Obama says he can be trusted to end war

March 19, 2008 9:23:48 AM PDT
Barack Obama suggested Wednesday that Hillary Clinton could not be trusted to end the Iraq war because she only started opposing it when she began her bid for president. In a speech not far from North Carolina's Fort Bragg military base, the Democratic presidential hopeful told military families and local officials that the war has emboldened al-Qaida, the Taliban, Iran and North Korea.

"Ask yourself," Obama told the crowd, "Who do you trust to end a war: someone who opposed the war from the beginning, or someone who started opposing it when they started preparing a run for president?"

Obama used the five-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion to again cast himself as the only true anti-war candidate. He has criticized Clinton for voting to authorize the use of force against Iraq and pointed out he openly opposed the invasion as a state lawmaker.

Clinton has countered that Obama lacks the experience to be commander in chief, a common refrain during the run-up to her wins in the Ohio and Texas primaries. Obama wants to change the question from one of experience in Washington to one about judgment.

He said Clinton and likely Republican nominee John McCain talk tough on national security yet they make decisions that leave the country less secure.

"This is why the judgment that matters most on Iraq -- and on any decision to deploy military force -- is the judgment made first."

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