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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Clinton won't commit on Iraq deadline

By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer Wed May 16, 8:21 PM ET

Hillary Rodham Clinton voted Wednesday to advance legislation cutting off money for the Iraq war, then refused to pledge to support the measure if it came to a vote, then said she would.

At lunchtime, the New York senator and presidential candidate was asked repeatedly by reporters whether she favored the troop withdrawal legislation that had just come up for a procedural vote on the Senate floor.

Her answer: "I'm not going to speculate on what I'm going to be voting on in the future. I voted in favor of cloture to have a debate."

By supper time, she had a different answer.

"I support the underlying bill," she said. "That's what this vote on cloture was all about."

A rival Democratic camp quickly criticized Clinton's evolving — and possibly revolving — statements.

"We're as confused as anyone on Senator Clinton's position," said Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd (news, bio, voting record)'s campaign spokeswoman, Christy Setzer.

"Frankly, it's hard to know whether it's indecision, miscommunication or simple word games and political gamesmanship we're dealing with. Our troops in Iraq don't have time for poll-tested word games," Setzer said.