Call her angry, call her frustrated, call her powerful, call her furious — call her what you will — but Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., very aggressively challenged Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in Cincinnati today.
"Shame on you, Barack Obama," she said, per ABC News’ Eloise Harper. "It is time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public. That’s what I expect from you. Meet me in Ohio. Lets have a debate about your tactics and your behavior on this campaign."
What had aroused Clinton’s ire?
Two mailers from the Obama campaign.
One of them is about NAFTA, not exactly the most popular part of Bill Clinton’s legacy here in union-friendly Ohio. It misleadingly seems to quote Clinton calling NAFTA "a boon" to the economy, when in fact she never said that, it was New York Newsday’s characterization of her position.
We took a look at that mailer HERE.
She also took issue with a health care mailer that inaccurately states that Clinton’s health care plan "forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can’t afford it… and you pay a penalty if you don’t."
Actually, Clinton has dodged the issue of how those failing to abide by her mandates would be penalized.
The Obama campaign quite speciously quotes from a college newspaper, The Daily Iowan, to back up this quote.
Factcheck.org took a look at the health care mailer HERE — which to be honest seems to upset her as much for its style as for its substance. It looks a lot like the insurance industry’s "Harry & Louise" TV ads that sank her 1993 health care plan.
"Enough about the speeches, and the big rallies, and then using tactics right out of Karl Rove’s playbook," Clinton railed. "This is wrong and every Democrat should be outraged."
She said these fliers were not "only wrong but it is undermining core Democratic principles. Since when do Democrats attack one another on universal health care?"
Umm… Sen. Clinton, you’ve been attacking Obama on the subject for months.
Including in your own misleading health care mailer, which we took a look at HERE.
Obama today stuck to his guns, saying — per ABC News’ Sunlen Miller — that "Sen. Clinton as part of the Clinton administration supported NAFTA, in her book she called it one of the administration’s successes. And we point that out in a state that has been devastated by trade and has been deeply concerned about the position of candidates on trade."
As for the flier on health insurance, Obama said that Clinton "has been the one who has made this difference about mandates the centerpiece not just of the healthcare debate but practically her campaign. And what this mailer does is point out this difference that she herself surfaced and describes what the mandate that she’s calling for would mean, which is that the government would force you to buy healthcare. That’s indisputable. So the notion that somehow we’re engaging in nefarious tactics I think is pretty hard to swallow."
It was pointed out that even Newsday disputed his campaign’s use of "boon" in quotes. Obama said "that’s fair enough" but "the mailer went out before the newspaper made the correction, right? That’s my understanding and I will need to check with staff on that."
Obama insinuated that this wasn’t real outrage by Clinton but rather a new campaign tactic. We’ll take a look at this all on World News this evening, live from Akron, Ohio.