White House candidates question top commander in Iraq - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

White House candidates question top commander in Iraq

CAPITOL HILL (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says while he wants U.S. troops out of Iraq, he would not initiate a sudden withdrawal.

Obama asked questions of the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

Obama pressed Petraeus and Crocker on their goals for success in Iraq. The Illinois senator said he thinks President Bush's troop increase cut violence, but that the "breathing room" it created has not been used effectively as rivals jockey for political power in Basra. Obama tried to show how he would lead in the future, saying the best way to resolve the political situation is by withdrawing troops in a measured way that increases pressure on both sides.

Earlier today, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican nominee-apparent John McCain asked their own questions of Petraeus and Crocker at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

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