Hillary on the Offensive

By Nitya

Feb 12, 2008 8:44am

So what will these next three weeks look like, until we hit the March 4 primaries in Ohio and Texas where Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, is looking for a win?

They could get pretty tough, if last night’s candidate interviews on WJLA, ABC’s Washington DC affiliate, are any guide.

You can watch them in full HERE. Or you can see our Good Morning America report from this a.m. on the interviews HERE.

"I have been vetted, I have been through this," she said. "I understand exactly what is coming at me….I don’t think we can say that about my opponent."

She added, "somebody told me that Sen. Obama has never had a negative ad run against him. Well, get ready because if he is elected the nominee we will see a lot of that."

(Of course, Clinton herself ran a negative ad against Obama in South Carolina. A negative radio ad. Remember?)

Clinton also went after Obama on some watered-down legislation, saying he "has some questions to answer about his dealings with one of his largest contributors, Excellon, a big nuclear power company. Apparently he cut some deals behind closed doors to protect them from full disclosure in the nuclear industry."

(There’s more on that controversy HERE, though it’s worth pointing out that Clinton co-sponsored and supported the bill she’s hammering Obama for having corrupted on behalf of his donors.)

Saying the media is unfair, she invoked Rezko yet again, saying she wouldn’t release her tax returns until and unless she’s the nominee. "Our financial situation has been more investigated than anyone who’s ever been in public life in America. We still don’t have a lot of answers about Senator Obama and his dealings with Mr. Reckon." So I don’t have a problem with it, but it’s only fair we have questions going to the other side as well and I don’t see that happening."

She implied he had empty rhetoric. "You never hear the specifics," she said, "it’s all this abstract general talk about how we need to get along."

She called him weak on health care. "Universal health care is a fight worth having," she asserted. "Senator Obama has decided it isn’t. He won’t present a plan for universal healthcare, it’s a big difference between he and I."

Obama in his interview was more restrained, though he did take a moment to push back on the idea that he hasn’t been vetted — and compared the Clinton machine to the proverbial Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

"The notion that somehow the Clintons have coddled me and the Republicans are these big, bad folks who have different operation than the Clintons do, I think is just not the case," he said.

What say you?

- jpt

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