Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has gone on the offensive against her chief Democratic rival, charging that Barack Obama is engaging in “false attacks” over her vote to brand Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.
An e-mail sent out by the Clinton campaign on Thursday night – Hillary’s 60th birthday – declared:
“Stagnant in the polls and struggling to revive his once-buoyant campaign, Senator Obama has abandoned the politics of hope and embarked on a journey in search of a campaign issue to use against Senator Clinton.
“Never mind that he made the very argument he is now criticizing back in November 2006. Never mind that he co-sponsored a bill designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a global terrorist group back in April.”
Hillary’s e-mail “suggests that the mountain criticism of her Iran vote has been getting under her skin and that even as she is basking in the glow of her birthday celebration, she will fight back,” writes Katharine Q. Seelye in her New York Times blog.
Obama and others who have criticized Clinton for her Iran vote charge that the resolution designating the Republican Guard as a terrorist group authorizes President Bush to take military action against Iran.
The Clinton campaign addressed that charge in the e-mail: “If Senator Obama really believed this measure gave the President a blank check for war, shouldn’t he have been in the Senate on the day of the vote, speaking out, and fighting against it? Instead he did nothing, remained totally silent, skipped the vote and spoke out only after the vote to engage in false attacks against Senator Clinton.”
The e-mail referred to a Washington Post editorial that said Obama’s effort to portray Clinton as a “reckless saber-rattler” is “irresponsible” and “probably naïve.”
But the Obama campaign responded to the e-mail on Thursday night. Spokesman Bill Burton said: “All of the political explanations and contortions in the world aren’t going to change the fact that, once again, Senator Clinton supported giving President Bush both the benefit of the doubt and a blank check on a critical foreign policy issue.
“Barack Obama just has a fundamentally different view.”
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