third offenses. There are criminals on our streets because of her, while she rereats to one of our many outrageously wealthy and cloistered burbs. Scott comes from a rough and tumble background, but worked his way up, serves in the National Guard, and fights for what most people want–sense, logic, reasonable spending, justice, accountability, and constitutional process. If you want the facts, check the records. I fear Coakley.

    January 13, 2010 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  13. Keith

    The first actual reporting I've seen from your worthless network in years.

    January 13, 2010 01:40 am at 1:40 am |

    Suddenly this is a horse race? Looks like she's in a panic mode.
    Of course terrorists are still in Afghanistan. Who else are killing
    our boys?

    January 13, 2010 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  15. jules sand-perkins

    Was she quoted correctly? "A candidate who is being supportive by...groups?"
    Do we need a senator who speaks with this use of words, and who dodges questions?
    Imagine what Katie Couric, were that sharp journalist so disposed, could do to make nice meat pies out of Candidate Coakley, whose coaches haven't even trained her to say, "I'll have to get back to you on that one."
    "SENATOR Coakley?"


    January 13, 2010 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  16. Mitch

    "I'm sorry. Did anybody else have a question," is a very insightful answer, and I'm sure the citizens of Massachusetts will be glad to know that is her view on the issue.

    January 13, 2010 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  17. dirty harry reid

    when questions like that are asked to dummicrats, about comments they make in the past, they get a pass, two faced dummicrats!

    January 13, 2010 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  18. Keith in Austin

    Coakly is another elitiest Liberal out of touch with average Americans, People of MA: PLEASE don't add her to list of people like: Pelosi,Boxer,Waters,
    Landrieu and Feinstein. Vote for the good of our Nation and NOT more Democrat Big Government.

    January 13, 2010 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  19. Monrob

    -it looks like MA. Will turn red.How quickly the Majority Party has lost its' status! America has ADD.

    January 13, 2010 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
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