Obama's campaign has launched a new Web site designed to track and respond to attacks by Clinton’s campaign
WASHINGTON (CNN) - After a tense weekend that saw a marked escalation in an already brutal war of words between the two Democratic frontrunners, Barack Obama’s campaign launched a new salvo Monday with a Web site designed to track and respond to attacks by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“We're asking all of you to be vigilant and notify us immediately of any attacks from Sen. Clinton or her supporters as soon as you see them so that we can respond with the truth swiftly and forcefully,” campaign spokesman Bill Burton wrote supporters. “[These] attacks could be phone calls, literature drops, blog posts, mail pieces as well as radio and TV ads. Some could even be anonymous or designed to be.”
The New York senator’s campaign has been ramping up its assault on Obama’s record over the past few weeks, but stepped up attacks this weekend after new polls seemed to show the Illinois senator had dramatically narrowed his deficit in New Hampshire, and even grabbed the lead in Iowa in a survey released Saturday. Just a few months ago, Obama trailed Clinton by double-digit margins in both states.
“Less than twelve hours after that poll came out, the Clinton campaign launched a series of baseless attacks against Senator Obama,” wrote Burton, referring to a Clinton campaign release that accused the Illinois senator of hiding early presidential ambitions. “Panicked by the poll numbers, they even attacked Barack for telling his kindergarten teacher what he wanted to be when he grew up. I wish I were joking.”
Responding to the new Web site, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said, "It's rather disingenuous of Sen. Obama to complain about questions being raised about his record - which remains unknown to voters - considering that he has spent the last three months impugning Sen. Clinton’s character. When it comes to changing our politics, Sen. Obama talks a good game but clearly lacks the courage of his convictions."
On Sunday, Clinton aide Howard Wolfson also renewed criticism of Obama for allegedly mishandling political action committee donations, telling viewers of CBS’s Face the Nation that "there's a lot that voters don't know about Barack Obama." Later that day, Clinton directly assailed Obama’s veracity for the first time, telling reporters at a New Hampshire campaign stop that "you can't get a straight answer" from Obama on health care.
"I have said for months that I would much rather be attacking Republicans, and attacking the problems of our country, because ultimately that's what I want to do as president," said Clinton. "But I have been, for months, on the receiving end of rather consistent attacks. Well, now the fun part starts. We're into the last month, and we're going to start drawing the contrasts."
Wolfson also signaled that Clinton would be drawing sharper contrasts with her opponents after months of criticism from her primary rivals. "Sen. Obama is a fabulous orator, but we need more than words,” he told the Washington Post in a story published Monday. “We don't need someone who says one thing and does another, somebody who talks a good game but doesn't have the courage of their convictions.”
- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand