[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/24/art.hrcphill0324.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Clinton said Democrats will need to unite against John McCain."]
BLUE BELL, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Over the weekend, Barack Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe accused Hillary Clinton of having a “character gap.” Clinton spokesman Phil Singer returned fire, saying today that Obama’s campaign is perpetrating an "insidious pattern of personal attacks."
Any Democrat listening the harsh language emanating from the campaigns would be forgiven for thinking it might be tough to unify the party this fall.
Clinton was asked by a voter here Monday about the increasingly contentious race, and whether Democrats can manage to come together in the general election. Clinton re-emphasized that Democrats must unite after the primary battle.
"I think we will have a unified Democratic party once we have a nominee, we will go into fall election very committed to taking back the White House," she said. "None of the things I talk about will happen if Sen. McCain is elected."
She praised McCain and their work in Senate together, but added, "As he himself has said, he doesn’t know much about the economy."
The mostly female audience laughed as she ribbed McCain over his economic credentials, but she was serious as she urged Democrats to put aside their differences to defeat the presumptive GOP nominee.
"I think that people that who would have voted for either me or Sen. Obama are going to ask themselves, 'Wait a minute, there are really big differences between the Democrats and the Republicans.' And let’s have a unified party and elect a Democratic president."
UPDATE: Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz issued this response to Clinton's charges against McCain: "Sen. Clinton’s plans to increase taxes and implement massive government spending would only hurt hardworking families and small businesses. Her political attacks against Sen. McCain won’t distract voters from her backward-looking and failed policy stances."