During a campaign event in Shenandoah, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sharpened her attacks on rival Barack Obama’s experience. Clinton questioned Obama’s claim that living in a foreign country as a child helped shape his understanding of the world and influences his outlook on foreign policy today.
"With a war and a tough economy, we need a president ready on day one to bring our troops from Iraq and handle all our other tough challenges," Clinton said as she spoke by phone to the crowd in Shenandoah earlier today. "Now voters will judge whether living in a foreign country at the age of 10 prepares one to face the big, complex international challenges the next president will face. I think we need a president with more experience than that."
Clinton repeatedly touts her own experience as first lady and told the crowd in Shenandoah that "the rest of the world knows, looks up to and has confidence" in her. "I don’t think this is a time for on-the-job training on our economy or on foreign policy and I offer my credentials, my experience and qualifications which I think uniquely equip me to be prepared to hit the ground on day one," Clinton said, "and I offer the experience of being battle-tested in the political wars here at home."
On Monday during an appearance in Iowa, Obama said his four years in Indonesia as a child help him better understand other cultures. Obama’s campaign fired back at Clinton on Tuesday, suggesting she represents "conventional Washington thinking that prizes posture and positioning," while Obama puts "judgment and honesty first."
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards didn’t mimic his own campaign spokesman and accuse Clinton of mudslinging, but Edwards had this to say about Clinton tonight during a question and answer session with reporters in Des Moines. "We don’t elect resumes president of the United States. We elect people president," Edwards said, "and the important thing is to have a clear understanding of what America needs to be doing, which I talk about every day out here on the campaign trail."
Edwards went on to say he spends not a "nanosecond" paying attention to the "sniping" that’s going on between Clinton and Obama.
Musicians Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne joined Edwards at an evening event in a Des Moines high school auditorium. "So proud to be here on our two-day world tour for John Edwards," Raitt told the crowd. "Just the beginning."
The musical duo performed four songs. Edwards then addressed the crowd, hammering the Bush Administration for sending bills to Iraq war vets who’ve been injured.
"The United States government is going to men and women who have served this country in the war Iraq and who were hurt in Iraq and…and because they were badly injured weren’t able to finish their tour of duty and have sent them a bill for the signing amount they got."
The U.S. military is demanding that thousands of injured soldiers repay part of their signing bonuses because they are unable to fulfill their enlistment commitment. Edwards called it another example of what’s wrong with the way the Bush Administration has prosecuted the war. "We can do better than that. America’s better than that. We all know we’re better than that," Edwards said, as the crowd applauded.
Clinton’s campaign plane was unable to land in Shenandoah due to fog, so she spoke by phone to those who’d waited to hear her.