Clinton Tip-Toes Around Rev. Wright Issue

By Lindsey Ellerson

Apr 28, 2008 12:59pm

ABC News’ Eloise Harper Reports: Senator Hillary Clinton knocked Republican presidential contender John McCain and the Republican party for politicizing the issue of Senator Barack Obama’s pastor, Rev. Wright, but tip-toed around her reaction to her Democratic opponent’s handling of the matter.

“I have said that that that was a personal decision of his I answered one question about it that made it clear I would not have stayed in that church under those circumstances," Clinton told reporters in Graham, NC.  "But, I regret the efforts by the Republicans to politicize this matter and I believe that if Senator McCain were serious he would do more than just send a letter he is the putative nominee I think he could very clearly tell the North Carolina party tell the Mississippi party that he would not tolerate those kinds of advertisements and I’m waiting to see if he does that.”

When asked if Wright’s comments were a reflection upon Obama, Clinton quickly and matter of factly said, “You will have to ask him that.”

Clinton refused to respond to whether she agrees with Gov. Dean’s proposed time-line – that one of the Democratic nominees must drop out after the June primaries – and instead said, “I think this has been good for the Democratic party.”  She added, “We are going to go through these next contests and see where we end up and well take stock of where we are when we finish but I also believe we’ve got to resolve Michigan and Florida.”

The former first lady was also asked if the divisiveness from the 1990’s should be a concern to voters to which the Senator responded that she was proud of the fighting she and her husband did on behalf of Americans.

“I guess I’ve read enough history and know enough about American politics to realize that if you are going to stand for change big change,” Clinton said. “ I don’t think anybody should be surprised that they are going to fight back and they are going to fight back by coming after the people who are standing there fighting for the American middle class. So, I frankly wear that as a badge of courage.”

Clinton was also asked if her campaign is in discussions with the DNC to help begin fundraising for other Democratic candidates running in November. Clinton acknowledged that her campaign was speaking to the DNC, but when the reporter followed up about the status of those discussions, Clinton said, “you will have to ask the campaign.”

Clinton was asked if she thought Obama’s new appeal to blue collar voters will resonate – Clinton said “That will be up to the voters to decide. What voters know about me is that I have a long record of fighting for the interests.”

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