Wolfson Thrusts, Burton Parries

Nearly a year away from the first primary, the Clinton and Obama campaigns are directly accusing each other of mischaracterizing the candidates’ positions on Iraq.

It started yesterday when Obama described the difference between his position and Hillary’s this way:

“I think the difference is — and now again, I don’t want to speak for her or her bill — my understanding is that she calls for a cap on troops levels but does not begin a phased redeployment. And so that’s a pretty substantial difference.”

This morning, Howard Wolfson responded with this statement: “Senator Obama is mistaken. Senator Clinton has long been on record in favor of a phased redeployment of our troops. In fact both she and Senator Obama voted in 2005 to begin such a withdrawal.”

Just a few minutes ago, Obama spokesman Bill Burton countered again. “I think they were mistaken in putting out that statement,” he told me in a phone interview.

“There is a difference between Obama and Clinton on this issue,” he said. “The difference is, in the Obama plan, there is a clear date on when we are going to start getting troops out and when all the combat troops are going to be home. There is no such thing with Clinton. The difference between having a plan and a good idea is having some deadlines associated with it. Obama has a plan and no other candidate does.”

–Jason Horowitz