Bill Clinton Opposed Iraq From The "Beginning"?

Huh?

"Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning," said Clinton, "I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers."

Clinton has long been critical of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and called it a "big mistake" as far back as November of 2005.

But like his wife, the former president supported giving President Bush the authority needed to go to war.

"I supported the President when he asked the Congress for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," said Clinton in 2003 while delivering commencement remarks at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss.

Mr. President -- your wife is going to be in Iowa tomorrow. She is supposed to talk about health care. You don't want to step on her message by claiming that you opposed the Iraq War from the beginning! We're in the era of instantaneous fact checks... within 10 minutes of your comments, they're everywhere, and if you want to walk them back, it's not like calling Ron Fournier to walk back an AP story!

Remember: The last two times Mr. Clinton campaigned for his wife, well, there were messaging issues. He used the word "Swift Boat" in conjunction with opponents' attacks and then, in South Carolina, fueled a few days worth of coverage by noting how those boys were getting tough on her.

Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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