The Obama and Clinton campaigns are locked in a war of words.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The campaigns of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, began a new war of words Monday over reports that the Illinois senator’s PAC may have directed a majority of its campaign contributions to politicians in the key early nominating states.
"On the campaign trail, Senator Obama is outspoken about his desire to reform the campaign finance system so it was surprising to learn that he has been using his PAC in a manner that appears to be inconsistent with the prevailing election laws," Clinton's campaign said in a statement.
Clinton's campaign said 68 percent of the donations from Obama’s PAC, Hopefund, were given to officials in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But Obama spokesman Bill Burton said the majority of the funds were given to candidates outside the early primary states, and to Democrats nationwide facing tough re-election fights.
"The latest personal attack from Hillary Clinton is a completely false attempt to misrepresent Barack Obama’s full disclosure of his campaign finances," Burton said in a statement.
Burton also took aim at Clinton’s reluctance to release financial, fundraising and White House records in full. "Senator Obama's commitment to disclosure is one that Hillary Clinton does not share, and until Senator Clinton is willing to make this commitment… she’s not really in a position to point fingers at others," Burton added.
Clinton spokesman Phil Singer immediately fired back, calling on Obama to respond to questions raised by an analysis of Hopefund donations published in today’s Washington Post. “The Obama campaign's failure to deny that it committed campaign finance violations speaks volumes," said Singer in a statement. "Instead of launching irrelevant attacks, Senator Obama should answer a simple question: Did Obama campaign officials direct the Hopefund to make contributions to officials and entities in states holding nominating contests? If the answer is no, they should just be direct and say so."
–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich