Hillary Clinton: Syria debate ‘good’ for democracy

September 10, 2013

PHILADELPHIA -- Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton reiterated her support of President Obama's approach to Syria Tuesday evening, saying Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons was “inhuman” and demanded a response.

Clinton, repeating language she used Monday during an appearance at the White House, said in Philadelphia that the Syrian chemical weapons attack “violates a universal norm at the heart of our global order and it demands a strong response from the international community led by the United States.”

Clinton added, “This debate is good for our democracy. As our founders knew, fervent arguments are the lifeblood of self-government. How could a republic last if citizens had no opinions about the issues of the day or were too intimidated to express them?”

Clinton’s remarks came in a speech accepting the 2013 Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Among those celebrating Clinton at an evening ceremony staged outdoors on Independence Mall was former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R), also a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

Bush had caught flak from talk show host Rush Limbaugh and a handful of other conservatives for awarding the honor to his potential rival Clinton.

“While Secretary Clinton and I disagree on many issues, we certainly agree on the importance of civic engagement,” Bush said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times.

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Matea Gold | September 10, 2013