(CNN) - In her most wide-ranging comments to date on the role gender has played in the Democratic presidential race, Hillary Clinton said sexist attacks on her campaign have been "deeply offensive," and sharply criticized the press for not raising the issue.
"There should be equal treatment of the sexism and the racism when it raises its ugly head," Clinton told the Washington Post in an article published in the paper's Tuesday edition. "It does seem as though the press at least is not as bothered by the incredible vitriol that has been engendered by the comments by people who are nothing but misogynists."
"…I believe this campaign has been a groundbreaker in a lot of ways. But it certainly has been challenging given some of the attitudes in the press."
Listen to excerpts from the Clinton interview.
Clinton, who is banking on a large win in Kentucky Tuesday to keep her presidential hopes alive, also said she doesn't believe racism has played a role in the presidential campaign. But the New York senator said sexist attitudes among voters and members of the media have been a constant detriment to her White House hopes.
Speaking with supporters on a Friday conference call, Clinton said she regretted that many of them have faced sexist attacks.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Barack Obama chastised John McCain Thursday for engaging in “smear” politics, and defended himself from critics who question whether he is capable of being commander-in-chief, during a wide-ranging interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer - his first sit-down since the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.
“This is offensive, and I think it's disappointing,” Obama told Blitzer, when asked his thoughts about McCain’s comments that the terrorist organization Hamas wants Obama to be president. “Because John McCain always says ‘I am not going to run that kind of politics,’ and to engage in that kind of smear is unfortunate, particularly because my policy toward Hamas has been no different than his.
“I’ve said it’s a terrorist organization and we should not negotiate with them unless they recognize Israel, renounce violence, and unless they are willing to abide by previous accords between the Palestinians and the Israelis. So for him to toss out comments like that I think is an example of him losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination. We don’t need name calling in this debate.”
Blitzer’s interview with Obama can be seen in full at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET in The Situation Room. (Related: Obama: World wants to see U.S. lead)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove sharply dismissed an allegation Thursday that he was behind a 2000 rumor that Sen. John McCain was the father of an illegitimate African-American child.
"That is absolutely not true, and I take offense," Rove said in response to a question during an appearance at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. "If you have any bit of evidence that anybody connected with the Bush campaign was involved in that, you bring it forward, because it is a reckless charge."
The questioner alleged that Rove, then the chief political strategist for presidential candidate George W. Bush, "helped spread the false story" about McCain, who was Bush's main rival for the 2000 GOP nomination.
In the days leading up to the 2000 South Carolina Republican primary, anonymous McCain opponents had spread rumors that McCain had fathered an illegitimate African-American child. At the same time, Bob Jones University professor Richard Hand wrote a widely circulated email suggesting McCain had children out of wedlock. In fact, McCain and his wife had an adopted daughter from Bangladesh. Hand was a Bush supporter but did not have a role with the Bush campaign.
"Do you think people of South Carolina find it attractive to hear that kind of charge made against John McCain," Rove asked at the Troy University event. "Or do the people of South Carolina respond to it as they should have, 'What a remarkable thing that John and Cindy McCain adopted a child from Asia, took him into their home as an act of compassion and kindness.'"
"The Bush campaign had nothing to do with it, and the Bush campaign endeavored to stamp out those kinds of things because they hurt George Bush and helped John McCain, not the other way around," Rove added. "Either I'm a genius, or I'm an idiot. Only an idiot would spread trash like that and expect to do their candidate any good."