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Countering Clinton, Obama Says He's Committed to Ending War

(CBS)
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

CASPER, WYO. -- Today, Barack Obama stuck to his campaign's promise to respond to every criticism by Hillary Clinton. During a town hall meeting here, Obama addressed the Clinton campaign's latest criticisms of his Iraq withdrawal plan, which were based on comments a campaign adviser made to the BBC.

"Senator Clinton used this to try to imply that I wasn't serious about bringing this war to an end. I just have to mention this because I don't want anybody here to be confused," Obama said.

"I was opposed to this war in 2002. If it had been up to me we would have never been in this war. It was because of George Bush with an assist from Hillary Clinton and John McCain that we entered into this war. A war that should have never been authorized, a war that should have never been waged."

Samantha Power, the Obama campaign adviser who resigned today, recently suggested in an interview with the BBC that Obama's plan to that withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq within 16 months is a "best-case scenario" that he'll reassess if he becomes president.

"He will, of course, not rely on some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. senator," she said. "He will rely upon a plan - an operational plan - that he pulls together in consultation with people who are on the ground to whom he doesn't have daily access now, as a result of not being the president," Powers said.

Meantime, Obama took every opportunity available to go after Clinton and occasionally John McCain during the question & answer session. He accused Clinton of conjuring up the "politics of fear" with the "3 a.m. ad" that aired in Texas.

"That was designed to feed into your fears, right?," Obama asked, "What do people think I'm going to do? I'm going to answer the phone and I will find out what's going on and I won't be browbeaten into launching a war that wasn't necessary."

Obama said his presidential campaign should be looked at by those who question his experience.

"Look who's run the best campaign. Look who's managed this campaign from scratch. That's worth taking a look at. Look at what we've built from scratch to compete against people who have been building this thing for 20, 30 years, and we've done just fine."