ABC News’ Teddy Davis, Eloise Harper, and Nancy Flores Report: Former President Bill Clinton portrayed himself as having been against the Iraq war "from the beginning" while campaigning Tuesday for his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, in Iowa.
"Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning," said Clinton, "I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers."
Clinton has long been critical of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and called it a "big mistake" as far back as November of 2005.
But like his wife, the former president supported giving President Bush the authority needed to go to war.
"I supported the President when he asked the Congress for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," said Clinton in 2003 while delivering commencement remarks at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss.
Early opposition to the Iraq war is one of the sharpest dividing lines between Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who voted to authorize force in 2002, and Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama, D-Ill., who was not in Congress at the time but spoke out against it.
A spokesman for Bill Clinton tried to downplay the former president’s comments by distinguishing between the authority to go to war, which both Clintons supported, and President Bush’s decision to use that authority when he did.
"As he said from the beginning and many times since," said Clinton spokesperson Jay Carson, "President Clinton disagreed with taking the country to war in Iraq without allowing the weapons inspectors to finish their jobs."