As predicted, Hillary Clinton and her campaign are taking Barack Obama to task for his remarks about nuclear weapons.
First, according to the AP, Clinton responds to Obama’s earlier comment that he would not use nuclear weapons “in any circumstance” to fight terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan by saying ”Presidents should be very careful at all times in discussing the use or non-use of nuclear weapons. … I don’t believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or non-use of nuclear weapons.”
Blake Zeff, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, adds the following statement, which reads like another foreign policy lecture for Obama.
“As President, Sen Clinton will take whatever steps necessary to kill or capture Osama Bin laden and the Al Qaeda leadership. But she believes Presidents shouldn’t say in advance how they would do so. Being President in today’s extremely complex world requires using both diplomacy and force in smart ways to promote and defend American interests abroad, particularly when it comes to dealing with sensitive relationships with countries like Pakistan and others.
“Presidents since the Cold War have used nuclear deterrence to keep the peace. Sen Clinton believes that presidents should not brandish the nuclear option, nor should they forego that option, which is as a critical part of this nation’s defense and protection of this country and of our allies.”
UPDATE: A response to the response, from the Obama campaign:
“If we had actionable intelligence about the existence of high-level al Qaeda targets like Osama bin Laden, Senator Obama would act and is confident that conventional means would be sufficient to take the target down. Frankly we’re surprised that others would disagree.”