Clinton Goes After Obama on Health Care

(CBS)
From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- During her first official campaign visit to Rhode Island, Hillary Clinton continued to criticize Barack Obama, taking aim at his experience and hitting him hard on his health care plan.

"Of all of our differences, the one that is just inexplicable is his refusal to put forth a plan for universal health care and his continuing attacks on my plan to do so," she said. "Senator Obama says one thing in speeches and his campaign does something else."

"I don't understand how someone can want to be our Democratic nominee and not be committed to universal health care," Clinton said.

"John Edwards had a plan, I had a plan, Chris Dodd had a plan, Dennis Kucinich had a plan, Bill Richardson had a plan, because we're Democrats we stand for the principle that every single person should have quality affordable health care!"

Clinton's comments come one day after she accused Obama and his campaign of purposefully sending out mailings that distort Clinton's health care plan. A visibly angry Clinton scolded Obama yesterday saying "Shame on you, Barack Obama" for putting out the mailings.

Clinton, who spoke before a crowd of several thousand supporters at Rhode Island College, continued hammering away the point that Obama lacks the experience to be commander-in-chief on "day one."

"The next president will walk in there and before the day is out will have to start tackling these big problems." Clinton went on to mention the recent problems in Pakistan, Cuba and the turmoil in Serbia saying all those problems happened in just "one week, and our president needs to be able to handle each and every one of those."

Clinton warned that voters in Rhode Island should be careful when choosing the next president, reminding them that it has been a while since the United States elected a wartime president.

"We haven't had many wartime elections. And I think it is important that we do not lose sight of what it means to be a electing a president in the midst of not just one, but two wars," Clinton said drawing applause form the crowd.

Clinton added, "None of the problems we face will be easily solved. I can stand up here and say, 'Let's get everybody together, let's get unified, the sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect.' Maybe I've just lived a little long, but I have no illusions how hard this thing is going to be. You are not going to waive a magic wand and have special interest disappear."

Before arriving to Rhode Island, Clinton decided to visit with the press cabin aboard her campaign plane after some eager photographers took to decorating the rear of the aircraft with balloons and other campaign paraphernalia.

"I actually came back to see the photogs and the camera guys. I wanted to get a little time with them," Clinton said cutting off questions from reporters who stopped Clinton on her way.

Clinton was asked about form Green Party and Reform Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader joining in the current 2008 race to which Clinton said, "Obviously it is not helpful to who our Democratic nominee is. But its a free country and I don't know what party he will run on ... his being on the Green Party prevented Al Gore from being the greenest president we could ever have and I think that was really unfortunate."

Clinton has one more event scheduled in Rhode Island before departing for fund-raisers in Massachusetts.
  • Fernando Suarez

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