Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign is using the controversy over Sen. Barack Obama's pastor to woo superdelegates, who are critical to her White House hopes.
In an interview with TalkingPointsMemo.com, Clinton adviser Harold Ickes admitted that he's raising the issue of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. with superdelegates, suggesting that Obama's electability in a general election has been damaged by the uproar over Wright's shocking comments. Wright has blamed the U.S. government for the spread of HIV and repeatedly said “God damn America.”
“Superdelegates have to take into account the strengths and weakness of both candidates and decide who would make the strongest candidate against what will undoubtedly be ferocious Republican attacks,” Ickes told the Web site. “I’ve had superdelegates tell me that the Wright issue is a real issue for them,” Ickes said.
When asked specifically if he was raising the issue in conversation, Ickes said: “I’ve said what I’ve said … I tell people that they need to look at what they think Republicans may use against him. Wright comes up in the conversations. ... Nobody thinks that Barack Obama harbors those thoughts. But that’s not the issue,” Ickes said in the interview. “The issue is what Republicans [will do with them] … I think they’re going to give him a very tough time.”
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