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. Southern indiana

    Is coakley saying that she can say whatever she thinks is true even though it is not simply because she is running for office, and that that is the right thing!? Sooner or later the double standard will have to end. Good people on both sides of the political aisle will eventually grow so tired of it that they will force it to stop.

    January 12, 2010 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  2. Massachusetts Conservative

    She is a fraud. Complete fraud. When asked about her foreign policy experience, her answer..."Well my sister lives in London. And I've been there many times. And I like to travel to the Middle East as well. Not for my job, but as a tourist."

    If I recall correctly, Sarah Palin was crucified for an answer similar to this (not the Tina Fey answer...but her answer).

    Do your job CNN. Report on this absolute fraud before she gets elected simply because of the "D" after her name.

    January 12, 2010 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  3. JES

    Just answer the questions. If you are going to open your mouth then you should be ready to defend what you say and not avoid the question like it wasn't even asked.

    Sounds to me like an Obama response that is nothing.

    January 12, 2010 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  4. Bob

    She's doing everything that she can to be competitive in this race, which seems to include claiming that all of the bad guys have left Afghanistan. And she thinks that if she just ignores any questions about it then the whole thing will just go away. CNN and the left will no doubt quickly forget about it, but the rest of us will remember.

    January 12, 2010 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. ChrisS

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

    Yes, I have one. Why do you feel you are qualified to be a representative for the State of Massachusetts when you ignore a valid question that we the voters want answered?

    Do you feel you are not to be held accountable for your actions? typical...

    January 12, 2010 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  6. Todd

    and you thought sarah was an idiot!

    January 12, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  7. independent

    She may be correct, now.

    January 12, 2010 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  8. valwayne

    Ms Coakley doesn't think there are any terrorists in Afghanistan? Even Obama thinks there are terrorists in Afghanistan. Why does she think Obama is sending 30,000 more troops. Do we really need this kind of ignorance in the United States Senate?

    January 12, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  9. Joe

    And the Media goes on about Palin!!! This person is an idiot. If the voters of Mass elect this women then the voters of Mass are morons. This comment regarding terrorist in Afganistan should make her inelgible for the national office. After being asked to confirm her answer all she could do is piviot and talk about the right wingers in the Rep party. God help us.

    January 12, 2010 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  10. What.....

    what an idiot. she needs to go to Vegas with Palin.

    January 12, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  11. bryan

    Go rebublicans we need the majority to dwindle in the senate and I'm a democrat but it has been just to much this past year with one party in control!

    January 12, 2010 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. steve b

    How a Liberal handles a question on our National security.


    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?"

    January 12, 2010 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  13. Biased

    It seems she is running off to Washington tonight to the arms of the lobbyists from the healthcare industry at a big fundraiser. Hey, CNN, is it also true that one of your analysts David Gergen was quite one sided in moderating her debate asking Brown pointed and tough policy questions while he lobbed her how she thought her campaign was being run as one of hers? If that is true, CNN can't describe Gergen as unbiased anymore.

    January 12, 2010 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  14. change we can believe in ????

    So what happened to Matha's 30-point lead over Scott Brown???

    Only with this very tight race, in one of the bluest states, Brown has already won!!

    So Martha, there are no more terrorists in Afghanistan, right???

    January 12, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  15. Smart American

    typical Democrat......

    January 12, 2010 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  16. Tax Paying-Voting American

    Perhaps Coakley should have called the Obamo office staff for their talking points of the day. Perhaps, she might have borrowed a couple of Obamo's necessary and Omnipresent,-TelePrompters. Ms.Coakley; herself being unable to stitch together a coherent; rational statement about National Security without the aid of teleprompters; shows that she is absolutely unqualified for the job.

    January 12, 2010 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  17. Bertina

    Why does the media always try to instigate trouble? They don't seem to be happy unless they are stirring up rumors or starting arguments. Just remember, there are people who can't tell the difference between reality and rhetoric.

    January 12, 2010 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    she should stop getting her money from the big money and get with the people.....

    January 12, 2010 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  19. Candid

    Imagine the hoopla that would have been raised if Sarah Palin made such a statement.But then who are we deceiving,it's the left leaning media covering up for their own.The sooner the country wakes up,the better.People should learn to think and reason instead of swallowing everything the talking heads vomits.

    January 12, 2010 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  20. Tom Jeffrey

    What would the response have been if Sarah Palin had (1) said this and (2) responded to the reporter's question this way? Just askin'.

    January 12, 2010 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  21. Ima F. Dem

    Yet another liberal brings new meaning to the term DIMocrat...

    January 12, 2010 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  22. Look to God...that's real help

    She might have saved herself if she answered the question from the first reporter..she is not the first to think these things.

    January 12, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  23. Jimmy James

    I live in Mass and am loving this. This should have been a slam dunk for the democrats. Even a dark blue state like Mass is fed up with the direction the Democrats have taken this country and their absolute ignorance as to what the people want. They thought they could put anyone up they wanted and win it hands down. She will probably win but the margin should be a wake up call.Ironically she was given softball questions at the debate and Brown was actually asked real question. She is out of touch with the war on terror like most democrats and thinks you can change our image and the terrorists will change their minds. She is also running attack ads. She went negative and he hasn't. 2010 should be a bad year for liberals. They will see that outside of their close knit circles , the rest of the country is unhappy with the democrats spending and arrogance thinking they know whats good for us.

    January 12, 2010 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  24. Raj A

    Face it Coakley. You are an absolutely incompetent candidate who is about to lose in the heart of Democratic country. I am an independent who voted for Obama who is voting for the GOP in 2010 and 2012.

    January 12, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  25. Carole

    Rooting for the Republican CNN? How obvious! Two negative articles on the Dem.

    Is CNN owned by Faux News?

    January 12, 2010 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
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