Obama: Clinton a "Late-Comer" on Opposing Iraq

(CBS)
From CBS News' John Bentley:

MONACA, PA. –- Striking back at Hillary Clinton today, Barack Obama asserted that the U.S. would not be at war in Iraq is his judgment had been followed.

"It's not enough to stand up five years later in the heat of a campaign and say that you're ready on day one – you have to be right on day one," Obama said. "On the war in Iraq, Senator Clinton's judgment was wrong. If we had followed my judgment, we wouldn't be standing here five years later debating how to end the war in Iraq, because we never would have fought it."

Clinton criticized Obama this morning in Washington for being all talk and no action. "Senator Obama holds up his original opposition to the war on the campaign trail, but he didn't start working aggressively to end the war until he started running for president," she said. "So when he had a chance to act on his speech, he chose silence instead."

Obama denied that assertion, saying Clinton was a "late-comer" to her opposition of the war. "I'm not about to allow Senator Clinton to get away with saying this is just about speeches," he said. "Because of that vote, we are less safe and less respected at home."

Obama also took on the current administration, saying the president was partially to blame for the current economic crisis.

"History will not judge President Bush kindly for his failure to act in a way that could've prevented or alleviated this economic crisis," he said, adding that be believed the President's tax cuts "on the wealthiest few" and blocking of regulatory oversight contributed to the current economic problems. "It's a policy so divorced from the reality facing the American people and the American economy that it would be laughable if it weren't so frightening."

Concerned that Wall Street is "teetering on a potential crisis," Obama asked his colleagues in Congress to pass the legislation that he Chris Dodd, D-Conn., have introduced that would offer incentives for lenders to buy existing mortgages. "This is not a bailout for lenders or investors who gambled recklessly, and it is not a windfall for borrowers," Obama said. "It is a fair and responsible way to help stem the foreclosure crisis."