POLITICS

Obama Camp Presents Clinton As McCain-Lite

03/28/2008 02:46 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Advisers to Senator Barack Obama sought to change the context of the campaign's foreign policy debate by casting Sen. Hillary Clinton as John McCain-lite.

In a conference call with reporters late Thursday afternoon, Obama aide Greg Craig went through a litany of issues in which the New York Democrat and Arizona Republican aligned on international affairs.

"For seven years she aligned herself with Sen. McCain in putting all our eggs in General Musharaf's basked," Craig said. "And she aligned herself with Sen. McCain when they both criticized Barack Obama for taking action against al Qaeda leadership, which has taken safe havens in Pakistan. She aligned herself with Sen. McCain in supporting the Kyl-Lieberman resolution," which many Democrats fear raises the specter of war with Iran.

In a statement later in the afternoon, Clinton's spokesperson Phil Singer said that Craig had falsely stated the Senator's position on all three of the aforementioned topics. (Click here to see the detailed rebuttal)

"Distorting Hillary's record won't address the doubts voters have about Senator Obama's readiness to be Commander in Chief," said Singer.

Earlier in the day, Clinton held a press conference with retired military leaders, in which she played up the notion that Obama was too wet-behind-the-ears to serve as commander in chief.

"I think that since we now know Sen. (John) McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it's imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold," the New York senator said. "I believe that I've done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you'll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy."

Craig and adviser Susan Rise hit back against this argument as well, challenging Clinton to produce one instance in which she was involved in "crisis management," and arguing that she had drastically overemphasized her roles in the North Ireland peace process, pushing for women's rights in China, and opening up borders in Bosnia.

The crux of at least the early portion of the conference, however, was focused on tying Clinton to the presumptive Republican nominee.

"Sen. Clinton seems to believe that the way to beat John McCain in a debate is to talk like he talks, act like he acts, and vote like he votes on national security issue," said Craig. "We believe Democrats in the past have lost debates with Republicans because of these issues."

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