Posted: July 12, 2007 5:13 PM
Obama Reminds Voters He Opposed the War from the Start
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has split his time this week between the campaign trail and Washington, D.C., where the Senate has been debating the Department of Defense authorization bill.
Obama was in Iowa on the same day as his main Democratic rival New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, and both took the opportunity to discuss the war in Iraq. At his town hall, Obama once again reminded voters that he had opposed the war from the beginning. Obama told the crowd, “I believed then, and I still believe, that being a leader means that you’d better do what’s right and leave the politics aside, because there are no do-overs on an issue as important as war.”
Obama has called for a phased redeployment of troops from Iraq. In the Senate, he has introduced amendments to the defense authorization bill dealing with mental health care for veterans. And on Thursday, in a sharply worded press release, the senator attacked President Bush’s assessment of the Iraq progress report. He said, “Don’t tell us we’re making progress in Iraq when the last three months have been some of the deadliest since this war began for our brave troops who have sacrificed so much. And don’t tell us it’s progress when the Iraqi leadership has done nothing — nothing — to take the political steps necessary to end their civil war.”
Obama also took on the president’s record on race issues while appearing July 12 at the NAACP Convention in Detroit. According to the Detroit Free Press, Obama received several standing ovations for telling the crowd, “That despite all the progress that’s been made, there’s still more to do.”
The senator traveled to Alabama for fund raisers and rallies in Birmingham and Huntsville on Monday and held a town hall meeting in Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Obama announced several new endorsements this week, including Gary Hirshberg, chief executive of Stonyfield Farm and an influential Democratic contributor. The Washington Post reported that Hirshberg and his wife, Meg, chose Obama largely because they see him as the candidate most likely to defeat Clinton in the Democratic primary.
Coming up, the senator plans to be in Nevada on Friday and Iowa over the weekend. Sunday he will return to his hometown of Chicago to give a speech on community violence and attend the American Association for Justice Convention. Tuesday, the senator intends to join several other Democratic candidates at the Planned Parenthood Public Affairs Retreat and Roundtable.