Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama Praises Republicans?

Barack Obama has been accused of a Cardinal sin: the act of praising Republicans. During an editorial board meeting with the Reno Gazette-Journal, Obama made a series of statements that have led to a slew of attacks by his primary political rivals, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinon attacked a portion of the interview during which Obama stated that he is not an "operating officer" and would not spend the presidency digging into bureaucratic details. Clinton replied that the presidency requires a "hands on" leader.

John Edwards attacked a part of the discussion during which Obama praised Ronald Reagan, citing his ability to change the political landscape. Obama also stated that the Republican party has been the "party of ideas" for the past 10 -15 years.

Edwards said that he would never praise Ronald Reagan, who has done "damage to the middle class and working people."

In the meeting, Obama made the following statement.

"I think it’s fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last ten, fifteen years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom," he said during the board meeting. "Now, you’ve heard it all before. You look at the economic policies when they’re being debated among the Presidential candidates and it’s all tax cuts. Well, you know, we’ve done that, we tried it."

Hillary Clinton had this response.

"That’s not the way I remember the last ten to fifteen years," Clinton said this week in Las Vegas. "I don’t think it’s a better idea to privatize Social Security. I don’t think it’s a better idea to try to eliminate the minimum wage. I don’t think it’s a better idea to undercut health benefits and to give drug companies the right to make billions of dollars by providing prescription drugs to Medicare recipients. I don’t think it’s a better idea to shut down the government, to drive us into debt."

Obama's campaign spokesperson, Bill Burton, quickly shot down the Clinton statement.

“It’s hard to take Hillary Clinton’s latest attack seriously when she’s the one who supported George Bush’s war in Iraq, the most damaging Republican idea of our generation," he said.

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