Roberts echoed Balz assertion of Clinton shift from "staunch[ ] support[ ]" of Iraq war

››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

A day after The Washington Post's Dan Balz wrote that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is "continuing her steady evolution from one of the war's staunchest supporters to one of the administration's most prominent critics," CNN's John Roberts asserted that Clinton's "language has shifted over the years from a staunch supporter of the Iraq war to now one of its fiercest critics."

Echoing The Washington Post from the day before, CNN senior national correspondent John Roberts asserted on the January 19 edition of CNN's The Situation Room that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) "language has shifted over the years from a staunch supporter of the Iraq war to now one of its fiercest critics." Roberts' statement recalled the assertion by chief political reporter Dan Balz in a January 18 Post article that Clinton is "continuing her steady evolution from one of the war's staunchest supporters to one of the administration's most prominent critics."

In response to Balz' article, The Daily Howler weblog commented: "[H]ow long has it been since Hillary Clinton was 'one of the war's staunchest supporters?' " The Howler pointed to Clinton's comments from the August 29, 2004, edition of CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, during which she said of the Iraq war resolution, "[I]f we had known then what we know now, there wouldn't have been a vote."

Additionally, on October 17, 2003 -- less than seven months after the war began -- Clinton expressed doubt about President Bush's leadership in the war, noting that her "yes" vote for an $87 billion supplemental "was a vote for our troops, it was a vote for our mission, but it was not a vote for our national leadership." In her press release, Clinton added that "the administration's inability and unwillingness to solicit international support was in part responsible for the enormous size of the supplemental appropriation. She described it as 'a bill for failed leadership.' " More recently, Clinton co-sponsored and was one of 38 of the 44 Democrats then in the Senate who voted in favor of a resolution by Democratic Sens. Carl Levin (MI) and Jack Reed (RI), introduced on June 19, 2006, calling on the Bush administration to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2006 "after consultation with the Government of Iraq."

From the January 19 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

JOHN ROBERTS: [Host] Wolf [Blitzer], the senator told me that she has seen a marked deterioration in Iraq from the last time that she was there. "A steady diet of bad news, setbacks, mistakes, and problems" is how she described it.

An assessment like that could be expected from a potential Democratic presidential candidate, but it is interesting to note how her language has shifted over the years from a staunch supporter of the Iraq war to now one of its fiercest critics. She also didn't have much good to say about Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri [Kamal] al-Maliki, whom she met in Baghdad last Saturday.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
John Roberts
Show/Publication
The Situation Room
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine, Hillary Clinton
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