Obama, Clinton’s Latest Spat


By: Wall Street Journal

Amy Chozick reports from Santa Barbara, Calif.

After a surprisingly civil Democratic debate Tuesday night, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are at it again.

A Spanish-language radio ad airing in Nevada and paid for by one of Obama’s labor allies calls Clinton “shameful” and says she “does not respect our people.”

The ad, produced by the textile and hotel workers’ union UNITE-HERE, aired the ad in response to a lawsuit filed by Clinton supporters that failed to shut down the special caucus sites on the Las Vegas strip, where most of the union members would go to vote.

“Hillary Clinton should not allow her friends to attack our people’s right to vote this Saturday. This is unforgivable; there’s no respect,” the ad says. “Sen. Obama is defending our right to vote. Sen. Obama wants our votes. He respects our votes, our community our people… Vote for a president who respects us.”

In response the Clinton campaign called a press conference with Dolores Huerta, an iconic Hispanic labor leader and Clinton supporter. She suggested the ad was prompted by Obama’s lack of Hispanic support.

“It’s pathetic and it’s sad and it’s unfortunate that they have to stoop so low,” Ms. Huerta said, adding that in all her years of organizing Latino workers she never met Obama.

Winning the Hispanic vote is a huge part of the Clinton campaign’s strategy to win in Nevada on Saturday and California on Feb. 5. The campaign has attracted many high-level Hispanic endorsers including former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros.

Over the past two days in Nevada and Southern California, Clinton has appeared at events with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera.

The ad also managed to enrage candidate John Edwards. In Iowa, Obama came down hard on the Edwards campaign for accepting negative advertising from so-called 527s or non-profit groups that seek to influence elections.

“He loudly and repeatedly attacked independent ads by unions in Iowa as the product of special interests. But when a different outside group starts running ads on his behalf in Nevada, there’s not a peep from him or his campaign,” said deputy campaign manager Jonathan Prince.

“Obama believes, and has said clearly, that campaigns should fund themselves and discourages supporters from spending outside the campaign,” an Obama spokesman said.

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