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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Bill Clinton rips Barack Obama

At a townhall meeting of sorts, President Clinton goes after Barack Obama.

His major point is this: Obama claims he is the only candidate who opposed the War in Iraq from the get-go, but this is factually incorrect. Hillary Clinton and many others voted for a resolution granting President Bush the power to go to war if and only if Iraq didn't cooperate with weapons inspectors. Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican who has been a vocal opponent of the war from the start, authored the resolution and was assured by the president and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the U.S. would not do to war if Iraq cooperated. Iraq, in the end, did cooperate with weapons inspectors... but we went to war anyway. So Hillary Clinton's support of the resolution, Bill claims, is not the same as her supporting the war.

But the Obama campaign spun it so that it seemed like Hillary supported the war at its start, and thus Obama was the only candidate who was opposed from the beginning. Bill takes exception not only with that, but with the media giving Obama a so-called free pass during the debates: Bill claims that no moderator of any debate asked Obama about, for example, the time in 2004 when he said he was unsure about whether or not he would have voted for the resolution; the other time in 2004 Obama said there was no difference between him and President Bush on the war; and that no one has pointed out that since his time in the senate, he and Hillary have nearly identical voting records.

Bill goes onto lay into the questioner for attacking Mark Penn, Hillary's top campaign strategist, in light of Obama's attacks on the Clintons.

He finishes with this: People criticize the Clintons for running a negative campaign and applaud Obama for running a positive one, when in fact it's the opposite.

Say what you want about the former president, but he remains one of the best public speakers in this country.


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