Hillary Clinton distances herself from President Obama
(CNN) – David Axelrod, former adviser to President Barack Obama, hit back Tuesday against Hillary Clinton’s recent criticism of Obama’s foreign policy.
In an interview with “The Atlantic” published over the weekend, Clinton argued the decision not to arm Syrian rebels early on had led to Islamic militants taking over swaths of territory in the region.
The former secretary of state also took a swipe at an oft-repeated phrase Obama uses to sum up his foreign policy choices – “Don’t do stupid stuff.”
“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” Clinton said.
In his tweet, Axelrod appears to be knocking Clinton’s 2002 vote as U.S. senator in favor of the Iraq War. (Of course, his tweet can also be aimed at Republican hawks who support a harsher response to the current situation in Iraq.)
The PAC for the progressive group MoveOn also tweaked Clinton.
“Secretary Clinton, and any other person thinking about seeking the Democratic nomination in 2016, should think long and hard before embracing the same policies advocated by right-wing war hawks that got America into Iraq in the first place and helped set the stage for Iraq’s troubles today,” Ilya Sheyman, the PAC’s executive director, said in a statement Tuesday.
Clinton later said she regretted supporting the authorization of the Iraq war.
“I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had,” Clinton writes in her new book. “And I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”
The recent tension between Clinton and Obama’s team invokes memories of their 2008 battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, when the two candidates butted heads over foreign policy.
A White House official said Monday that the White House is not getting amped up over Clinton’s interview. They don’t see this as her break-away moment, according to the source, though they anticipate she will move away from Obama over time.
The President and his former chief diplomat will have a chance to talk things out Wednesday night; the two are expected to attend the same event in Martha’s Vineyard.
Clinton is also getting hit by the Republican National Committee, which accuses Clinton of playing politics on the issue.
“You can’t distance yourself from this administration’s foreign policy when your job for four years was to lead its foreign policy,” RNC spokesman Sean Spicer said.