News

    Democratic Presidential Contenders Focus on Iraq

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Democratic presidential contenders focused their attention on the war in Iraq during appearances at two candidate forums Tuesday in Washington. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has the latest on the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

    The most recent polls show New York Senator Hillary Clinton solidifying her lead in the Democratic field.

    Senator Clinton sought to strengthen her position as the frontrunner for the party nomination in separate campaign appearances before a union group and an organization of liberal activists.

    Clinton focused much of her remarks on the war in Iraq. She and the other seven Democratic candidates are seeking the support of anti-war activists who are expected to be a major force in the presidential primaries and caucuses next year.

    "I believe that we have got to start engaging in diplomacy and that is what I would do, beginning now, if I were president," she said. "And if our president does not end our involvement in Iraq, when I am president, I will."

    Clinton favors a phased withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq beginning immediately, a view also held by Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

    Obama is running second behind Clinton in public opinion polls.

    "We have no good options in Iraq left," he said. "We have bad options and worse options. The best option, I believe, is to make certain that we begin a phased redeployment, that we are as careful getting out as we were careless getting in."

    But some of the Democratic candidates who trail the top contenders are trying to highlight differences on Iraq.

    "If I were president today, I would withdraw all our forces before the end of this calendar year," said New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. "But where I differentiate with the other candidates is I leave no residual forces."

    Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards remains third in most polls, though his support has slipped in recent months.

    Edwards says the next president must manage more than just a troop withdrawal from Iraq.

    "I would get Sunni and the Shia leadership engaged in serious discussions to see if they can reach some kind of political solution, political reconciliation," said Edwards. "Because without that there is never going to be peace in Iraq."

    Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich is near the bottom of the eight candidate Democratic field in the polls. But Kucinich was quick to criticize fellow contenders like Clinton and Edwards who initially supported the use of force in Iraq.

    "And we need a president who can defend our country, but also who knows when war is wrong and is ready to say so when it counts, not four years later, not five years later," said Kuchinich.

    Political experts say Clinton has firmly established herself as the Democratic frontrunner in recent months by emphasizing her experience in government, first as First Lady during the presidency of her husband, Bill Clinton, and more recently as a U.S. Senator.

    "There is one person who I think has the greatest chance, if you figure the odds of all 18 candidates, both Republicans and Democrats, there is one candidate, if you had to pick one who has the best chance to be president, I think it is Hillary Clinton, the senator from New York," said Fred Barnes, editor of the Weekly Standard magazine.

    But analysts note that while Senator Clinton has long held a lead among Democrats in public opinion polls, she also continues to draw high unfavorable ratings from Republicans and independent voters. That could cause her problems in the general election if she winds up as the Democratic nominee.

    Maurice Carroll directs public opinion surveys at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

    "She is ahead and she has been ahead and she stays ahead without much change," said Carroll. "There is no question that Mrs. Clinton is very, very popular among Democrats, but she still has a high number of negatives in the Quinnipiac poll and in everybody's polls."

    In the latest Quinnipiac poll, Clinton narrowly beat the top Republican contenders for president, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Senator John McCain and former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson. Thompson is not in the race, but is expected to join it soon.

     

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.