ABC News’ David Wright, Andy Fies and Sunlen Miller Report: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., held a hastily called press conference in Reno, Nevada on Monday because he was "a little concerned about the tenor the campaign has taken in the last couple of days."
The Democratic presidential candidate made clear that he wants to stay above the fray with the back and forth between the candidates, "I don’t want the campaign in this stage to degenerate into so much tit for tat back and forth that we loose sight why all of us are doing this."
Obama spoke about his Democratic opponents in a favorable light, "And you know I think over the last couple of days you’ve seen a tone on the democratic side of the campaign that is unfortunate and what I want to do is stipulate a couple of things, I think that I may disagree with Sen. Clinton or Sen. Edwards on how to get things on how to get there but we share the same goals, we’re all democrats , we all believe in civil rights, we all believe in equal rights. We all believe that regardless of race or gender that people should have equal opportunities, I think they’re good people, they are patriots and they are running because they think they can lead this country to a better place."
The Senator put out a semi-challenge to other candidates to stand up against people (even supporters/surrogates) that peddling misleading information, "If I hear my own supporters engaging in talk that I think is ungenerous or misleading or in some way is unfair then I will speak out forcefully against them and I hope the other campaigns take the same approach. We’ve got too much at stake at this time in our history to be engaging in this kind of silliness and you know I suspect that other candidates may feel the same way.
Obama, just six days away from the Nevada caucus, still had to field questions from his devastating New Hampshire loss, after most polls had him winning by a wide margin, "that didn’t quite work out the way everybody thought, so if I ever put any stock in polls, that ended it."
When asked if the loss in NH was due to the suggestion that perhaps white American and Hispanic America is not ready to elect a black president, Obama dismissed the notion, " I don’t’ think that’s what was going on….as I understand it, basically there was a big shift in undecided’s going towards Sen Clinton, particularly among women in the last minute. And keep in mind there was a big gap, a gender gap that cut both ways – I won among men and she won among women -there were more men than women who voted. If it had been a racial issue, there’s no reason why that would have been something that was unique to women as opposed to men, so I don’t’ think that is the case."