From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Clinton justified her 2002 Iraq war vote again on Meet the Press,
saying that she thought "it was a vote to put inspectors back in" so
Saddam Hussein could not go unchecked. She insisted that she was "told
by the White House personally" as were others that that's what the
resolution was for and noted that Bush himself said publicly that the
resolution was the best chance to avoid a confrontation.
Moderator Tim Russert pointed out that the title of the resolution was
the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of
Clinton responded saying, "We can have this Jesuitical argument about
what exactly was meant. But when Chuck Hagel, who helped to draft the
resolution said, 'It was not a vote for war,' What I was told directly
by the White House in response to my question, 'If you are given this
authority, will you put the inspectors in and permit them to finish
their job,' I was told that's exactly what we intended to do. "
Clinton then turned it back to Obama as she had earlier in the show,
noting that his anti-Iraq intervention speech was in 2002; by 2003 it
was down from his Web site; by 2004, he "was saying he really didn't
disagree with how George Bush was conducting the war;" from 2005 to
2007, he voted for war funding and didn't go to the floor to condemn
the war for 18 months; and "wasn't for timelines initially."
Russert noted that she voted similarly, and Clinton said, "I'm not
premising my campaign on something different. I'm not here saying
anything different from that. Judgment is not a single snapshot."
She also defended Bill Clinton's "fairy tale" comment about Obama's
campaign, saying it was taken out of context; that he was, in fact,
directly referring to Obama's stance on the war through the years.
Clinton also attacked Obama for his lobbying reform bill, noting that
at the pre-New Hampshire debate, it was pointed out that lobbyists
could still buy meals as long as they are standing up. She reiterated
that the campaign is the contrast between "rhetoric" and "reality."
"When the cameras are gone and the lights are off, what do you do
next?" Clinton said of Obama. She even went on to say, "He does not
have a record of producing positive change."
The Obama campaign responded, saying, "Obama introduced and helped pass
the strongest ethics reform since Watergate. It includes a full ban on
gifts and meals from lobbyists, an end to subsidized travel for
lawmakers on corporate jets, full disclosure on lobbyists' campaign
contributions, and restrictions to close the revolving door that
enables former congressmen to become high-paid lobbyists." The campaign
goes on to cite the Washington Post, which called it "the strongest
ethics legislation to emerge from Congress yet."
NOTES: Clinton also posited on more than one occasion on the show that any political progress in Iraq was "because they see this election, and they don't have much time.... It is a big factor in pushing the Iraqi govt to push them to do what they should have been doing all along." ... On her emotional moment, she called it a moment of "real emotional connection."