Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned in 2008 that she was prepared to “obliterate” Iran if it produced a nuclear weapon and promised to retaliate if the country launched a nuclear attack on Israel.
Clips of Clinton’s rhetoric resurfaced after social media users protested President Donald Trump’s decision to kill Iranian Quds force commander Qasem Soleimani which resulted in retaliatory airstrikes from Iran on Tuesday night.
The hashtag #IvotedforHillaryClinton trended on Twitter on Wednesday morning, a trend that Clinton participated in with a taunting gif.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 8, 2020
But Clinton may have forgotten her own hawkish rhetoric during the 2008 primary.
Ahead of the Pennsylvania Democratic primary that April, Hillary Clinton was asked by Good Morning America what she would do if Israel was attacked by Iran.
“If Iran were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel, what would our response be?” Clinton said in an interview with then-host Chris Cuomo. “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran. That’s what we will do. There is no safe haven.”
She also warned that if Iran developed a nuclear weapon, the United States had the power to “totally obliterate” the country.
“Whatever stage of development they might be in their nuclear weapons program in the next 10 years during which they may foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them,” she said.
She admitted that her comment was “terrible” but said it was important to “deter” Iran from attacking Israel.
“That’s a terrible thing to say but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic,” she added.
At the time, Sen. Barack Obama criticized Clinton for sounding like a warmonger.
“It’s not the language we need right now, and I think it’s language reflective of George Bush,” Obama said in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press afterwards.
After he was elected president, Obama pursued a policy of appeasement with Iran after appointing Clinton as Secretary of State. But Clinton left the administration prior to Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, leaving Secretary of State John Kerry to complete the deal.