The following piece is produced by HuffPost's OffTheBus.
Concord, NH -
The Barack Obama campaign today forcefully lashed back at the rival Hillary Clinton camp accusing it of resorting to personal attacks. "Now is not the time to return to old politics," said Ned Helms co-chair of Obama's New Hampshire state campaign. Helms charged the Clinton campaign with stooping to character attacks in response to Obama's recent rise in the polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire, instead of engaging in real policy disagreements.
"They have moved from looking at his kindergarten record," Helms continued, "to reading his book" to glean information from Obama's teenage years. "There is no place in the process for smearing character."
The charges came in a Concord press conference Thursday morning just hours before the next national Democratic debate and on the heels of remarks made yesterday by Clinton's NH co-chair Bill Shaheen's regarding Obama's past drug use. Some have interpreted Sheehan's remarks as implying that Obama may have also distributed drugs at the time.
Helms was joined by his state co-chair Sen. Martha Fuller Clark as they took questions from the handful of reporters crammed into the Obama campaign's local office.
Senator Clark reiterated Helms' remarks that Obama's campaign was successful because of his positive message. The voters, she suggested, "are looking for a president who can bring people together."
The pair were asked by a reporter what more the Clinton campaign could do beyond condemning the statement. Were they pushing for Shaheen to resign?
"That's a conversation that needs to happen within the Clinton campaign," Helms replied, before adding that they are not in the business of giving advice to rival campaigns.
Another reporter pressed further about whether or not that meant that the Obama team believed that the Clinton campaign actually did, if not authorize, at least allow for such comments to be made.
Helms did not confirm that statement, but said "When you see a pattern," citing the two nefarious e-mails in Iowa and now Shaheen's remarks, "it doesn't take a genius to see that there is a thread going on here." He then added that at some point you just need to say enough is enough.
UPDATE: Bill Shaheen has announced he is stepping down as Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire Co-Chair.
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