Radical Ties an Issue as Dems Debate

By Justin Rood

Apr 17, 2008 10:37am

The Democratic candidates’ ties to violent domestic radicals came up in last night’s presidential debate, as ABC News’ Nitya Venkataraman reported, highlighting a Clinton pardon I had omitted while first reporting on this story in February.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., hit Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., for having served on the board of a Chicago nonprofit with Bill Ayers, a former member of the 1960s-era left-wing radical group the Weather Underground. "What they did was set bombs, and in some cases people died. I know Sen Obama is a good man and I respect him greatly but this is certainly something the Republicans will be raising."

Obama hit back, pointing out — as I did in February — that Clinton had her own ties to the group.

"President Clinton pardoned two members of the Weather Underground," Obama said, "which is a bigger deal than serving on a board with someone."

As I reported in February when the Clinton camp first raised the issue, in 2001 then-president Bill Clinton pardoned Susan Rosenberg, a Weather Underground member arrested in 1984 while unloading 740 pounds of dynamite from the back of her car.

But Clinton indeed pardoned a second — Linda Evans, who had been convicted of several charges stemming from a series of bombings in the 1980s.

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