Obama reacted to Clinton's allusions that he is inexperienced on fiscal issues.
FORT DODGE, Iowa (CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama fired back Monday at Sen. Hillary Clinton, who said in a speech earlier in the day that the country can’t afford a president in need of on-the-job training, especially when it comes to fiscal issues.
“I am happy to compare my experiences to hers when it comes to the economy,”
Obama said when asked about Clinton’s veiled criticism of him. “My understanding was that she wasn't Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration.”
Clinton said in a speech in Knoxville, Iowa, that “every day spent learning the ropes is another day of rising costs, mounting deficits and growing anxiety for our families. And they cannot afford to keep waiting." She noted that electing someone not ready for the task “could be the costliest job training in history."
Obama countered, “If she has specific differences with me with respect to economic policy, I'm happy to have those debates. But this sort of general notion of experience based on longevity in Washington I don't think is sufficient to make the case to the voters of Iowa or the American people."
Clinton of New York and Obama of Illinois are competing for the Democratic presidential nomination.
- CNN’s Alexander Marquardt and Chris Welch