ABC News’ Teddy Davis, Jonathan Greenberger, and Donna Hunter Report: Seventy-two hours after MoveOn.org threw down the gauntlet, telling ABC News that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., needed to speak out "sooner and more vocally" in opposition to voting for an Iraq funding measure that does not include a timetable for withdrawal, both Democratic presidential contenders have done exactly that.
"I have voted against funding this war and I will vote against funding this war as long as it takes," Clinton told the Service Employees International Union on Monday in Washington, D.C.
Clinton’s comments came one day after Obama made a similar pledge.
"If there is a funding bill that does not have a timetable for when we begin withdrawal, and the completion — a plan for how that withdrawal will proceed — I will not support it," said Obama on Sunday during a wide-ranging foreign policy discussion at Des Moines’ First Christian Church.
Prior to Clinton’s Monday pledge, a third Democratic presidential candidate — Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd — issued a statement saying the silence from Clinton on funding without a timetable was "deafening."
A fourth Democratic presidential contender — former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards — was critical of Clinton and Obama for not speaking out sooner and more forcefully on the May 24 war funding bill which did not include a timetable for withdrawal. Like Dodd and MoveOn.org Executive Director Eli Pariser, Edwards had been pressuring Clinton and Obama to take a clear stand in advance of the next war funding vote.
One striking parallel between the May 24 war funding vote and the current debate is that Clinton followed Obama on both occasions.
Back in May, she waited for Obama to vote before casting her own vote against war funding without a timetable. This time, she did not make her plans to vote against war funding clear until after Obama took a similar step the day before.