Clinton says Obama can't stand the heat
RADNOR, Pennsylvania |
RADNOR, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton said on Friday that rival Barack Obama could not stand the pressure of the White House after the Illinois senator complained about tough questions at a debate.
Clinton said Obama's complaints about questions posed to him in their televised debate Wednesday night raised doubts about whether he was tough enough to stand up to the scrutiny of the presidency.
The debate questions, which focused on a series of controversies and comments involving Obama, drew complaints on Thursday from the Illinois senator and from viewers.
"I know some of my opponent's supporters and my opponent are complaining about the hard questions," Clinton, a former first lady, told a rally.
"Well, having been in the White House for eight years and seeing what happens in terms of the pressures and the stresses on a president, that was nothing," she said.
Referencing a famous quote from folksy former Democratic President Harry Truman, Clinton said: "I'm with Harry Truman on this. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."
Clinton, who has complained about moderators' treatment of her in previous debates, is in a hard fight with Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination to face Republican John McCain in November's presidential election.
Obama spokesman Bill Burton accused Clinton of hypocrisy.
"Considering the fact that Senator Clinton sat on stage at the last debate and complained to all of America that she always gets the first question, her blatant hypocrisy here is stunning," he said in a statement.
The Clinton campaign has often accused reporters of being harder on her than they are on Obama.
Obama appeared visibly uncomfortable at times during Wednesday's debate as moderators focused on issues including his controversial former pastor, his relationship with a 1960s radical, his remarks about small-town voters and his failure to wear a flag lapel pin.
On Thursday, Obama complained that substantive issues like Iraq, health care and jobs did not come up until the second half of the debate. "Last night I think we set a new record because it took us 45 minutes before we started talking about a single issue that matters to the American people," he said in Raleigh, North Carolina.
"That's just how Washington is. They like stirring up controversy and they like playing gotcha games, getting us to attack each other, and I have to say, Sen. Clinton looked in her element."
(Editing by Philip Barbara)
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