Let the Trash Talking Begin

(CBS)
From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

JACKSON, MISS. -- As the campaign continues to tighten and the stakes get higher, the campaign rhetoric is getting sharper. But most of the sting is coming from campaign staffers, advisers and supporters, not the candidates themselves.

On the heels of a Clinton staffer's comment comparing Barack Obama to Ken Starr a story with feisty comments from one of Obama's foreign policy advisers emerged. The adviser, Samantha Power, was recently quite candid with a reporter from Scottish newspaper about her feelings on the state of the campaign.

"We f***** up in Ohio," adding, "In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio's the only place they can win."

Power, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Harvard University professor, then told the paper, "She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything,"

"You just look at her and think, 'Ergh,'" Power said.

The Obama campaign backed off her statement last night as campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in an e-mail to reporters, "Senator Obama decries such characterizations which have no place in this campaign."

In the same e-mail, Power apologized: "These comments do not reflect my feelings about Senator Clinton, whose leadership and public service I have long admired. I should not have made these comments and I deeply regret them. It is wrong for anyone to pursue this campaign in such negative and personal terms. I apologize to Senator Clinton and to Senator Obama, who has made very clear that these kinds of expressions should have no place in American politics."

UPDATE 11:15 a.m.: On a conference call this morning, Clinton supporters Reps. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., called for Power to be fired by the Obama campaign. "Barack Obama should ask Samantha Power not to be part of the campaign," Lowey said.

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: Samantha Power has resigned from the Obama Campaign. "I made inexcusable remarks that are at marked variance from my oft-stated admiration for Senator Clinton and from the spirit, tenor, and purpose of the Obama campaign. And I extend my deepest apologies to Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, and the remarkable team I have worked with over these long 14 months," said Power in a written statement.

  • Fernando Suarez

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