A day after admonishing Sen Obama, Clinton fails to immediately "reject" the words of a key Dallas Supporter who says "Obama's problem is he happens to be black." It took several approaches to inspire her camp to reject such rhetoric, but still the fact remains that we never heard it out of her own mouth.
Here's the AP story:
Clinton Pressed on Supporters Words
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:10 PM EST
The Associated Press
JANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A day after lecturing her presidential rival for not rejecting a controversial minister's support, Hillary Rodham Clinton declined Wednesday to reject one of her Texas backers who commented on Barack Obama's race.
During a series of satellite television interviews, Clinton was questioned by Dallas station KTVT about comments by Adelfa Callejo, a local activist who supports Clinton candidacy. The interviewer quoted Callejo as saying "Obama's problem is he happens to be black" and asked Clinton to respond.
"Well obviously I want all of us judged on our merits," Clinton said. "I believe strongly that the fact we have an African American and a woman running for the Democratic nomination is historical and I'm very, very proud of that."
"I want people though to look beyond, look beyond race and gender, look at our records, look at what we stand for, look at what we've done and I think that's what most voters are looking for," she said.
The interviewer asked Clinton whether she rejected or denounced Callejo's comment.
"People have every reason to express their opinions, I just don't agree with that," she said, adding "You know, this is a free country. People get to express their opinions."
During a nationally televised debate Tuesday in Cleveland, Clinton criticized Obama for refusing to reject an endorsement from National of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, who has made numerous anti-Semitic comments. Obama said he had been clear in his denunciations of Farrakhan's comments. Clinton suggested that was not enough.
Asked in the interview about her debate comments, Clinton said: "I don't see any comparison at all with what you're referring to and I don't know the facts of what you're telling me over the TV. So I'm just going to repeat that I want people to judge us on the merits."
Later, aide Doug Hattaway said Clinton was taken aback by the question.
"She had never heard of this before," Hattaway said. "If it was actually said, of course she denounces and rejects that kind of politics in any way, shape or form."