Clinton blasts Bush on ‘Mission Accomplished’

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, Tuesday slammed President Bush on the fourth anniversary of his famous “Mission Accomplished” speech.

Clinton decried the speech as a “political stunt” that she views as “one of the most shameful episodes in American history.”

“Never before in our history has a President said ‘mission accomplished’ when the mission had barely begun,” Clinton said in reference to the May 1, 2003 speech, which Bush held from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. “Never before has a President landed on the deck of an aircraft carrier to proclaim the end of major combat operations to a war that rages on four years later.”

Clinton continues her quest to bolster her anti-war credentials to make gains with the Democratic base and fend of the challenges of her main rivals for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and former vice presidential candidate John Edwards.

“The President took us to a preemptive war of his choosing based on his assessment of faulty evidence and trumped up facts,” Clinton said. “He ignored the warnings of senior military advisors and he retaliated against those who tried to stop him. And once he got the authority to put inspectors back into Iraq, he ignored their findings.”

Clinton said Bush’s handling of Iraq “stand as one of the darkest blots on leadership we’ve ever had in our nation’s history” and vowed to end the war.