(Reuters) Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Tuesday if elected president he would pursue a global ban on nuclear weapons as he sought to pick up ground on his front-running rival, Hillary Clinton.
"Here's what I'll say as president: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons," Obama said.
Obama marked the five-year anniversary of a speech he gave as a U.S. Senate candidate outlining his opposition to the Iraq war, noting it came just 10 days before his top rival for the party nomination, New York Sen. Clinton, voted to back the invasion of Iraq.
"Let's be clear: without that vote, there would be no war," Obama told DePaul University students. "This is not just a matter of debating the past. It's about who has the best judgment to make the critical decisions of the future."
Obama , renewing his argument with Clinton that she represents conventional thinking in Washington, said new thinking is needed over U.S. nuclear policies that he said were mired in a Cold War mentality.
He said he would not pursue unilateral disarmament of nuclear weapons.
"We'll work with Russia to take U.S. and Russian ballistic missiles off hair-trigger alert. We'll start by seeking a global ban on the production of fissile material for weapons. And we'll set a goal to expand the U.S.-Russian ban on intermediate-range missiles so that the agreement is global," Obama said.
The rival Democratic presidential campaign of John Edwards accused Obama of copying one of the former North Carolina senator's ideas.