Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., participated in "Good Morning America's" Town Hall in Iowa this morning with anchor Robin Roberts. She took questions from Iowans and people from across the country on issues including health care and Iraq. Between now and Election Day 2008, there will be more Town Hall meetings with some of the major candidates running for President.
Clinton began the session by answering questions on the Iraq War.
Roberts: Today, the Senate is set to debate a measure that would call for withdrawing America's combat troops from Iraq. And, in a historic vote, the House of Representatives Friday passed a bill that called for American troops to be out of Iraq by the end of the summer 2008. You've said that if this president doesn't end the war, if you are president you will. Would you sign such a bill if you were president?
Clinton: Yes, I'm hoping that we can get it passed in the Senate. … We're working very hard to persuade our Republican colleagues to start this path toward getting out of Iraq. … Perhaps [the president will] work with us to extricate us from Iraq. … If I were president, I would certainly work with Congress to do that.
Roberts: Last night on "60 Minutes," Sen. John Edwards said he would be able to focus on his job in the White House, despite the recent diagnosis of his wife, Elizabeth, with terminal cancer. Is it possible?
Clinton: I think our thoughts and prayers are with Elizabeth. … She's an incredibly strong woman. … Her family is standing with her. … I think [it's best to] just let the Edwards decide how to best handle this crisis. … I'm not going to substitute my judgment for theirs. … They have to face this together. … It is incredibly personal.
Roberts: You've joined us today to talk about health care. You've said you still have the scars from your 1993 health-care efforts. There's a lot of deja vu. In fact, you addressed a group of health-care workers this weekend that you talked to back in 1993. Fourteen years later, the problems are still there. There's someone in the audience who'd like to ask you a question about how things will be different this time around, Dr. Steve Eckstat.
Steve Eckstat: Sen. Clinton, I was part of your 1993 Health Care Task Force. Obviously we weren't very successful at that time, so as president would you try to create a plan for universal health coverage again?
Clinton: I certainly would. It's one of the reasons I'm running for president. … I think we're in a better position to do that today than we were in '93 or '94. … It's hard to ignore the fact that nearly 47 million people don't have insurance. But also because the people who have insurance find that insurance companies deny what you need.
[Also] It's really hard for small businesses to compete in the economy … if they have to compete with the cost of health care.
We spend more money than anyone in the world [on health care] by a very big number. … For all those reasons I believe the American people will make this an issue in the campaign. … I'm very excited about this, and I know that we can do this.