Clinton: I Wanted to Arm Syrian Rebels

Poll gives mixed numbers on possible presidential run

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 18, 2014 12:07 PM CDT | Updated Jun 18, 2014 12:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – If Hillary Clinton had had her way, the US would have armed Syrian rebels "two-plus years ago," she says. The former secretary of state told CNN that she, the defense secretary, and the head of the CIA sought to arm moderates, but the president disagreed. "We pushed very hard. But as I say in my book, I believe that Harry Truman was right, the buck stops with the president." Would that have affected the current crisis in Iraq? "It's very difficult, in retrospect, to say that would have prevented this," she noted, per Reuters.

As for 2016, Clinton said she wouldn't be "rushed" on deciding whether to run. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll notes that 55% of voters see her as "knowledgeable and experienced enough to handle the presidency." But while 38% think she's "honest and straightforward," 40% disagree with that statement. Still, says a pollster: "Never underestimate how incredibly powerful it is to say you’re knowledgeable and experienced enough to handle the presidency. To start a race with that is an extraordinary compliment."

Hillary Clinton participates in a conversation about her career in government and her new book, Hard Choices., at the Council on Foreign Relations, in New York, Thursday, June 12, 2014. Clinton says what is happening in Iraq is “a dreadful, deteriorating situation.”  The former secretary of state and potential 2016...
Hillary Clinton participates in a conversation about her career in government and her new book, "Hard Choices.," at the Council on Foreign Relations, in New York, Thursday, June 12, 2014. Clinton says...   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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