WASHINGTON (CNN) – A spokesman for Hillary Clinton lashed out at the media Monday for what he described as a double standard in the way the press covers the two Democratic White House hopefuls.
On a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon, Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson maintained Barack Obama is running a negative campaign, and said the press largely praises him for doing so.
“I think it is true that every time the Obama campaign in this campaign has attacked Sen. Clinton in the worst kind of personal ways, attacked her veracity, attacked her credibility, said that she would say or do anything to get elected, the press has largely applauded him," Wolfson said.
Wolfson's comments were prompted by a reporter's question over what seemed to be a change of tone for Clinton over the weekend, when she sharply criticized Obama in a press conference for distributing literature that she said misrepresented her position on NAFTA.
"Shame on you, Barack Obama," a visibly angry Clinton said Saturday. "Enough with the speeches and the big rallies and then using tactics right out of Karl Rove's playbook. This is wrong, and every Democrat should be outraged."
Wolfson denied the campaign was going negative, and faulted the press for not distinguishing between the contrasts Clinton is drawing and the personal attacks the the Illinois senator is launching.
"When we have attempted to make contrasts with Sen. Obama, we have been criticized for it," he said. "That is a fact of life that we labor under. I reject the notion that Sen. Clinton has been engaged in this sort of seriatim attacks on Sen. Obama. I think Sen. Obama's entire campaign against Sen. Clinton is negative.
"I think he has run against her as the status quo, he has essentially called her divisive, he has called her untruthful, he has questioned her credibility, he has said she will do and say anything to get elected," Wolfson also said. " If that's not negative, I don't know what negative is."
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney