Author and Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg falsely claimed on MSNBC's Morning Joe that Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton "didn't condemn" an ad that referred to Gen. David Petraeus as "General Betray Us." In fact, Obama and Clinton voted for an amendment that condemned the ad.
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On the April 9 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, author and Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg falsely claimed that Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama "didn't condemn" MoveOn.org's 2007 newspaper advertisement, which criticized Gen. David Petraeus and referred to him as "General Betray Us." Goldberg stated: "[W]hether you're a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, you just don't -- you don't take out a full-page ad in The New York Times and refer to a man who's dedicated his life to his country as 'General Betray Us.' But two people didn't, didn't condemn the ad: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- who not only want to be president, but commander in chief." In fact, both Clinton and Obama voted for an amendment offered by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) that condemned the ad, among other attacks on past and present members of the armed forces.
The Boxer amendment "strongly condemn[ed] attacks on the honor, integrity, and patriotism of any individual who is serving or has served honorably in the United States Armed Forces, by any person or organization." Of the MoveOn.org ad it stated: "On September 10, 2007, an advertisement in the New York Times was an unwarranted personal attack on General Petraeus, who is honorably leading our Armed Forces in Iraq and carrying out the mission assigned to him by the President of the United States" It also criticized Republican-backed attacks on Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) concerning his military service, as well as attacks on former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA), a veteran.
During a September 23, 2007, appearance on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, Clinton stated of the MoveOn.org ad: "I don't condone attacks by anyone on the patriotism and service of our military. I am an admirer of General Petraeus ... and I joined in voting for a resolution that condemned such attacks." Clinton made similar remarks during an appearance on NBC News' Meet the Press that same day, stating: "He [Petraeus] is a man of great honor and distinction who has served admirably. I don't condone anything like that, and I have voted against those who would impugn the patriotism and the service of the people who wear the uniform of our country. I don't believe that that should be said about General Petraeus, and I condemn that. I didn't think it should've been said about Senator Cleland or Senator Kerry. I think it's important that we end this kind of attacks on the patriotism of those who serve our country."
From the April 9 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
JOE SCARBOROUGH (co-host): Let's talk about General Petraeus' testimony yesterday. How does the media properly cover something like that, and what did you get out of that testimony?
GOLDBERG: Well, I think the media should just cover it. You know, I mean, the more news and the less analysis, the happier I am. You know, can I take it back to the last time he testified, and the "General Betray Us" ad?
MIKA BRZEZINSKI (co-host): Mm-hmm.
GOLDBERG: Look, "betray" is a word that has special meaning to a man in uniform. It's an attack that crosses a very, very bright line. And I think most people watching us would condemn that ad. They would. I mean, whether you're a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, you just don't -- you don't take out a full-page ad in The New York Times and refer to a man who's dedicated his life to his country as "General Betray Us." But two people didn't, didn't condemn the ad: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- who not only want to be president, but commander in chief.
What's interesting, to me anyway, about that is that -- I mean, they don't think Petraeus is a bad person. They even supported him. But they wouldn't condemn the ad, because they're terrified, terrified of the crazies on the left and people like MoveOn.org, because that's their ATM machine, Joe. And they just will not -- they would rather not condemn an ad that attacks a good, decent man like General Petraeus.
And personally, just so you know where I'm coming from, I've been against the war from the outset. I think it's a mess. I just -- I don't think it was necessary. But you don't [video skip] a general -- you don't refer to him with the word "betray." And somebody who wants to be commander in chief ought to have the guts to say, "I condemn that ad."
SCARBOROUGH: You're talking about --
GOLDBERG: [Sen.] Joe Biden [D-DE] did, by the way.