CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) – Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday it’s time to start bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq, no matter how optimistic an assessment President Bush’s leading advisers give of the war there.

Jessica Boullion
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during the first presidential debate ever broadcast in Spanish last night. The debate, held at the University of Miami, focused on the Iraq War and immigration. (AP PHOTO)

In the first presidential debate ever broadcast in Spanish, her primary campaign rival Bill Richardson challenged Clinton to get every U.S. soldier out, not just some of them.

“I’d bring them all home within six to eight months,” the New Mexico said in the debate which took place in south Florida and was broadcast on Univision, the nation’s largest Spanish-language network. “There is a basic difference between all of us here . This is a fundamental issue.”

Clinton said that a report being presented in Washington by Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker this week won’t change the basic problem that there is no military solution in Iraq.

“I believe we should start bringing our troops home,” she said during the debate at the University of Miami. “We need to quit refereeing their civil war.”

That the Democratic Party held the debate here is the clearest sign yet of the growing influence of Hispanic voters. Candidates in both parties are reaching out to Hispanics with an intensity that speaks to the importance of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing minority group in the campaign.

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