Clinton Campaign Digs Into Obama's Past


From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

HOUSTON -- While Hillary Clinton stood before reporters boasting about how this has been "an incredibly positive campaign," her senior campaign staff has been organizing a big effort to expose Barack Obama's relationship with Tony Rezko, a businessman and Obama donor currently on trial in Chicago.

"As Democrats begin voting in Ohio, in Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont, there are many, many, many, many more questions than answers from Senator Obama with regards to the Rezko matter," said Clinton Communication Director Howard Wolfson. "Democrats have the right to know the answers to these questions."

Obama responded to some of the questions about his relationship with Rezko yesterday. "What is true is that I entered into a real estate transaction with him, I bought a strip of land at an adjacent property that he had purchased and I said that that was a mistake because at that point there was already a cloud over Tony Rezko's head," Obama explained. "And I've been very open that I called it a boneheaded move. On the other hand, there have been no allegations that I did anything wrong, there have been no allegations that I betrayed the public trust."

That wasn't good enough for the Clinton campaign. "The fact that Senator Obama is refusing to answer the most basic of questions should really send alarms off around the newsrooms across America," said Deputy Communication Director Phil Singer. The Clinton campaign has been pushing reporters to ask Obama more detailed questions about his relationship with Rezko, and several organizations have put in requests for one-on-one time with Obama.

The candidate herself was busy making last minute stops. She visited a polling location in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in Houston with actor and friend Ted Danson and his wife Mary Steenburgen. After a quick meet and greet with supporters, Clinton held an impromptu press conference about the importance of Texas and Ohio. "These are two really critical states," she said. "You don't get to the White House without winning Ohio and we're going to put Texas in play."