Clinton, Obama in Nuke War

Candidates square off over use of A-bombs on al-Qaeda
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., delivers a speech about terrorism, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are locked in a Cold War of words over how their putative administrations would handle the US nuclear arsenal. Clinton launched a scathing attack on Obama's apparent reluctance to deploy nukes against al-Qaeda, calling "blanket statements with respect to the use or nonuse of nuclear weapons" unpresidential.

Obama told an AP reporter today that it would be a "profound mistake" to use nuclear weapons, but hastened to add a qualifier ("against civilians") and then backpedaled further. "Let me scratch that," he said. "That's not on the table." The nuclear exchange is the latest foreign policy flap between the two hopefuls, who traded barbs last week over Obama's statement that he would meet with rogue dictators, a position Clinton called "naive."