Obama, Clinton Focus On Iraq In Dueling Speeches

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Presidential contender Barack Obama on Tuesday dismissed his Democratic rivals' change of heart on the Iraq war as too little too late, while Hillary Rodham Clinton urged a quick end to U.S. involvement in the conflict.

Obama and Clinton focused on the four-year-plus war in dueling speeches only a few city blocks apart in the first-in-the-nation voting state of Iowa.

"It will be enormously difficult to invest in jobs and opportunity until we stop spending $275 million a day on this war in Iraq," Obama said in prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press. "I believe then and still do that being a leader means that you'd better do what's right and leave the politics aside, because there are no do-overs on an issue as important as war."

Obama, then a state lawmaker in Illinois, opposed the war from the start. Clinton voted in 2002 to give President Bush the authority to launch the invasion to topple Saddam Hussein's regime.

"Our message to the president is clear," said Clinton, in remarks prepared for delivery. "It is time to begin ending this war - not next year, not next month - but today."