The Senate voted on Thursday to repudiate an ad from MoveOn.org that referred to Gen. David Petraeus as "General Betray Us." Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) opposed the measure, while her closest competitor, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), missed the vote.
"This amendment was an opportunity for every senator to declare with not only their voices but also with their votes that they fully support our troops and our commanding general in Iraq," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the sponsor of the measure. "For MoveOn.org and their left-wing allies to brand General Petraeus a traitor and a liar crossed a historic line of decency. It was a despicable political attack by a radical left-wing interest group."
Prior to the vote, President Bush also condemned the ad and criticized Democrats for not opposing it more vocally. Bush, when asked about the ad during a White House press conference, called it "disgusting."
He added that the lack of Democratic outrage over the ad has led him to conclude that "most Democrats are afraid of irritating a left-wing group like MoveOn.org."
Despite Bush's criticism, the Democratic presidential candidates present for the vote, Clinton and Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.), opposed the resolution.
"It is a sad day in the Senate when we spend hours debating an ad while our young people are dying in Iraq," Dodd said. "Now that the Senate has twice voted on this ad, it is time to move on and vote to end the war."
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) was not present for any of the votes, while Obama voted earlier in the day but left for an event in Atlanta.
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MoveOn.org reacted to Bush's statement with an attack of its own.
"What's disgusting is that the president has more interest in political attacks than developing an exit strategy to get our troops out of Iraq and end this awful war," said Eli Pariser, the executive director of MoveOn.org's Political Action Committee.
Democrats Voting to Condemn MoveOn.org
Baucus (D-MT), Bayh (D-IN), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Conrad (D-ND), Dorgan (D-ND), Feinstein (D-CA), Johnson (D-SD), Klobuchar (D-MN), Kohl (D-WI), Landrieu (D-LA), Leahy (D-VT), Lincoln (D-AR), McCaskill (D-MO), Mikulski (D-MD), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Salazar (D-CO), Tester (D-MT), Webb (D-VA)
Demsocrats Who Voted 'No'
Akaka (D-HI) Bingaman (D-NM), Boxer (D-CA), Brown (D-OH), Byrd (D-WV), Clinton (D-NY), Dodd (D-CT), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Harkin (D-IA), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerry (D-MA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Levin (D-MI), Menendez (D-NJ), Murray (D-WA), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Rockefeller (D-WV), Sanders (I-VT), Schumer (D-NY), Stabenow (D-MI), Whitehouse (D-RI), Wyden (D-OR)
Democrats Not Voting
Biden (D-DE), Cantwell (D-WA), Obama (D-IL)
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