HARRISBURG, PA -- Hillary Clinton topped a speech today with a crescendo of criticisms against Barack Obama, trying to drive a wedge of distinction between his public statements on policy and what his campaign says afterward.
On NAFTA, Clinton said, "My opponent said one thing in Ohio and then his top economic adviser told the Canadian government – 'Don't worry what he says, that's just politics.' "
Clinton assailed Obama on the topic of Iraq as well. "I've been saying I will start to withdraw our troops within 60 days," she said. "My opponent has said he will have them all out in 16 months, and then one of his top foreign policy advisers tells the foreign press 'well, don't pay any attention to that, that's just talk during a campaign.' "
The crowd of over 2,000 people booed at the mention of Obama, and gave Clinton a standing ovation when she shouted, "I gotta tell you, there's a big difference between talk and action, but if you're going to talk, then you ought to mean what you say so people can count on it!"
The Obama campaign accused Clinton of playing politics. "Proving once again that she will say and do anything to win this election," said spokesman Bill Burton, "Senator Clinton today has unleashed a kitchen sink of distorted and discredited attacks that she knows aren't true."
The rally was the first time Clinton herself had targeted Obama in several days after taking time off in Washington this past weekend - barely mentioning him as she began a new leg of campaigning yesterday in Pennsylvania. Interestingly, this is the same opponent she recently hinted at making her vice president.
But today was much different, and instead of suggestions of a Clinton/Obama "dream ticket," as many Democrats have called it, there were comparisons of Obama and the current vice president, Dick Cheney. "In 2005, when we had a chance to say no to Dick Cheney and his energy bill, my opponent said yes and voted for it with all of those tax subsidies and giveaways that have been used by the oil companies and others to retard the development of clean and renewable energy."
Not surprisingly, Obama's campaign disagreed with that characterization. "The fact is, the energy bill that Senator Clinton is using to score cheap political points actually raised taxes on oil companies and made the largest investment in renewable energy in our nation's history," said Burton, "including the tax credit that's kept the wind industry afloat and helped create jobs like the ones at the plant Barack Obama is visiting today."
Clinton's comments came at the tail end of a speech that focused on education costs and insurance woes face by voters in this state.
"The eyes of the world are on Pennsylvania," said Clinton, who is hoping to stay alive in this race with a win in this state's upcoming primary, one of the few left in the country. "It's Pennsylvania's turn."