Connecticut Democratic Hopefuls Do Battle Over War

Posted May 11, 2011 at 6:49pm

A race to the left is under way between the Connecticut Democratic Senate hopefuls.

Former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz on Wednesday called for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

“We should refocus our efforts on using the intelligence community and special force operations to fight the threat of global terrorism instead of long-term military campaigns,” she said.

Her Democratic primary opponent, Rep. Christopher Murphy, had been pushing a similar position even before Osama bin Laden’s death. But Bysiewicz uses a partial quote from a recent Murphy interview to suggest that he favors a “long-standing presence in that country.”

“I strongly disagree with Congressman Murphy on this issue,” she said.

The Murphy campaign, which has made withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan a pillar of its strategy, was irate and distributed a full transcript of the interview in question.

To clarify his position, Murphy’s office released this statement in response: “Having come to Congress in 2007 as a vocal critic of the Iraq War, I have now turned my focus to bringing the War in Afghanistan to a close. … Our troops need to begin coming home this summer and I am using both my voice and my vote to make that happen.” Murphy returned from a trip to Afghanistan earlier this month.