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Friday, March 7, 2008

Obama Strikes Back

Posted By on Fri, Mar 7, 2008 at 2:28 PM

Remarkably, and despite some heartfelt appeals from Team Clinton earlier this week, Barack Obama's campaign did NOT forswear any further attacks during a conference call with reporters this afternoon. Instead, campaign manager David Plouffe reiterated demands that Clinton furnish her prior year tax information immediately. Clinton, he charges was "one of the most secretive politicians" in office today. And "anything short of a full accounting [of tax information] would raise huge red flags." (Clinton has pledged to release that information around tax time, and before Pennsylvania's April 22 primary.)

At the same time, the Obama camp took pains to address lingering questions about where the candidate stood on the NAFTA free trade agreement. In Ohio and Pennsylvania, the US/Mexico/Canada trade pact has been blamed for job losses. Clinton's recent win in Ohio has been attributed to questions about whether Obama, who has publicly criticized the trade agreement signed by Clinton's husband, was telegraphing to Canadian officials that he didn't really mean it. Plouffe reiterated Obama's position on the deal (you can hear Plouffe reiterating Obama's stance on NAFA here .) At the same time, Plouffe noted an AP story suggesting Clinton herself may have been winking at the Canadians about her own trade opposition.

Finally, Plouffe seemed to try to diminish expectations for his candidate in Pennsylvania, all but conceding the state to Clinton. A Clinton advisor was quoted by the Washington Post saying Clinton should be "unbeatable" in the state, and Plouffe conceded that she "should be expected to win." But Obama, he pledged, would camapign hard in the state. (Click here to hear Plouffe speaking about Obama's plans to campaign in Pennsylvania. For purposes of conserving time and bandwidth, this clip has been edited.)

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