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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

UPDATES—Clinton: Wright 'would not have been my pastor'

By Mike Wereschagin and David M. Brown, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a wide-ranging interview today with Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporters and editors, said she would have left her church if her pastor made the sort of inflammatory remarks Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor made.

"He would not have been my pastor," Clinton said. "You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend."

Obama's lead in national polls has slipped since clips of the retired Rev. Jeremiah Wright began being played on national news programs. The uproar prompted Obama to give a wide-ranging speech on race in America a week ago. The Clinton campaign has refrained from getting involved in the controversy, but Clinton herself, responding to a question, denounced what she said was "hate speech."
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Update: Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton fires back, "If Sen. Clinton has decided that she now wants to play politics with this issue, that’s her disappointing choice, but it won’t do anything to help us solve the larger challenges facing this country."

Update 2: Hillary Finance Committee Member Compares Wright And David Duke, Says Obama "Used Race Where It Suited Him"

The Wright Stuff is coming fast and furious from Hillary and her supporters.

First Hillary criticized Obama today for not sufficiently distancing himself from the controversial pastor.

I've now learned that a member of Hillary's finance committee and a longtime ally of the Clintons has made some very explicit statements about Barack Obama's ties to his controversial minister, Jeremiah Wright, saying that it's "legitimate" to raise questions about those ties, comparing Wright to David Duke, and claiming that Obama has "used race where it suited him."

The finance committee member, Niall O'Dowd, made the comments on Saturday in an unnoticed interview with RTE Radio in Ireland. The Wright issue has been raised by Hillary surrogates Lanny Davis and Joe Wilson, making O'Dowd the third Hillaryite (or fourth, if you include Hillary herself) to hit Obama over Wright.

The interview is worth a listen, because it's another example of supporters of the candidates (see Power, Samantha) getting themselves in potential trouble by saying things abroad in settings where more candor is possible, and indeed expected, than here in America...

(H/T Gre Sergent,TMP)

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