New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's unexpected endorsement of Senator Barack Obama was “An act of betrayal,” fumed James Carville, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton and a friend and former Bill Clinton aide.
“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Carville said, referring to Holy Week, according to a report in the New York Times.
Carville's blast came on the heels of Richardson's endorsement of Barack Obama's and what Richardson described as a heated phone call he made to Senator Clinton.
“I talked to Senator Clinton last night,” Richardson said Friday, describing his telephone call to tell Senator Hillary Clinton that, despite what the Times called "two months of personal entreaties by her and her husband," he would be endorsing Senator Barack Obama, and not Hillary.
"Let me tell you: we’ve had better conversations,” Mr. Richardson told the Times.
Carville's remark is the latest salvo in a war of words between Obama and Clinton supporters.
The Associated Press reported that in Charlotte, N.C., last Friday, speculating about a general election matchup pitting his wife against Republican John McCain, Bill Clinton told a group of veterans: "I think it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country. And people could actually ask themselves who is right on these issues, instead of all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics."
Retired Gen. Merrill "Tony" McPeak, a co-chairman of Obama's campaign, took offense and accused Clinton of being divisive and trying to question Obama's patriotism. Standing with Obama at a campaign stop in southern Oregon, McPeak repeated Bill Clinton's comments for the audience, then said:
"As one who for 37 years proudly wore the uniform of our country, I'm saddened to see a president employ these tactics. He of all people should know better because he was the target of exactly the same kind of tactics."
That was an apparent reference to Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, when he was accused of dodging the Vietnam War draft.
McPeak also made off-the-cuff remarks to reporters Friday in comparing the former president's comments with the actions of Joseph McCarthy, the 1950s communist-hunting senator.
"I grew up, I was going to college when Joe McCarthy was accusing good Americans of being traitors, so I've had enough of it," McPeak said.
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