Sen. Obama's campaign is based on a clear premise: he gave a speech on the Iraq war in 2002 and has unequivocally opposed the war every year since. On Meet the Press, Hillary raised questions about Sen. Obama's record on Iraq:
CLINTON: What he was talking about was very directly about the story of Sen. Obama's campaign, being premised on a speech he gave in 2002 and that was to his credit. He gave a speech opposing the war in Iraq. He gave a very impassioned speech against it and consistently said that he was against the war, he would vote against the funding for the war. By 2003, that speech was off his website. By 2004, he was saying that he didn't really disagree with the way George Bush was conducting the war. And by 2005, 6, and 7, he was voting for $300 billion in funding for the war. The story of his campaign is really the story of that speech and his opposition to Iraq. I think it is fair to ask questions about, what did you do after the speech was over? And when he became a senator, he didn't go to the floor of the Senate to condemn the war in Iraq for 18 months. He didn't introduce legislation against the war in Iraq. He voted against timelines and deadlines initially. So I think it's important that we get the contrast and the comparisons out. I think that's fair game. [Meet the Press, 1/13/07]
EVERYTHING HILLARY SAID IS BACKED UP BY THE FACTS:
While running for Senate in 2003, Sen. Obama acknowledged that he took his anti-war speech off his campaign website, calling it 'dated.' Specifically, State Senator Obama maintains that an October 2002 anti-war speech was removed from his campaign web site because - the speech was dated once the formal phase of the war was over, and my staff's desire to continually provide fresh news clips." [Black Commentator, 6/19/03]
In 2004, Sen. Obama said he didn’t know how he would have voted on the Iraq War resolution. When asked about Senators Kerry and Edwards' votes on the Iraq war, Obama said, "I'm not privy to Senate intelligence reports,’ Mr. Obama said. ‘What would I have done? I don't know. What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made.’ [New York Times, 7/26/04] -- Note: No one disputes that Sen. Obama opposed the war from his "vantage point" as a part-time state senator in Illinois. The point we are making is that Sen. Obama acknowledged that he did not know how he would have voted had his vantage point been from the U.S. Senate.
In 2004, Sen. Obama also said there was little difference between his position and George Bush’s position on Iraq. In a meeting with Chicago Tribune reporters at the Democratic National Convention, Obama said, "On Iraq, on paper, there's not as much difference, I think, between the Bush administration and a Kerry administration as there would have been a year ago. [...] There's not much of a difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage." [Chicago Tribune, 07/27/04]
Until he ran for president, Sen. Obama supported every funding bill for Iraq, some $300 billion. [2005 Vote # 117, HR1268, 5/10/05; 2005 Vote # 326, S1042, 11/15/05; 2006 Vote # 112, HR4939, 5/4/06; 2006 Vote # 239; 2006 Vote # 186, S2766, 6/22/06, HR5631, 9/7/06]
Sen. Obama waited 18 months to give his first speech on the Senate floor devoted to Iraq, in which he opposed a timeline for withdrawal. Obama said "I'm also acutely aware that a precipitous withdrawal of our troops, driven by Congressional edict rather than the realities on the ground, will not undo the mistakes made by this Administration. It could compound them." [Obama Speech, 6/21/06]
Sen. Obama didn't introduce legislation to end the Iraq war until he started running for president. [S. 433, introduced 1/30/07]
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