Schweitzer swipes at Clinton’s Iraq vote

December 19, 2013

Brian Schweitzer is pretty clearly angling to run for president in 2016, and if his words Wednesday are any indication, he'll take a page out of President Obama's book and target frontrunner Hillary Clinton for her vote in favor of the Iraq war.

“I didn’t vote for that war, and I didn’t think it was a good idea,” the former Montana governor said during a speech in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register. He added that, when "George Bush got a bunch of Democrats to go to that war, I was just shaking my head in Montana.”

Schweitzer (D), notably, didn't have to vote on the resolution.

Asked after the vote whether he was referring to Clinton, Schweitzer played coy.

“Did she vote for it? I didn’t keep track," he said. "I think there were 21 Democrats who didn’t vote for it; she might’ve been one of those.”

Schweitzer's remarks could be seen as pertaining to more than just Clinton -- Vice President Biden also voted to authorize the use of force and is looking at running for president in 2016 -- but Schweitzer seemed to be singling Clinton out, noting that the primary process shouldn't be a "coronation" and that the country should look forward rather than back.

"It’s been a long time since we have had coronations in his country," he said, according to CNN. "Democrats are always excited about tomorrow and we always want to know what the future is. We don’t want to talk about the past. We want to talk about the future. We want to know that the people that we elect will move America forward, not move us in reverse."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Jeff Simon | December 19, 2013