John Murtha, War Critic, Backs Clinton

Congressman says Hillary has 'similar position' on Iraq
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2008 3:30 AM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., greets supporters at a campaign rally in Millersville, Pa., Tuesday, March 18, 2008.    (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – John Murtha, the Pennsylvania congressman who has become a leading critic of the Iraq war, is endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, CQ Politics reports. “I know that Senator Clinton has a similar position that I have in regards to the war in Iraq,” Murtha said. While both he and Clinton voted to authorize the use of military force, Murtha publicly denounced the Iraq war in a noted 2005 speech.

Murtha became the first Vietnam veteran elected to Congress in 1974, and he now chairs the powerful appropriations subcommittee which oversees defense spending. His endorsement makes him one of the few close allies of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker, to endorse Clinton; most of her inner circle has backed Barack Obama. Murtha, like all Democratic members of Congress, is also a superdelegate.