Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Obama: Clintons will 'say anything' for Political Gain

By Mike Dorning

GREENVILLE, SC—After a fiercely personal debate last night, the barbs continued back and forth between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton today.

Hillary Clinton kicked off the day with a press conference this morning in which she dismissed Obama as a “very frustrated” candidate and repeated criticism of his legal work for “slumlord” Tony Rezko, an Obama campaign contributor who has since been indicted on unrelated corruption charges.

Shortly afterward, Obama was again charging that Clinton and her husband have been duplicitous in campaign trail attacks on his record, suggesting that the Clintons have shown a willingness to “fudge the truth” and will “say anything to get a political or tactical advantage.”

Obama was asked about Clinton’s morning press conference in a brief conference call with reporters to announce an endorsement from Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)

"When it comes to Senator Clinton's remarks, I think it's very clear that Senator Clinton has and President Clinton have been spending the last month attacking me in ways that are not accurate,” Obama responded.

He went on to refer to a comment Hillary made just as the presidential campaign was heating up in Iowa in December that the “fun part” of the campaign had begun.

“Senator Clinton announced while we were still in Iowa that this was going to be her strategy and called it the fun part of campaigning. And, you know, I don't think it's the fun part to fudge the truth," he said. "The necessary part of this campaign is to make sure that we're getting accurate information to voters about people's respective records."

"If you get the kind of looseness with the facts that Senator Clinton's displayed and you're willing to say anything to get a political or tactical advantage — that erodes people's trust in government,” he continued. “It makes them cynical. It's part of the perpetual campaign that is how Washington all too often operates these days and it keeps us from solving problems."

Obama has charged the both Clintons have distorted comments Obama made describing Reagan as a transformational figure to wrongly suggest that Obama is an admirer to Reagan’s policies, which are anathema to the Democratic faithful who dominate the party’s primaries.

Bill Clinton also has derided Obama’s claim he consistently opposed the Iraq War was a “fairy tale.”

Obama spoke out against the Iraq war as a U.S. Senate candidate in 2002 when Congress approved the war authorization but he did not vote on the resolution because he was not a member at the time. Hillary Clinton and Edwards voted for the resolution. But Obama voted for troop funding for several years, although he has recently voted against the funds because they do not include a timetable for withdrawal.

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