A combative Tom Vilsack is accusing his rivals for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination of taking stands on issues based on "political motivation" and paying mere "lip service" to the country’s top challenges.
Vilsack was the last of the presidential candidates to speak at the weekend meeting of the Democratic National Committee. Vilsack did not name names, but he suggested that before hope comes courage — a reference to rival Barak Obama’s book, "The Audacity of Hope."
Vilsack ridiculed senators like rival Hillary Clinton who voted to authorize the Iraq war, but did not single them out by name. Vilsack went on to criticize the resolutions being crafted by those two senators, and the other two Democratic senators in the presidential race. "The reality of capping troops or reducing the number of troops at some point in time in the future — that’s not real change," Vilsack said. "Real change is saying, ‘We want our troops out of harm’s way now.’"
Since December, Vilsack has argued it is time for the Iraqis to take greater responsibility for their own country. This weekend, Vilsack was even more emphatic. "We cannot wait for (the) president or the congress to make a political calculation as to when and how this is happening," Vilsack said. "…It is time for us to clearly say ‘The war must end and our troops must be brought home now.’"
Vilsack also argued that as an "outsider" — starting from birth when he was given up for adoption — he is more electable than senators who’ve made their careers in Washington. "As an insider it’s difficult to effect change. Staying the course is a bit easier. Basically, doing what you’ve always done is the way things most often happen," Vilsack said. "As an outsider we can change things and we are a party of outsiders. We represent outsiders and need I remind you, we win as outsiders. The last two times we have won an election it has been with an…outsider who was a governor."
The last two Democrats elected president were former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter and former Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.
You can listen to Vilsack’s speech by clicking on the link below. A transcript of Vilsack’s speech can be found on our blog .