Obama advisor links Clinton vote and Bhutto death?
Posted: 10:10 AM ET
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) — In comments to reporters after Barack Obama's first speech Thursday, his chief strategist David Axelrod seemed to link Hillary Clinton’s vote on Iraq and the death of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's former prime minister.
"Barack Obama had the judgment to oppose the war in Iraq. And he warned at the time that it would divert us from Afghanistan and Al Qaeda, and now we see the effect of that,” said Axelrod. “Al Qaeda is resurgent. They’re a powerful force now in Pakistan….There’s a suspicion they may have been involved in this. I think his judgment was good. Sen. Clinton made a different judgment. Let’s have that discussion.”Axelrod was responding to reporters' questions whether Bhutto's assassination enhances claims that Clinton's foreign policy experience may make her more fit to serve as commander-in-chief.
“I think people need to judge where these candidates were and what they’ve said and what they’ve done on these issues,” said Axelrod. “I mean, she was a strong supporter of the war in Iraq, which we would submit is one of the reasons why we were diverted from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Al Qaeda who may have been players in this event today. So that’s a judgment she’ll have to defend.”
Later, Axelrod seemed to back away from his earlier statements. "I believe our policies in Iraq have had a direct impact on events in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but I would not suggest there is a straight line relationship between the events of today in Pakistan and anyone’s particular vote,” he said. “What I was pointing out was the difference in judgment at the time. Obama thought that the war would have a negative impact in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that seems relevant right now."
He also told CNN that he "certainly wasn’t suggesting Sen. Clinton was complicit. She made a bad judgment on this war, and the war helped exacerbate problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And that’s certainly something I would stand by."
Clinton spokesman Jay Carson criticized Axelrod’s remarks. “This is a time to be focused on the tragedy of the situation, its implications for the U.S. and the world, and to be concerned for the people of Pakistan and the country's stability. No one should be politicizing this situation with baseless allegations,” he said.
UPDATE: When asked about Axelrod's remarks late Thursday, Obama told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “This is one of those situations where Washington is putting a spin on it. … He in no way was suggesting Hillary Clinton was somehow directly to blame for this situation.”
The Illinois senator added that “it’s important for us to not look at this in terms of short-term political points scoring.” sure hussien...but you'll be the first to do as much