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Thread: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama clash over NAFTA and Iraq

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    Elite Member nycgirl's Avatar
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    Default Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama clash over NAFTA and Iraq

    Clinton, Obama clash over NAFTA, Iraq

    CLEVELAND - Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama clashed over trade, health care and the war in Iraq Tuesday night in a crackling debate at close quarters one week before a pivotal group of primaries. Charges of negative campaign tactics were high on the program, too.

    "Senator Obama has consistently said I would force people to have health care whether they can afford it or not," said Clinton, insisting it was not true.

    Responding quickly, Obama countered that former first lady had consistently claimed his plan "would leave 15 million people out ... I dispute that. I think it is inaccurate," he said.

    The tone was polite yet pointed, increasingly so as the 90-minute session wore on, a reflection of the stakes in a race in which Obama has won 11 straight primaries and caucuses and Clinton is in desperate need of a comeback.

    Clinton also said as far as she knew her campaign had nothing to do with circulating a photograph of Obama wearing a white turban and a wraparound white robe presented to him by elders in Wajir, in northeastern Kenya. The gossip and news Web site The Drudge Report posted the photograph Monday and said, without substantiation, that it was being circulated by "Clinton staffers."

    "We have no evidence where it came from," Clinton said, making clear that's not the kind of behavior she wants in her campaign. "I take Senator Clinton at her word that she knew nothing about the photo," Obama said.

    The two rivals, the only survivors of a grueling primary season, sat about a foot apart at a table on stage at Cleveland State University. It was the 20th debate of the campaign, 10 months to the day after the first.

    The race was far different in April 2007, Clinton the front-runner by far. Now Obama holds that place, both in terms of contests and delegates won. Obama and Clinton were on the receiving end of pointed questions from Tim Russert of NBC News, one of two moderators for the event.

    Asked whether he was waffling on his pledge of agreeing to take federal funds for the fall campaign, Obama said he was still contesting the primaries. "If I am the nominee I will sit down with John McCain and make sure we come up with a system that is fair to both sides," he said. Obama could presumably raise far more money than the federal system provides, but accepting government money precludes that.

    The equivalent question to Clinton concerned the income tax returns that she and her husband, former President Clinton, file jointly.

    "I will release my tax returns," Clinton said, if she becomes the Democratic nominee. She then added she might do so "even earlier," but not before Tuesday's primary.

    The two rivals also debated NAFTA, the free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico that is wildly unpopular with blue-collar workers whose votes are critical in any Democratic primary in Ohio. Neither one said they were ready to withdraw from the agreement, although both said they would use the threat of withdrawal to pressure Mexico to make changes. "I have said I would renegotiate NAFTA," said Clinton. "I will say to Mexico that we will opt out of NAFTA unless we renegotiate it."

    Obama said Clinton has tried to have it both ways, touting the trade deal in farm states where it's popular while finding fault with it in places like Ohio.
    "This is something I have been consistent about," said Obama, who said he went to the American Farm Bureau Federation to tout his opposition and used it as an issue in his 2004 Senate campaign."That conversation I had with the Farm Bureau, I was not ambivalent at all," said Obama.

    On the war, both candidates denounced President Bush's record on Iraq, then restated long-held disagreements over which of them was more opposed. Clinton said she and Obama had virtually identical voting records on the war since he came to the Senate in 2005. The former first lady voted in 2002 to authorize the war, at a time when Obama was not yet in Congress, and he tried to use the issue to rebut charges that he is ill-prepared to become commander in chief.

    "The fact is that Senator Clinton often says that she is ready on day one, but, in fact, she was ready to give in to George Bush on day one on this critical issue," Obama said.

    Obama also sought to distance himself from an endorsement from Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, the controversial Chicago-based minister who has made numerous anti-Semitic comments in the past. Obama said he hadn't sought the endorsement, and that he had denounced the remarks.

    Clinton interjected at one point, saying that in her initial Senate campaign in New York in 2000, she was supported by a group with virulent anti-Semitic views. "I rejected it, and said it would not be anything I would be comfortable with." She said rejecting support was different from denouncing it, an obvious jab at Obama.

    He responded by saying he didn't see the difference, since Farrakhan hadn't done anything except declare his support. But given Clinton's comments, he said, "I happily concede the point and I would reject and denounce."

