BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Hillary Clinton on Sunday once again took umbrage at a new Obama television spot running in Pennsylvania that censures Clinton’s universal health care plan. The Obama ad suggests Clinton's plan would force people to purchase health insurance, even if they cannot afford it.
“He persists in it,” she said at a rally here, referring to Obama’s criticisms of her health care plan. "I really regret that because the last thing we need is to have somebody who is spending as much money as he has downgrading universal health care.”
“We need to try to achieve universal health care not create political opposition to universal health care,” she remarked. “That is what the Republicans do, not what Democrats do.”
The Clinton campaign in recent days has criticized Obama for saying that the New York senator has adopted the tactics of her GOP critics.
With time dwindling before Democrats in Pennsylvania head to the polls on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton used the speech here to aggressively push back against an onslaught of television ads from her rival Barack Obama by reminding voters of the Illinois senator's debate performance several days ago.
“This week we had a debate,” she said at the rally. “And it showed you the choice you have. It's no wonder that my opponent has been so negative these last few days of the campaign, because I think you saw a big difference between us. It's really a choice of leadership. I'm offering leadership you can count on.”
Despite polls that show Clinton’s favorable ratings suffer when her campaign rhetoric turns negative, the Obama campaign’s attacks on Clinton this weekend - in TV ads, on conference calls and in mailboxes - have given the New York senator an opening to respond.
Throughout the weekend and across the state, she has done so forcefully, both on the stump and on the TV airwaves.
Her campaign Saturday launched a new television ad attempting to undermine Obama’s outsider message by linking him to lobbyist money, drawing a response ad from Obama calling those charges from Clinton “eleventh hour smears, paid for by lobbyist money.”
- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby