Hillary Clinton launches offensive to catch up with Obama

February 24th, 2008 - 4:27 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Feb 24 (DPA) Former first lady Hillary Clinton has stepped up her attacks on her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination declaring “Shame on you, Barack Obama”. A mass mailing by Obama’s campaign told voters that Clinton’s plan to expand health insurance would “force” people to buy coverage, regardless of whether they could afford it.

Clinton, a US senator representing New York state, called it a deliberate misrepresentation. Two days earlier, Clinton had said in a debate that she was “honoured” to be running against Obama, a US senator from Illinois.

On Saturday in Cincinnati, Ohio, she waved a copy of the Obama mailing and decried “tactics that are right out of Karl Rove’s playbook”. Rove, formerly the top political advisor to President George W. Bush, is widely despised by centre-left Democrats, still bitter about narrowly losing the 2000 and 2004 elections.

Also campaigning in Ohio, Obama replied later in the day, insisting that the mailing was accurate and calling Clinton’s attack “tactical”.

“The notion that somehow we’re engaging in nefarious tactics, I think, is pretty hard to swallow,” he said.

Obama has a small lead in number of delegates to the Democratic presidential nominating convention in August, after winning 11 consecutive state contests since Feb 9. The March 4 big-state primaries in Texas and Ohio are widely considered decisive for Clinton’s chances to keep up with Obama.

The two candidates debated Thursday in Austin, Texas and are scheduled to debate again Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio.

“Meet me in Ohio,” Clinton said Saturday, addressing her rival. “Let’s have a debate about your tactics and your behaviour in this campaign”.

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