    The audience applauded at that.

    The debate offered Clinton her last, best chance to slow Obama's drive toward the nomination. Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont hold primaries next Tuesday, with 370 delegates at shake.

    Obama has won 11 straight primaries and caucuses, and even some of Clinton's supporters concede she must win in both Ohio and Texas to keep her candidacy alive. "I think things have gotten a little hotter in the last couple of days," Obama said at a news conference earlier Tuesday where he collected an endorsement from a former campaign rival, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut.

    Dodd's decision aside, there were other signs of Clinton's campaign woes.
    A stream of party leaders has begun to move toward Obama, and an AP-Ipsos poll charted significant gains for him among male voters and others two months into the primary season. In mid-January, Clinton held a seven-point lead among all men, a group she now loses by 25 points. The two were about even among college graduates six weeks ago, and Obama now holds a 20-point margin.

    Clinton, Obama clash over NAFTA, Iraq - Yahoo! News

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    He stood his ground, became more concrete with his foreign policy plan..
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    I missed this debate. Maybe they'll re-air parts of it on CNN.

    "The fact is that Senator Clinton often says that she is ready on day one, but, in fact, she was ready to give in to George Bush on day one on this critical issue," Obama said.
    Excellent point. Plus, Hillary keeps saying that she was 'misled' by George Bush. Is she going to say that she was 'misled' on day one as president if she shows more poor judgement?

    Obama also sought to distance himself from an endorsement from Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, the controversial Chicago-based minister who has made numerous anti-Semitic comments in the past. Obama said he hadn't sought the endorsement, and that he had denounced the remarks.
    I didn't even know Farrakhan had endorsed Obama. Like anybody needs his endorsement. But good move by Obama to distance himself from it. But I'm sure somebody will try to use that as 'proof' that he's secretly a Muslim terrorist.

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    I missed this debate. Maybe they'll re-air parts of it on CNN.



    Excellent point. Plus, Hillary keeps saying that she was 'misled' by George Bush. Is she going to say that she was 'misled' on day one as president if she shows more poor judgement?



    I didn't even know Farrakhan had endorsed Obama. Like anybody needs his endorsement. But good move by Obama to distance himself from it. But I'm sure somebody will try to use that as 'proof' that he's secretly a Muslim terrorist.
    It is being re-aired on MSNBC now... If she was so easily misled by Bush, then why do she think she has the wits to out-smart a Putin, or a Castro?!
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSDiva View Post
    It is being re-aired on MSNBC now... If she was so easily misled by Bush, then why do she think she has the wits to out-smart a Putin, or a Castro?!
    Good point. If an idiot like Dubya can fool you, then what chance do you have against somebody who actually has a brain?

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    I thought it was a good debate...they both did well. There was some real dialogue.

    As a side note, JFK was out thought by Castro and Kruschev...and today he's cannonized and glorified as a great President
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Oh nobody was misled by Bush, that's a crock. If someone like me watching CNN can pick out the simple, unanswered questions like "Wtf does Iraq have to do with 9/11? Oh right, NOTHING." then how does a Harvard educated, politically astute woman like Hillbot miss it?

    Anybody who says they were misled is either a complete fucking retard, or a lying sack of shit. The rest of the planet saw through it easily enough just by thinking about it for 2 fucking seconds.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    I thought it was a good debate...they both did well. There was some real dialogue.

    As a side note, JFK was out thought by Castro and Kruschev...and today he's cannonized and glorified as a great President
    But JFK managed to get the country out of the mess that he almost got it into with the Cuban Missle Crisis. And then he got assassinated. It's the same with Reagan. Once he died, Republicans were acting as if he was the greatest president.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    But JFK managed to get the country out of the mess that he almost got it into with the Cuban Missle Crisis. And then he got assassinated. It's the same with Reagan. Once he died, Republicans were acting as if he was the greatest president.

    He blew it regarding the Cuban Missle Crisis

    The Russians wanted US missles out of Turkey. And thats what they got out of the Cuban missle crisis. The Soviets ran rings around JFK in this instance. He was out played.

    He blew it regarding the Berlin wall too.

    As for Reagan, I wouldn't even know where to start with him. St. Ronald
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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