Clinton Fights Back Against Spanish Radio Ad

Jan 17, 2008 6:17pm

ABC News’ Kate Snow and Eloise Harper Report: Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is fighting back against an ad that is all over the airwaves on Spanish radio in Nevada.

The ad, in Spanish, says in part: "Hillary Clinton does not respect our people. Hillary Clinton supporters went to court to prevent working people to vote this Saturday – that is an embarrassment."

It calls Senator Clinton "shameless" and says the fact that her allies were fighting to stop voters from being able to participate in caucus sites at casinos on the Las Vegas strip was "unforgiveable".

"Senator Obama is defending our right to vote. Senator Obama wants our votes. He respects our votes, our community, and our people," the ad concludes. "Senator Obama’s campaign slogan is "Sí Se Puede, Sí se puede." ("Yes We Can"). Vote for a president that respects us, and that respects our right to vote."

The ad is paid for by a pro-Obama labor group which represents 450,000 members across North America called UNITE HERE. The organization represents a largely immigrant workforce.

The radio advertisement is in heavy rotation on Spanish language radio, including on "Super Estrella" and "Tri-color" in Las Vegas, where an ad traffic manager says it is running twice an hour. A sister station in Reno, KSRN, is also running the spot.

"Every single sentence is a personal attack on Hillary Clinton," said Maria Echaveste of the Clinton campaign, speaking to reporters on a conference call this afternoon.

Echaveste called the ads "misleading" and "outrageous". "Particularly by saying in Spanish that Hillary Clinton does not respect Latinos. And that is just so far from the truth that it makes my mouth drop," she said.

"This kind of a personal attack, a misstatement of the record, is distracting," Echaveste said.

Dolores Huerta, a Clinton supporter who helped organize Hispanic farm workers alongside Cesar Chavez, said the ad was "a really desperate attack" on the part of Obama supporters.

Huerta said she’s been organizing Latinos for fifty years and has never met Senator Obama in person.

"Barack Obama has never had a relationship with the Latino community," she said.

"In all of my works, I’ve been in Chicago and throughout the country, I’ve never met Senator Obama," Huerta said. "People don’t know who he is. In fact they say ‘Como se llama?’ ‘What’s his name?’"

Huerta said it was "pathetic and sad and unfortunate that they have to stoop so low."

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