House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called on Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to halt their in-fighting or risk damaging the party’s chances of winning the White House.
“I would encourage both of them, as I have, to remember we have to keep our eyes on the prize, which is the general election in November,” Pelosi said at a luncheon in New York on Friday.
"We are all very passionate about our politics and the issues we believe in, but we have to be very dispassionate about how we approach winning. We have to lift the debate to a place that does not turn off the American people."
She said the bickering between the candidates would only help Republican John McCain in November, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
"There is absolutely no question that I have concerns about the attacks that are being made on one candidate or another,” Pelosi told the luncheon gathering. “I do have concerns that the negativism can diminish our prospects for the general election."
Her remarks came on the same day that Obama adviser Samantha Power resigned from the campaign after calling Hillary “a monster” in an interview.
And Obama’s team is still angry over Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson’s charge that Obama was “imitating Ken Starr” — the independent prosecutor who probed the Clintons in the 1990s — by calling for the release of Hillary’s tax returns.
Pelosi also said the attacks by the two candidates are becoming too personal, and could even negatively impact Democrats’ changes of holding on to or increasing their majorities in Congress.
"My responsibility as speaker is to make sure that I have a Democratic majority in the Congress of the United States," she declared.
"So while I want these candidates to operate on a proper tone so one of them will be in the White House, I have to insist upon it because I can't have their - if you want to call it bickering - have an impact on my congressional races."
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