Barack Obama has pressed Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton to release records from her days as first lady, but Obama himself has dodged questions about records from his eight years as an Illinois state senator.
“Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert asked Obama on Sunday about the papers from his state legislature days, from 1997 to 2004.
Obama at first said, “We did not keep those records.”
But then he went on: “In the state Senate, every single piece of information, every document related to state government was kept by the state of Illinois and has been disclosed and is available and has been gone through with a fine-toothed comb by news outlets in Illinois.
“The stuff that I did not keep has to do with, for example, my schedule. I didn’t have a schedule. I was a state senator. I wasn’t intending to have the Barack Obama State Senate Library. I didn’t have 50 or 500 people to help me archive these issues.”
Russert asked about Obama’s records of meetings with lobbyists, The Politico reported.
Obama replied: “As I said, every document related to my interactions with government is available right now … News outlets have already looked at them.”
But Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times last week reported that she asked Obama if his state senate papers still exist and if so would he agree to make them public, and he told her: “Nobody has requested specific documents.”
The Chicago Tribune, however, reported that it “requested documents from his time in [Illinois state capital] Springfield and never received a response.”
Sweet said her paper has also been inquiring about Obama’s state senate records.
Obama’s campaign has pushed Hillary Clinton to make available additional records of her communications when her husband was in the White House, The Politico noted.
In the recent Democratic debate, Obama said to Hillary: “We have just gone through one of the most secretive administrations in our history, and not releasing, I think, these records at the same time, Hillary, as you’re making the claim that this is the basis for your experience, I think, is a problem.”
Now Obama has also come under attack for failure to make certain records available.
Republic National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz said: “Barack Obama is a rookie senator with few accomplishments. Perhaps he’s reluctant to inform the public about his activities in Springfield because they demonstrate a lack of leadership at a state level as well.”
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