Sen. Hillary Clinton accused Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama of suspicious activity with a contributor after being asked in an interview today with ABC's Washington, D.C., affiliate WJLA, why she hasn't disclosed her income tax returns.
"Sen. Obama has some questions to answer about his dealings with one of his largest contributors Exelon, a big nuclear power company; apparently he cut some deals behind closed doors to protect them from full disclosure of the nuclear industry," she said.
Clinton defended her position not to disclose her income tax returns.
"I have said that I will release my tax returns when I am the nominee," the New York Democrat said. "My entire ethics statement is on record at the senate I have liquidated all my holdings, I'm holding everything in cash so there's not even a question of conflict."
Obama was not immediately able to respond to the accusation because his interview with the same station, which aired Monday night, was taped.
Obama's spokesperson, Bill Burton, however did return fire.
"Leave it to Senator Clinton to attack Barack Obama for a bill that she actually co-sponsored and supported. Instead of playing the same Washington games that people are sick of, she should prove how fully vetted she is by finally releasing her tax returns so that voters can see where the millions of dollars she's dropped into her campaign are coming from," Burton said.
In his interview, the Senator took a swipe at Clinton's campaign operation, which has suffered bad news of late with campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle stepping aside on Sunday and word that the senator had injected $5 million of her own money into the campaign.
"I started from scratch and was up against a operation that had been built over the course of 20 years by a former president with the bulk of the Democratic establishment on their side and after setting up a hundred million plus operation with hundreds of employees around the country, it looks like we've played them to a draw so far," Obama said.
"I think that gives you a sense of how we run a campaign, there hasn't been a lot of drama in my campaign. You haven't seen a lot of turnover in my campaign. And the culture of my campaign is one where everybody feels a great sense of ownership."
Obama defended his decision to only accept two more debate invitations, stressing that he doesn't think voters are clamoring for debates and that where he's able to campaign actively, he wins.
"A big state like California where can't cover the waterfront, Sen. Clinton ends up winning because people are much more familiar with her. So, our goal is always to make sure that as much as possible we can talk to voters directly," he said. "And when you've got seven races in seven days we've got to make sure that we are not using all that time preparing for a debate. Now, we've already agreed to two debates in addition to the 18 we've already had. I think it would be hard to argue that we've had a shortage of debates."