Back to Iraq for Obama

By Ed O'Keefe

Jan 24, 2008 6:19pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller Reports: Gone are the days where Obama mentions "some of his opponents" when he criticizes his presidential opponents on their vote for the Iraq war.

At this stage of the game, he’s naming names.

Launching one of his fiercest criticisms against Senator Clinton, D-N.Y., on the subject of Iraq, Obama told a South Carolina crowd just two days before the state’s Democratic primary, "I have been open about my reasons for opposing the war, but one of my opponents in this race, Senator Clinton, has tried, I believe, to rewrite history.

"Now," Obama continued, "she’s saying she wasn’t really voting for war. She cast her vote after failing to read the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, a report that raised enough doubts that the majority of Democratic senators who read it voted against the war."

Obama’s comments came during opening remarks at a roundtable with war veterans in Beauford, South Carolina.

His criticisms are nothing new — they were firmly embedded in his stump speech while campaigning in the early state of Iowa. But recently, the Clinton campaign has questioned Obama’s action against the war after his initial opposition, saying while he was a Senator he still voted to fund the war and did not take leadership in working toward ending it.

"Senator Clinton has not said her vote was a mistake," Obama countered to the recent criticism, "She has simply blamed the civilian and military leaders who carried out the policy she authorized. We don’t know why Iraq met the threshold for war, how can we know what means the threshold in the future?"

By comparison, Obama recalled his early opposition to the war.

"We need more accountability in our leaders. You can’t undo a vote for war just becuase a war stops being popular," Obama said, "Voters need to judge us about the judgments we’ve made and the lessons we’ve learned."

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