“Part of what certainly influenced me” to support the Iraq war was George Bush pledging billions to rebuild New York after 9/11 a year before her vote, Hillary Clinton said last night. The comment is getting a lot of attention: folks are asking whether Hillary Clinton got bribed to support the Iraq war.
Last night on MSNBC, Chris Matthews quizzed the former secretary of state and NY senator about why she supported the war in Iraq, and Bernie Sanders didn’t. And she said they came to the issue from different perspectives. “Why was Bernie Sanders right and you were wrong?” Matthews asked. “What do you think was in him that allowed him to see what you couldn’t see?” Clinton said:
Clinton: Look, that was a mistake and I’ve said it was a mistake. And I had good friends like Vice President Biden who were with me, and I had good friends who were on the other side. And I think part of what certainly influenced me is after 9/11 you know I went to New York with Chuck Schumer, the next day, my fellow senator. We were the only plane in the sky and we flew over Ground Zero and we saw the devastation, and we were briefed fully on all of the threats that were still out there.
We get back to Washington I go and see then Senator Byrd, get him to commit to helping New York. Because the first request out of the White House was for 20 billion dollars for the Pentagon, for Homeland Security. Not a penny for New York. So I went and said, Look we have to get money for New York.
When I went to the White House, there were about four of us senators, the two from Virginia, the two of us from New York And I knew that the Republicans in the White House and in the Senate didn’t want to rebuild New York or at least they weren’t willing to put money into it. So I’m sitting there in the Oval Office, and Bush says to me, ‘What do you need?’ And I said, ‘I need $20 billion to rebuild, you know, New York,’ and he said, ‘You got it.’ And he was good to his word.
So my experience with him on something of great import to our country was positive. Because literally, that same day, I get back to the Capitol, and the Republicans are trying to take that money away. We kept calling the White House, Bush kept saying, “I gave them my word, I’m going to stick with it.”
So, you know, I had a different set of experiences.
Matthews said, “But you know we have 100,000 people dead in Iraq because of that war. We invaded.” Matthews then quizzed Clinton about why she is so keen on “constantly” knocking off regimes in the Middle East….
Thanks to Adam Horowitz.