News

    Democratic US Presidential Candidates Focus on Iraq

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Several Democratic presidential contenders auditioned before a crowd of party activists in Washington Friday. All six candidates who spoke focused largely on the war in Iraq, as we hear from VOA National correspondent Jim Malone.

    For the first time, the announced presidential contenders got the chance to make a direct appeal for support to Democratic Party activists meeting in Washington.

    It was no surprise that the Democratic contenders for the White House focused on Iraq, including some differences among them about how strongly to oppose President Bush's plan to send additional soldiers to Iraq.

    Former North Carolina Senator, and one time vice presidential candidate, John Edwards said it would be a betrayal for Democrats not to stop the troop increase for Iraq, though he did not single out anyone by name.

    "We cannot be satisfied with passing non-binding [Senate] resolutions that we know this president will ignore," he said. "We have the power to stop the escalation of this war. We have to use our power. We have to be strong. We have to stand up for what is right."

    The Senate is expected to debate non-binding resolutions on the troop increase next week. Among those who supports a bipartisan resolution opposing the increase in troops is Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, who experts say at the moment is the frontrunner for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

    "There are many people who wish we could do more," she said. "But let me say that if we can get a large, bipartisan vote to disapprove this president's plan for escalation, that will be the first time that we will have said 'no' to President Bush and begin to reverse his policies."

    Senator Clinton also said she would not have started the war in Iraq and promised she would end it immediately if she is elected in 2008.

    Clinton and Edwards are vying for the top position in public opinion polls among Democrats along with Illinois Senator Barack Obama, the only African-American in the field so far.

    Obama reiterated his opposition both to the Iraq war and to the president's troops surge. But he also urged Democrats to stay away from negative attacks on each other.

    "Democrats, this is not a game," he said. "This is not a game. This cannot be about who digs up more [political] skeletons on who, who makes the fewest slip-ups on the campaign trial. We owe it to the American people to do more than that. We owe them an election where voters are inspired."

    Other presidential contenders who spoke included, in order, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, retired Army General Wesley Clark and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

    "Get the car out of the ditch," Dodd said. "We are not going to take fear for an answer any longer in America. Those days are over."

    "And I grow angry with elected officials who have dragged this country deeper and deeper into Iraq when there are so many other urgent problems abroad and at home," said Clark. "And I ask, can we not do better?"

    "Democrats have an obligation to reclaim Congress' constitutional power to end the war," Kucinich said. "If we support the troops, if we truly support the troops, we should bring them home."

    All three criticized the president's handling of Iraq and said they would find a way to quickly bring U.S. troops home.

    Members of the Democratic National Committee will hear from more presidential candidates on Saturday, including Delaware Senator Joe Biden, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora