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Tipsheet

Clinton, Obama Respond to "Were You Wrong About the Surge"

Clinton and Obama are being asked if they were wrong to oppose President Bush's surge of troops to Iraq, since it is now showing signs of success.

Clinton says the purpose of the surge was only to "create time and space" for the Iraqi government to make progress.  "Putting more of them [troops] in will give us a tactical advantage and give us security in some places" but the Iraqi government has "slowly inched towards making a few of the [political] decisions in a less than complete way."
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She says, it is "not in the interest of America or the Iraqis that we continue to be there. It is up to the Iraqis to decide the kind of future they will have”

Obama is asked the same question.

He says it is "indisputable we've seen violence reduced in Iraq" but it is only  "a tactical victory imposed upon a huge, strategic blunder." Then he makes an argument about why he is better to face-off against Republican front-runner John McCain.

"When we are having a debate with John Mccain it is going to be much easier with a candidate who was opposed the concept of invading Iraq in the first place to have a debate about the wisdom of that decision instead of having to argue about the tactics subsequent to the decision," Obama says.

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