[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/22/art.obama0122.ap.jpg caption="Obama said Hillary Clinton is ‘fudging the truth.’"](CNN) - Hours after they tangled on-stage in one of the fiercest debate matchups yet, Barack Obama accused Hillary Clinton Tuesday of “fudging the truth.”
“If you get the kind of looseness with the facts that Sen. Clinton displayed, and you’re willing to say anything to get a political or tactical advantage, that erodes people’s trust in government. It makes them cynical,” Obama told reporters on conference call announcing the endorsement of Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson – an African-American legislator from a red state where more than a third of the electorate is black.
Thompson is the chairman of the House’s Homeland Security Committee.
“When it comes to Sen. Clinton’s remarks: look, I think it’s very clear that Sen. Clinton has - and President Clinton has - been spending the last month attacking me in ways that are not accurate. The news outlets that have looked at these attacks have indicated that they’re not accurate and at some point it was important for us to answer them,” said Obama.
“Sen. Clinton announced while we were still in Iowa that this was gonna be her strategy and called it the 'fun part of campaigning.' I don’t think it’s the fun part to fudge the truth,” said Obama. “…The key issue here is, how are we going to move this country forward?”
Shortly after Clinton spoke, her campaign sent reporters a memo containing half a dozen unrelated charges against Obama, including the charge, based on a recent news report, that he “represented now-indicted influence peddler Tony Rezko in his efforts to develop government-subsidized slum housing.”
The Obama campaign has denied links to any illegal activities on the part of the Chicago businessman, and has said it would reject all contributions linked to him.
The two sides also fought over Obama’s position on single-payer health care this morning, with Clinton’s campaign releasing a YouTube video of 2003 remarks by then-state Rep. Obama which they said contradicted his debate statement that he had never been in favor of the idea. The Obama campaign immediately responded, saying that the Illinois senator’s approach on the issue had been consistent.
Related: Watch Sen. Obama fire back at Sen. Clinton on her economic plan
–CNN's Chris Welch and Rebecca Sinderbrand