|RENO, Nev. – As he campaigned in northern Nevada on Monday, Senator Barack Obama said he was concerned that a heated discussion of racial issues in the presidential campaign could divide the Democratic Party.|
“I don’t want the campaign at this stage to degenerate into so much tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, that we lose sight of why all of us are doing this,” Mr. Obama told reporters at a news conference here. “We’ve got too much at stake at this time in our history to be engaging in this kind of silliness. I expect that other campaigns feel the same way.”
Mr. Obama was seeking to be seen as taking the high road in the ongoing feud between his campaign and that of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. First, he conducted three back-to-back interviews with the major television networks here. Then, he hastily called a news conference at the Reno Events Center.
After speaking to hundreds of Nevada voters at a rally here, Mr. Obama urged Democratic voters not to become embroiled in racially-charged or motivated discussions.
“If I hear my own supporters engaging in talk that I think is ungenerous or misleading or in some way is unfair, I will speak out forcefully against it,” he said. “I hope the other campaigns take the same approach.”
On a day that initially was devoted to speaking about the economy, he held a nine-minute news conference. Before taking questions, Mr. Obama mentioned his rivals by name and praised them.
“I think that I may disagree with Senator Clinton or Senator Edwards on how to get there, but we share the same goals. We’re all Democrats,” Mr. Obama said. “We all believe in civil rights. We all believe in equal rights. We all believe that regardless of race or gender that people should have equal opportunities.”
He continued, saying: “They are good people, they are patriots. They are running because they think that they can move this country to a better place.”
Asked whether he believed either Mrs. Clinton or former President Bill Clinton had shown racial insensitivity in recent days, he said: “I don’t want to rehash that. I think that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton have historically and consistently been on the right side of civil rights issues. I think they care about the African-American community and that they care about all Americans and they want to see equal rights and justice in this country.”
I believe he is being sincere, other hand if he thinks the Clintons will stop or not try another angle then he is nuts.
|As both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama tried to lower the tension after days of charged rhetoric over race, a congressional supporter of Clinton's presidential bid called the Illinois senator's remarks attacking her over recent comments about President Lyndon Johnson and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “absolutely stupid.”|
"How race got into this thing is because Obama said ‘race,’” New York Rep. Charlie Rangel, one of the highest-ranking African-Americans in Congress, said in an interview on NY1.
“But there is nothing that Hillary Clinton has said that baffles me. I would challenge anybody to belittle the contribution that Dr. King has made to the world, to our country, to civil rights, and the Voting Rights Act,” said Rangel. “But for him to suggest that Dr. King could have signed that act is absolutely stupid. It's absolutely dumb to infer that Doctor King, alone, passed the legislation and signed it into law."