ABC News’ Sunlen Miller Reports: Sen. Barack Obama, in a town hall responded to Hillary Clinton’s new TV ad out in Pennsylvania.
Clinton’s ad describes the presidency as the toughest job in the world and ends with a question: “Who do you think has what it takes?”
Obama brought up the ad multiple times Monday.
He told an audience in McKeesport, Pa., “I know that Sen. Clinton just put out a new ad. She said you wanna make sure whoever’s there is ready,” he said, and then he launched into his response, summoning up a phrase from another Clinton ad: “Let me ask you a question. There are three candidates left. Who do you want answering that 3 a.m. phone call? The person that got Iraq wrong or the person that got Iraq right? The person who paid attention to the intelligence or the person who didn’t? The person who understood the consequences or the people who did not?”
Clitnon’s ad uses images of Osama bin Laden. At Obama’s last event of the day in Pittsburgh, Obama said it is legitimate for her to summon up these fears, “I noticed Osama bin Laden made another appearance on television on some television ads today. But –and ya know that’s a legitimate issue.”
He went on to say that it’s the commander in chief’s job to keep Americans safe, but also to declare independence from the conventional thinking, and the politics of fear that has come to “obsess our foreign policy.”
Earlier in the day, during an interview with NPR, Obama had a one-liner to respond to Clinton’s question at the end of her ad: “I think the answer is Barack Obama. That may not be the answer she was looking for.”
At one of his last events before Pennsylvanians head to the voting booths, Obama also hit Clinton on another ad that was released over the weekend, as the candidates sparred via TV ads over lobbying and special interests.
“Sen. Clinton is wrong in her advertising,” Obama said of the Clinton ad that links him to lobbyists. “We have not taken a dime of that money, which means that we have not been funded by them, we have been funded by you.”
A large part of Obama’s message in the waning hours before the important Keystone State primary has been arguing against what he’s dubbed as “slash and burn” politicians and politics -– a group he’s lumped Clinton into.
“We’ve got a choice,” Obama said. “We can go back to doing business usual. We can try to tinker around the edges. We can end up spending all our time in tit-for-tat back-and-forth slash-and-burn politics. We can be obsessed with personal attacks, or we can decide that we are going to pull together this time, that this time is going to be different.”
The Obama campaign has been downplaying expectations for the Pennsylvania primary, saying that Clinton started in the state with significant advantages. The flurry of ads and response ads that the two campaigns launched over the weekend show that Obama is more than keeping up monetarily. The nearly $42 million cash he had on hand to spend in this primary has allowed his campaign spend handsomely on TV advertising in the state.